What is the Role of LSAT in Law School Admissions? | BCGSearch.com

What is the Role of LSAT in Law School Admissions?


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Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is an integral part of the application process for law schools in the United States, Canada, and an increasing number of other countries. The LSAT tests the skills necessary for success in the first year of law school. The test results provide admission decision-makers and candidates alike with valuable insights into candidates' ability to succeed in law school. The LSAT predicts first-year law school performance even better than undergraduate GPA, as studies have shown repeatedly. A holistic admission process is important, taking into account a candidate's skills and experiences as part of a holistic assessment of their application.

Three areas are tested in this half-day test: logical reasoning, analytical reasoning, and reading comprehension. There are 35 questions in the LSAT sections. A section of 35 sample questions for future exams is included along with the scored portion. The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) administers the exam at its testing centers worldwide seven times per year.

How is the LSAT scored?

On the LSAT, three out of five sections contribute to the final score. The “raw score” of a test taker is not penalized for incorrect answers, like in some standardized tests. On a bell curve, raw scores are distributed from 120 to 180, with a median of 150. As a result, a score of 151 would place the tester in the top half of all test takers. Testers scoring 165 would be in the top 90th percentile. Only one percent of test-takers score higher than 173.

Is the LSAT required for law school admissions?

There are 205 law schools accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) that accept the LSAT for admission. The LSAT is, however, increasingly being replaced by the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). In either case, ABA-approved law schools require some standardized testing as these test scores are a major indicator of a law school graduate's ability to pass the Bar Exam, which is a requirement for anyone wanting to practice law. The majority of jurisdictions require a law degree to practice law.

See Also: The LSAT Is No Longer Required At These And Other Law Schools: Why Law Schools Are Ditching The LSAT

How significant is the LSAT for admissions?

Among the factors considered for law school admission are your LSAT score, your undergraduate academic record, your undergraduate major, as well as your recommendations and prior experience. US News & World Report ranking of law schools heavily factors in the LSAT for admissions. Most schools consider the LSAT score to be the most important determinant of admissions. Due to its emphasis on logic and reasoning (instead of memorizing subjects), the LSAT is likely to give a better indication of a student's success in law school, particularly when they begin their first year of traditional law school.

Is it possible to take the LSAT more than once?

A law school applicant may take the LSAT three times in a single testing year, five times over five years, and no more than seven times in a lifetime. Schools typically consider the score applicants report as their highest. Some schools, however, consider the average of the two highest scores. When the difference between two scores is greater than five points, the Law School Admission Council recommends averaging the scores that are within five points of each other.

What should I do to prepare for the LSAT?

Considering that LSAT scores are important in the admissions process, ensuring the best score possible requires adequate preparation. Practice taking sample questions from all three sections is the best preparation. The LSAC offers sample questions. For those who prefer self-study, there are also companies that offer comprehensive LSAT prep courses. In addition to traditional courses, students can also take online LSAT prep courses at their convenience.

What are the 4 sections of LSAT?

Getting a decent score on the LSAT requires you to know the test. If you have never taken the LSAT, just showing up at a test center cold and expecting to ace the questions is not something you can expect.

On the other hand, if you find standardized tests challenging in general and the LSAT especially so, you probably need to spend more time practicing in order to improve your scores. Regardless of your situation, stay motivated and prepare with the certainty that you will improve with dedicated practice.

The LSAT consists of four parts:
  1. Analytical reasoning section
  2. Logical reasoning section
  3. Reading comprehension section
  4. Writing sample section

The LSAT writing samples are the only sections not subject to multiple-choice questions, and they always come last. Multiple-choice questions may appear in any order. There are six sections in the test: two scored sections of logical reasoning, one scored analytical reasoning section, one scored reading comprehension section, one writing sample, and one unscored section that may be any of the three multiple-choice sections.

There is no indication of which section is unscored, and the unscored section looks just like any other section of the LSAT. Each section lasts 35 minutes.

The unscored variable section you take consists of questions that the LSAC is considering for use on a future LSAT. LSAC wants to see how well these new questions work when presented to actual LSAT takers. Observation, logical reasoning, or reading comprehension are all possible sections that are not scored.

LSAT Prep Timeline

The LSAT registration deadline is about a month in advance of each test date:
  • January: Take a  free LSAT practice test to calculate your diagnostic score.
  • February: Start thinking about an LSAT prep course (strongly recommended in-person or online courses).
  • March: Check upcoming LSAT test dates, registration deadlines, and the logistical information you will need to know for the big day.


Where can I find practice LSAT questions?

Preparing for the LSAT involves familiarizing yourself with the mechanics of the test:
  • What does it look like?
  • What is being asked of you?
  • How do you physically provide answers to the test questions?

