LSAT Sections

Because of the unique nature and set up of the questions on the LSAT exam, it is critical that you thoroughly understand the format and infrastructure of the questions. The LSAT comprises of five sections that run 35 minutes each: Logical Reasoning, Analytical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, an unscored experimental section (that's like any of the aforementioned sections), and a writing sample. It is recommended to spend no more than 1 minute and 20 seconds per question. The writing sample is always administered last. While the essay is not scored, it will be sent to all of the law schools you apply to for review.

Structure of the LSAT

Sections 1-5 (multiple-choice): 

  • Logical Reasoning (25-26 questions, 35 min.)
  • Analytical Reasoning (23-24 questions, 35 min.)
  • Reading Comprehension (27-28 questions, 35 min.)
  • Logical Reasoning (25-26 questions, 35 min.)
  • Unscored section (23-28 questions, 35 min.)
  • Writing Sample (1 essay, 35 min.)

Total Testing Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Logical Reasoning

Duration: 2 sections, about 25 questions each

This Logical Reasoning section weighs your ability to comprehend arguments and draw sound conclusions. The questions are preceded by "arguments" that you will then be required to evaluate the structure and structure of. You will also have to make inferences, identify flaws in the logic, and demonstrate that you understand the substance of the argument. The two Logical Reasoning sections make up 50% of your total LSAT score, so it is critical that you get a strong grasp of this section. Topics include economics, psychology, the natural sciences, culture, etc.

Analytical Reasoning

Duration: 1 section, about 25 questions

Commonly referred to as the "logic games" section, this segment of the test analyzes your ability to visualize a scenario with 3 to 6 contraints to establish parameters, and use deductive reasoning to draw interences. The section contains four games that fall into three basic categories: ordering, assignment, and grouping. Your spatial reasoning skills will be improved as you diagram to find answers for these questions.

Reading Comprehension

Duration: 27 - 28 questions

Time per question: 75 seconds per question

Duration: 60 minutes (one 25 minute section, one 10 minute section, and one 25 minute essay)

4 sections: 3 with long passages, and 1 "comparative reading" passage that is made up of two related shorter passages. Skills assessed include drawing inferences, finding the main argument, navigating and breaking down heavy text, and comparing and contrasting. Topics typically include the humanities, social sciences, biological and physical sciences and the law.

Experimental Section

The fifth multiple choice section on the LSAT (also known as the "variable" section) is experimental, unscored, and used solely for research purporses. It will be Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning, or Analytical Reasoning; there is no way to know which section is the experimental section, so any "double" section you come across should be treated just the same. For example, if there are 3 Logical Reasoning sections on your LSAT, it is safe to assume that one is definitely an experimental section.

The Writing Section

The writing sample of the LSAT is not scored but your essay will be sent to every law to which you apply. It is an opportunity for the law schools you are interested in to be able to assess your cogent writing skills under the pressure of time constraints. You will be presented a set of facts followed by two possible courses of action. You will have 35 minutes to pick a stance and write an essay that coherently defends your choice. Each law school weighs the writing sample differently when evaluating your application. However, the essay you write can get your foot in the door if you are a "borderline" candidate, so you should spend time developing your writing if this is not your strongest suit.