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How Hard Is The LSAT?
Whether you’re determined to become a lawyer or simply curious, many students wonder how difficult the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) really is
Becoming a lawyer is certainly hard, and that starts with one of the hardest tests many people will take in their lives – the Law School Admission Test. But how hard is it? Many people compare the LSAT to an IQ test due to the unique format that focuses more on intelligence and problem solving and less on the ability to memorize facts. While the LSAT is difficult, the right tools can improve your chances of success.
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The short answer is yes. The LSAT is a very difficult test. Chances are, it will be one of the hardest tests you will ever take. Why is it so hard? There are some things that factor into the difficulty.
One of the main things that make the LSAT so hard is that it tests your ability to quickly identify relevant information and analytically break down the main ideas and concepts into logical outcomes.
What Makes The LSAT Difficult?
As mentioned above, there are several factors that impact the difficulty of the LSAT. If you are the type of person that excels at memorizing facts and data but struggles with logic and problem solving, then you will most likely find the LSAT to be quite hard (and will probably benefit from a top rated LSAT course).
The LSAT is also vastly different than any standardized tests you’ve taken up until this point. It is nothing like the SAT or ACT. Many people compare the LSAT to an IQ test due to the types of questions asked and how they are presented.
The test itself isn’t very long. It takes 3 hours and 30 minutes and contains 99-102 multiple choice questions. The test is broken down into 6 sections, each lasting 35 minutes. There are no deductions for incorrect answers.
The sections of the LSAT are:
Logical Reasoning: 2 sections, each containing 24-26 questions. Logical Reasoning tests your ability to determine the main points of an argument as well as finding relevant information within a piece of text and applying logic to reach an reasoned outcome. There are 2 sections of Logical Reasoning as it is one of the primary attributes of a successful attorney.
Analytical Reasoning: Contains 4 logic games, each with 4-7 questions. This section tests your ability to determine relationships between concepts, apply logic to complex and ambiguous situations, and to understand effects of rules on outcomes and decisions.
Reading Comprehension: Contains 4 passages with a total and 27 questions split between the sections. The questions test your ability to find relevant information within a text, isolate and determine the main ideas of the passages, and understand dense scholarly text.
Variable Section: This is an unscored experimental section that can have games, reading comprehension, or arguments.
Writing Sample: Measures your ability to form an argument using written English to get your point across and conceptually express ideas.
Scoring of the LSAT takes your hand scored portions and the raw number of correct answers leaving you with a score between 120 and 180. The average score is 150. In order to be admitted to a top 50 law school, you need a minimum of 154. For a top 14 school, you need 162 or higher.
Typically test takers find Analytical Reasoning to be the most difficult section of the LSAT. This is mainly due to the fact that many of the tasks involved are things that the test taker may not be familiar with, or that are particularly tricky.
If you are the type of person that typically excels with logic and reasoning questions, then you will most likely not have a hard time with this section.
While the Analytical Reasoning portion is the hardest section for most people, it is also the score that test takers find easiest to bring up with practice. The score that is the hardest to bring up is Reading Comprehension, as there are many things that can factor into having difficulty with reading.
Tips To Make The LSAT Less Difficult
No matter how you look at it or break it down, the LSAT is a difficult test. Luckily, there are many resources available to anyone looking to improve their scores, or to get a higher score on their first test. No matter which category you fall under, you can certainly make things easier for yourself.
If you are looking to bring your score up after an unsuccessful attempt or after a practice test score you were unhappy with, you can spend more time studying, and focusing primarily on the areas that you need to improve upon. You can do this by studying materials that you already have or you can look around online for study guides and specialized practice tests.
If you haven’t taken the test yet but want to get a high score, focus on each section and adjust future study sessions based on how you do on practice tests. Fortunately, with the internet you can access hundreds of study guides, sample test questions, and even additional practice tests so you can thoroughly prepare for the LSAT.
Are you the type of person that can’t study alone and thrives in a group setting? Check with your university or local community boards to see if there is an LSAT test prep course, LSAT tutor, or a study group that you would be able to join.
There are several benefits that come along with taking an LSAT prep course. One of the main perks is that you will see significant score improvement. The top LSAT prep courses that are available often guarantee that students will see an increase of at least 5 points.
A few of our team’s favorite LSAT courses include LSATMax, Princeton Review, and Kaplan. While most LSAT prep courses are internet based, many of them have live instructors, which is helpful because you can ask questions in real-time and receive one on one feedback.
Overall, the LSAT is a difficult test, but there are things you can do to improve your chances of receiving a high score. From study groups and LSAT prep courses to online practice tests, with a bit of extra hard work you should be able to pass the LSAT with the score you need to get your law career started.