The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is a standardized admission test for prospective lawyers, which is widely used in the USA and Canada. It is organized by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), to which most US and Canadian law schools are affiliated. The results of the LSAT are intended to provide information about the suitability for a law degree.
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Target group of the LSAT (Law School Admission Test)
The LSAT is open to all applicants wishing to enrol in a Juris Doctor program at a U. S. or Canadian member university of the LSAC. This applies to both domestic and international applicants.
The Juris Doctor (JD) is the most common law degree in the USA. Together with the passed Bar Exam, admission to the bar, the Juris Doctor is a prerequisite for working as a lawyer in the USA.
However, for admission to a Master of Laws (LLM) program in the USA or Canada, universities do not usually require LSAT, but if the test has already been taken and completed with a good result, there is of course no reason not to include it in the application for the LLM.
Test contents and test structure of the LSAT
The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) examines three areas of competence:
- Reading Comprehension (Reading Comprehension)
- Analytical reasoning (Analytical Reasoning)
- logical reasoning (Logical Reasoning).
The LSAT lasts 3 hours and 30 minutes and consists mainly of multiple choice questions. There are a total of six 35-minute examination units.
Reading comprehension is checked by multiple-choice questions on long and complex texts. The level of difficulty of these texts is based on the type of texts that the candidates have to read and understand later at the Law School.
The test unit for analytical thinking uses multiple-choice questions to test the extent to which the participants recognize dependency structures in relationships between people, things or events and what logical conclusions they draw from them.
Logical reasoning is tested in two test units with multiple-choice questions. This is about the ability to analyse and evaluate arguments that often have a legal basis.
In addition to these areas, there is another multiple-choice test unit, but it is not included in the evaluation. This so-called variable section can appear at any point in the course of the test and is not recognizable as such by the examinee. It serves the LSAC to test newly developed examination questions and forms.
At the very end of the exam is the sixth and final examination unit, the so-called Writing Sample. This is basically a decision question on which the test candidates have to state their position and give reasons for their position in writing.
Evaluation 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 ranking. However, all law schools in which the participants apply will receive a copy of the Writing Sample. The weighting of the writing sample varies depending on the Law School. Most law schools involve it to a certain extent in their decisions.
Interested parties can take the LSAT a maximum of three times within two years. In principle, it is therefore possible to repeat the LSAT to improve the score. However, it should be noted that the law schools always receive all test results. When applicants take the LSAT multiple times, many law schools have an average score from all test scores received. Therefore, it is advisable to prepare carefully for the LSAT and to take the test only once.
Preparation for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test)
The organizer LSAC offers various learning aids to prepare for the LSAT. On the official LSAT website there are some sample questions and a practice test available. In addition, there are also fee-based offers, such as the Official LSAT Handbook or more comprehensive test collections for practising.
LSAT: Test Centers and Examination Dates
The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is offered worldwide four times a year in the months of February, June, October and December. However, not every test centre offers all examination dates. In Germany there are currently two test centres in Munich. In Austria there is a centre in Vienna. In Switzerland there is currently no possibility to file the LSAT.
A list of all test centres, including the available examination dates, is available on the official LSAT website. The LSAT can be registered online, but alternatively by mail or telephone. The enrolment period usually ends four weeks before the respective examination date.
When choosing the examination date, you should take into account the application deadline of the Law School at which you would like to apply. It can take about a month before the results are available.
Costs and payment options
The registration fee for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is US$ 165, and some law schools also require applicants to submit their test results via the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). This is an application service of the LSAC: Applicants do not submit the LSAT results 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 results in a total price of US$ 325. Fees can be paid by credit card, cheque or money order.