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How Hard Is The LSAT?
By Carson Lang Updated on June 18, 2024
John Ross, JD, CPA John Ross, JD, CPA

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 no easy feat, and the journey starts with one of the hardest tests many people will take in their lives—the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). But how hard is it, really? Many people compare the LSAT to an IQ test due to the unique format which focuses more on intelligence and problem solving than the ability to memorize facts. While the LSAT is difficult, the right prep tools can greatly improve your chances of success.

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Is The LSAT Hard?

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 (save for maybe the bar exam). But why is it so hard? There are a few things that factor into the difficulty.

One of the main things that makes 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. Let’s explore this a little further.

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. The GRE might be a better bet for you in this case.

This is because the LSAT does not test any of your underlying knowledge. In other words, hard content is not tested. There is no math, science, literature, or history being tested—only your ability to decipher complex fact patterns and given statements to find logical results.

In this way, many people compare the LSAT to an IQ test due to the types of questions asked and how they are presented.

lsat exam difficulty

The test itself isn’t very long, taking only three hours to complete. There are 99-102 multiple-choice questions across four sections (three scored, one unscored). Each section takes only 35 minutes. There are no deductions for incorrect answers.

The sections of the LSAT are:

  • Logical Reasoning: This section 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.
  • Analytical Reasoning: Otherwise known as “logic games.” 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: These 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.

Also Worth Reading: Blueprint LSAT Review

Which Section Do Students Find The Hardest?

Typically test takers find Analytical Reasoning (logic games) 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.

LSAT Lab session

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.

blueprint lsat learning module
Example of a video lesson from an LSAT prep course

A few of our team’s favorite LSAT courses include 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.

Conclusion

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.

READ NEXT: Magoosh LSAT Review

FAQ

How difficult is the LSAT?

The LSAT is an extremely difficult test, especially for people who struggle with logic and problem solving. Because the LSAT does not test hard content, it can be very challenging for some.

Why is the LSAT so hard?

The LSAT is difficult because it is a long, grueling test that assesses your ability to quickly analyze information, identify relevant points, and summarize concepts into logical outcomes. There is no underlying knowledge tested.