If you plan on going to law school, then taking the LSAT should be one of your top priorities. Wondering about what exactly the LSAT is used for? It's the entrance exam most law schools require for admission. Interested in law school and learning more about the LSAT? Read on to find out more about what is in the LSAT, who administers the exam, why it's important, and how law schools use your score.
What Does LSAT Stand For?
LSAT is an acronym for the Law School Admission Test. Law schools began requiring applicants to take this exam in 1948. While the structure and scoring system for this test has undergone several changes and revisions over the years, the current LSAT design has been the standard since the early '90s.
How & Where to Take the LSAT
The LSAC, or Law School Admission Council, administers the test multiple times throughout the year. Most aspiring law school students complete their exams in one of the many testing locations around the United States. You can also take the LSAT online in your own home during a live, remote-proctored session.
Students must complete each of the four LSAT sections in 35 minutes, finishing the entire exam in approximately three hours. Afterward, each test receives a score between 120 and 180, with 150 being the average LSAT score. Those who are unsatisfied with their scores can attempt the test up to three times in a single year and up to a maximum limit of seven attempts during their lifetime.
What Is the LSAT For?
Each section of the LSAT evaluates your analytical thinking and logical reasoning skills, as well as your ability to read and understand dense or complex material. Your scores help institutions determine which test-takers are ready for law school. Nearly every law school uses the LSAT to identify the best candidates in its pool of applicants.
Many studies show that the LSAT is the best indicator of how well a first-year law student will perform, so the exam can help candidates determine if law school is the right fit for them. While some law schools accept other tests as part of their admissions process, the LSAT is still the most widely accepted exam.
How Your LSAT Score Is Used
When it comes to the law school admissions process, each institution creates its own formulas for calculating an index score. Generally, this score is a combination of an applicant's GPA and LSAT results. However, this formula depends on whether your chosen law school places more value on the LSAT or your cumulative GPA.
Considering LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs together makes it a bit easier to predict what a first-year law student's grades might be. Even so, it's important to remember that neither your official LSAT results nor your cumulative GPA can guarantee the success or failure of your law school career.
Another important factor to keep in mind is that the acceptable LSAT scores vary from one law school to another. Many students may feel like getting high marks on the LSAT is the only way to get into their chosen institution. However, some law schools are willing to admit students regardless of their LSAT results.
Read more about how the LSAT is scored.