April 7, 2014

LSAT Sections

LSAT has six distinct sections in all: Five multiple choice sections and one writing sample section. LSAC scores four of the five multiple choice sections at its discretion, and your prospective law schools review your writing sample. The variable section is not scored because LSAC uses it to pilot new questions. LSAC controls the placement of the variable section and does not reveal to candidates which section it will not score. This means it is important to address each of the LSAT sections as completely as possible. LSAC allows candidates 35 minutes to complete each section, regardless of whether it is multiple choice or a writing sample.

There are two logical reasoning LSAT sections, making this an important area to master. The logical reasoning section is also known as the ‘argument’ section because it present problems centered on an argument. Candidates will either identify why the argument is defective, insufficient or weak, or use information provided in the argument to come to a valid conclusion.

The third LSAT section is concerned with analytical reasoning. The analytical reasoning section is also known as the ‘games’ section. It contains problems that describe relationships of various types. Your answers will reflect your understanding of these various types of relationships.

The fourth LSAT section deals with reading comprehension. You will demonstrate your degree of proficiency by reading and interpreting a variety of texts, called passages. These passages may or may not be directly related to legal issues.

The fifth LSAT section could be an additional logical reasoning (argument), analytical reasoning (games), or reading comprehension section. It is called the variable section. This section is a red herring; the mark you receive on the fifth LSAT section is not counted in your raw score. However, candidates will not be told which one of the sections is the variable LSAT section. Therefore, the best strategy is to approach each section under the assumption that it will be scored, and to give each section your fullest attention.

After you complete the five 35-minute multiple choice sections, you will then complete a writing sample that is also allotted 35 minutes. This section is not scored by LSAC. However, it is important to do your best because your writing sample will be included along with your LSAT scores and sent to all schools to which you apply. Your test administrator allows you one sheet of scrap paper for an outline and one sheet of writing paper.

Do not answer in your test booklet, as your answer will not be scored. Only your answer sheets and writing paper are scored. Use #2 or HB pencil and highlighter only. Other inks are forbidden.