LSAT (Law School Admissions Test)


The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is a standardized admission test for prospective lawyers that is widely used in the United States and Canada. It is organized by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), to which most of the U.S. and Canadian law schools are affiliated. The results of the LSAT are intended to provide information about the suitability for studying law.

Target group of the LSAT (Law School Admission Test)

All applicants who wish to study Juris Doctor at a US or Canadian LSAC member university must complete the LSAT. This applies equally to domestic and international applicants.

The Juris Doctor (JD) is the usual US degree in law. Together with the passed bar exam, admission to the bar, the Juris Doctor is required to work as a lawyer in the United States.

However, universities generally do not require an LSAT for admission to a Master of Laws (LLM) program in the USA or Canada. If the test has already been taken and completed with a good result, there is of course no reason not to enclose it with the application for the LLM.

Exam contents and test structure of the LSAT

The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) examines three areas of competence :

  • Reading (Reading Comprehension)
  • analytical thinking (Analytical Reasoning)
  • logical thinking (logical reasoning).

The LSAT lasts a total of 3 hours and 30 minutes and consists largely of multiple choice questions. There are a total of six 35-minute examination units.

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Reading Comprehension

The reading comprehension is checked by means of multiple choice questions on long and complex texts. The level of difficulty of these texts is based on the type of texts that the examinees will have to read and understand later at the law school.

Analytics reasoning

The examination unit for analytical thinking uses multiple-choice questions to test the extent to which participants recognize dependency structures in the relationships between people, things or events and what logical conclusions they draw from them.

Logical reasoning

The logical thinking is tested in two test units with multiple-choice questions. This is about the ability to analyze and assess arguments, which often have a legal connection.

In addition to these areas, there is another multiple-choice examination unit that is not included in the evaluation. This so-called variable section can appear at any point in the course of the exam and is not recognizable as such for the examinee. It is used by the LSAC to test newly developed exam questions and forms.

At the end of the exam is the sixth and final exam unit, the so-called writing sample. This is basically a question of decision, on which the test candidates have to take a stand and justify their position in writing.

Rating scale of the LSAT (Law School Admission Test)

The LSAT is rated on a scale from 120 (low) to 180 (high).

The variable section and the writing sample are not included in the evaluation. However, all law schools where participants apply will receive a copy of the writing sample. The weighting of the writing sample differs depending on the law school. Most law schools include it to some extent in their decision.

Interested parties can take the LSAT a maximum of three times within two years. Basically, it is possible to repeat the LSAT to improve the score. However, it should be noted that the law schools always receive all test results. If applicants take the LSAT multiple times, many law schools average their scores from all test results received. Therefore, it is advisable to prepare carefully for the LSAT and to take the test only once if possible.

Preparation for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test)

The organizer LSAC offers various learning aids to prepare for the LSAT. Some sample questions and a practice test are available on the official LSAT website. There are also chargeable offers, such as the Official LSAT Handbook or more extensive test collections for practicing.

LSAT: test centers and exam dates

The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is offered four times a year worldwide in February, June, October and December. However, not every test center also offers all exam dates. In Germany there are currently two test centers in Munich. In Austria there is a center in Vienna. There is currently no way to take the LSAT in Switzerland.

A list of all test centers, including the available exam dates, is available on the official LSAT website. The done signing up for the LSAT online ; alternatively, however, registration by post or telephone is also possible. The registration period usually ends four weeks before the respective examination date.

When choosing the exam date, you should definitely take into account the application deadline of the law school at which you want to apply. It may take about a month to get the results.

Costs and payment options

The registration fees for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) amounted to US $ 165. Some law schools also require applicants to submit their test results through the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). This is an application service from the LSAC: Applicants do not submit the LSAT result and their other certificates and documents to the individual law schools, but only to the CAS. The latter then forwards the documents to the universities. This service costs an additional US $ 160, which, if used, results in a total price of US $ 325. Payment of the fees is possible by credit card, check or money order.