The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), for some, is the most challenging and time-consuming aspect of applying to law school. This exam tests your ability to “think like a lawyer,” by assessing your critical reading, analytical thinking, and writing skills. The LSAT is comprised of six sections, each 35 minutes long with a 15-minute break after the third section. This totals to 210 minutes of LSAT test time—or 3 hours and 30 minutes, excluding the break.
The LSAT is the only test accepted for admission purposes by all ABA-accredited law schools and Canadian common-law law schools.
Note: the GRE has become accepted by more and more law schools but not all law schools, so it is still recommended to take the LSAT instead to maximize your chances of gaining admission to law school. Visit ETS.orgfor more information and to see what schools accept the GRE.
How to Prepare for the LSAT
Step 1: Learn more about the exam
You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the LSAT so you can get a better sense of how to study for it. The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) is your go-to resource for learning more about LSAT.
Step 2: Take multiple timed-practice tests
The best way to prepare for the LSAT is to take LSAT practice tests so you can determine a baseline score and then see how you improve over time. There are several ways to take a practice exam - LSAC.org has a free practice test you can take, and so does Khan Academy, which also has free LSAT prep content. Additionally, many LSAT prep course companies offer free practice LSATs when you sign up for their content/courses. Remember: don’t let a low LSAT score on a practice test discourage you; it’s practice! Use your practice test score as a baseline and as a motivator to keep improving.
Step 3: Create a study plan
It is recommended you begin studying the LSAT exam 4-6 months prior to your first test date, but due to the variations in learning style and LSAT preparation methods, how you study for the LSAT is up to you. Here are some considerations when you are weighing your options:
- What are you able to afford when it comes to LSAT preparation? (review LSAT fees on LSAC’s website).
- How much time can you devote on a weekly basis? (many prep companies suggest 15-20+ hours)
- How did you prepare for the last standardized test you took? (SAT/ACT?) And did that preparation method work? Why/why not?
Types of Studying
- One-on-One Tutoring
- Prep Course (in-person or live online)
Villanova University does not endorse any specific LSAT preparation companies or methods, but here is a list of popular options that other Villanova students have used:
- Khan Academy (free!)
- Princeton Review
The Law School Admissions Council is committed to assisting candidates with disabilities with requests for accommodations needed to take the LSAT. For the most up-to-date information on LSAC’s accommodation services and policies, please visit their website to learn how to request accommodations, provide documentation, contact information, and more.