The Different Parts of the LSAT - dummies

The Different Parts of the LSAT

By Lisa Zimmer Hatch, Scott A. Hatch, Amy Hackney Blackwell

If you want to get a decent score on the LSAT, you need to know the test. You can’t expect to walk into a test center cold, never having encountered an LSAT in your life, and just ace the questions.

You don’t necessarily have to study for a long time. If you’re good at standardized tests, you may be able to flip through one or two sample tests, work a few of the problems, get the idea, and score in the 95th percentile. Some people can.

If, on the other hand, you find standardized tests generally challenging, and the LSAT difficult in particular, you probably need to devote yourself to more practice time to master the proven strategies. Whatever your situation, keep motivated and prepare with the certainty that you can and will improve with dedicated practice.

The LSAT consists of four parts:

  • Analytical reasoning section

  • Logical reasoning section

  • Reading comprehension section

  • Writing sample section

The writing sample section is the only section that isn’t multiple choice, and it’s always last. The other three multiple-choice sections can come in any order. You take six separate test sections: two scored sections of logical reasoning, one scored analytical reasoning section, one scored reading comprehension section, one writing sample, and one unscored section that can be any of the three multiple-choice sections.

You don’t know which section is unscored, and the unscored section looks just like any other LSAT test section. Every section lasts 35 minutes.

The unscored section that you take is a collection of questions that the LSAC is considering using on a future LSAT. The LSAC wants to see how well these new questions work when presented to actual LSAT-takers. This section can be analytical reasoning, logical reasoning, or reading comprehension; you don’t know which section is unscored.

The quickest way to get your hands on an actual LSAT is to download the free sample test available at the LSAC website. Downloading the sample is a good way to familiarize yourself with the test and its format.