What Are the Sections of the LSAT?
The Law School Admission Test, or LSAT, assesses students' reading comprehension, information management and problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking skills with corresponding sections on the exam.
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) calls these LSAT test sections:
Each LSAT section evaluates important skillsets needed for law school.
Reading Comprehension measures your ability to read and understand complex, long-form materials such as contracts. Analytical Reasoning determines how well you understand relationships and draw conclusions from them, and Logical Reasoning assesses whether you can analyze, evaluate and complete arguments.
The writing sample, or LSAT essay, is not scored. However, the writing sample is essential for your application when sending official reports to law schools. Law school applicants must include the LSAT essay and their LSAT score. Students can take the LSAT writing portion of the test on a different day before the exam through the LSAC website.
How Many Sections Are on the LSAT?
When taking the LSAT, you'll answer questions in three scored sections. The LSAT exam format also includes a fourth unscored experimental section that does not affect the student's final LSAT exam results. The last part of the LSAT section order is a writing sample.
Format & Breakdown of Sections
Among exam tutors and test prep guides, many refer to the Analytical Reasoning section as logic games and the Logical Reasoning section as arguments. There are five series of multiple-choice questions within each of the three LSAT sections. The questions can appear in any order on the test, but the writing sample is always last.
The LSAT test format breaks down into the following:
- One Reading Comprehension section
- One Analytical Reasoning (logic games) section
- Two Logical Reasoning (arguments) sections
- One experimental section
- Writing Sample
When taking the LSAT, you won't know which test section is the experimental one. Although it is unscored, the experimental section resembles one of the other three, and the LSAC uses it for future LSAT test creation. You should treat all parts of the exam as though they count toward your final score.
How Long Is Each LSAT Section?
When preparing for the test, it's important to know the breakdown of the LSAT section order and how much time you have for each one. The LSAT usually takes students three and a half hours to complete. The LSAT format also includes a brief intermission so you can take a breather during the exam.
How Should You Plan Your Time?
Plan at least four hours to take the test with the required break included. Taking advantage of the LSAT break is essential to prevent LSAT burnout, especially for those who have taken the test before. The 10-minute intermission occurs between the second and third sections of the exam, and both online and in-person test-takers must follow strict protocols and return on time.
Although the LSAT section order during test administration may vary, the following is an example of what it might look like:
- Analytical Reasoning (35 minutes)
- Logical Reasoning (35 minutes)
- Intermission (10 minutes)
- Reading Comprehension (35 minutes)
- Analytical Reasoning, experimental (35 minutes)
- Logical Reasoning (35 minutes)
- Writing Sample (35 minutes)