If your test will be administered in the same format, you should become familiar with the LSAT. You can also estimate how much time you can spend on each question by taking the official practice tests under time constraints. In addition, you will be able to determine which types of questions require more practice.

When you understand the test instructions and the nature of the questions, you will be able to plan your time wisely on the day of the test and handle distractions efficiently.

Official LSAT Prep on LSAC’s LawHub

With the Official LSAT PrepSM available through LawHub, you can immerse yourself in a simulation of taking the four-section or the LSAT-Flex. Everything that you can do during the test will be available on the practice test - ruling out answers, marking passages, setting screen preferences, and more. You will be able to build skills and confidence by practicing these tests.

Through LSAC's LawHub, two LSAT PrepTests (including a bonus LSAT-Flex version) and an Official LSAT-Flex Sample test are available free of charge. For just $99, you can access more than 70 full Official LSAT PrepTestsTM for one whole year with Official LSAT PrepPlusSM.

Paper-and-Pencil LSAT Prep

On the LSAC website, you can find a free sample LSAT if your LSAT is being administered in paper-and-pencil format.

Other test preparation resources include Official LSAT Prep books and eBooks. There are three full practice tests with explanations for every question in the Official LSAT SuperPrep and SuperPrep II. There are also dozens of additional Official LSAT Prep tests available for purchase.

What month should I apply to law school?

In addition to your application materials, your personal statement should be carefully mulled over and revised multiple times. Make sure your personal statement is a reflection of your character by asking someone who knows you well and has good critical eyes to read it. Clearly demonstrating your interest in law and the field you are considering will appeal to admissions officers.
  • September: Start working on your law school applications and personal statements around September.
  • November: Aim to submit all your law school applications, regardless of the official deadline, by late November or early December.

See Also: The Law School Admission Test: How Will The Change In LSAT Reporting Affect Students?


A law school applicant can only determine whether law school is a good fit for them by taking the LSAT, which is the only test accepted by all ABA-accredited law schools. Students who want to maximize their chances for admission and be prepared for law school should take the LSAT. Law schools may accept other tests for admission, but students who want to maximize their chances for acceptance should take the LSAT.

About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is a prominent figure in the legal placement industry, known for his expertise in attorney placements and his extensive knowledge of the legal profession.

With over 25 years of experience, he has established himself as a leading voice in the field and has helped thousands of lawyers and law students find their ideal career paths.

Barnes is a former federal law clerk and associate at Quinn Emanuel and a graduate of the University of Chicago College and the University of Virginia Law School. He was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist at the University of Chicago and a member of the University of Virginia Law Review. Early in his legal career, he enrolled in Stanford Business School but dropped out because he missed legal recruiting too much.

Barnes' approach to the legal industry is rooted in his commitment to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. He believes that the key to success in the legal profession is to be proactive, persistent, and disciplined in one's approach to work and life. He encourages lawyers to take ownership of their careers and to focus on developing their skills and expertise in a way that aligns with their passions and interests.

One of how Barnes provides support to lawyers is through his writing. On his blog, HarrisonBarnes.com, and BCGSearch.com, he regularly shares his insights and advice on a range of topics related to the legal profession. Through his writing, he aims to empower lawyers to control their careers and make informed decisions about their professional development.

One of Barnes's fundamental philosophies in his writing is the importance of networking. He believes that networking is a critical component of career success and that it is essential for lawyers to establish relationships with others in their field. He encourages lawyers to attend events, join organizations, and connect with others in the legal community to build their professional networks.

Another central theme in Barnes' writing is the importance of personal and professional development. He believes that lawyers should continuously strive to improve themselves and develop their skills to succeed in their careers. He encourages lawyers to pursue ongoing education and training actively, read widely, and seek new opportunities for growth and development.

In addition to his work in the legal industry, Barnes is also a fitness and lifestyle enthusiast. He sees fitness and wellness as integral to his personal and professional development and encourages others to adopt a similar mindset. He starts his day at 4:00 am and dedicates several daily hours to running, weightlifting, and pursuing spiritual disciplines.

Finally, Barnes is a strong advocate for community service and giving back. He volunteers for the University of Chicago, where he is the former area chair of Los Angeles for the University of Chicago Admissions Office. He also serves as the President of the Young Presidents Organization's Century City Los Angeles Chapter, where he works to support and connect young business leaders.

In conclusion, Harrison Barnes is a visionary legal industry leader committed to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. Through his work at BCG Attorney Search, writing, and community involvement, he empowers lawyers to take control of their careers, develop their skills continuously, and lead fulfilling and successful lives. His philosophy of being proactive, persistent, and disciplined, combined with his focus on personal and professional development, makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the legal profession.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive, while achieving results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.

Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives

Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

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