The LSAT score distribution tables released yearly by LSAC show that exceedingly few applicants get perfect scores, leading to a critical question: How hard is the LSAT? In the 2018-2019 testing years, applicants with perfect scores of 180 were 0.01% of the total 137,823. In 2019-2020, the number of perfect scores stood at 0.05% of 123,681. Stats show that the number has always been more than 60 but rarely above 200 students. Our LSAT experts explain its difficulty level: how hard it is compared to other law entry exams, what makes it hard, and an expert way to hack the LSAT.
How Hard is the LSAT? How is it Compared to Other Law School Entrance Exams?
GRE is the only national and international law school admission exam to compare LSAT with. It also tests critical and analytical reasoning, providing an ideal foundation for comparison. Learners who have had a chance to take both the LSAT and GRE admit that the LSAT is harder than the GRE. Applicants can easily memorize the concepts of the GRE, whereas the LSAT needs exemptional applicability. However, the most challenging section of the LSAT is the logic questions. These quizzes are lacking in the GRE.
Comparing the GRE to other popular tests, they say the GRE is more challenging than the SAT and ACT, but not as tricky as the LSAT or MCAT.
Delving Deeper into the LSAT Difficulty Level: How Hard is the LSAT as a Law Entry Exam?
LSAT is the most challenging test for law students, only comparable to IQ tests. However, LSAT doesn’t measure intelligence, so it isn’t an IQ test. According to Johns Hopkins University, LSAT is a skills test assessing subject-specific proficiencies a learner can hone, whereas an IQ test measures substantive subject matters. What makes LSAT difficult is the time constraint. The most vital element to succeeding in the LSAT is reading the questions between the lines to digest the concepts tested. This process takes time. Many students struggle to manage their time due to pressures and anxiety. Hence, they need more time for logical reasoning and critical thinking.
What Sections of the LSAT are the Most Difficult?
The “games” or analytical reasoning section of the LSAT is often considered the most challenging. Here is the breakdown of this content area:
- It requires learners to solve puzzles. Often, the applicants are required to arrange elements, objects, or variables in a specific order. This process requires significant analytical reasoning on the first attempt. However, once mastered, applicants ace this section effortlessly on the second or third attempt.
- It requires learners to adopt deductive reasoning. The LSAT games are formulated to be misleading and confusing. They vary in complexity, and there is no right or wrong way to arrange them. However, an applicant’s answer must be based on inferences provided in the question stem.
- Analytical reasoning has the lowest score. However, it significantly results in anxiety, confusing applicants, and taking a significant part of their time.
Logical Reasoning and Reading and Comprehension Sections?
The logical reasoning section is the second-most challenging in the LSAT. It also makes up half of the questions in the whole exam. However, this section only accounts for 27% of the scores. Here is a breakdown to help applicants infer their difficulty level.
- The LR section of the LSAT requires applicants to analyze and evaluate arguments. The learners must make deductions based on particular instructions and identify flaws in arguments.
- The LR section has complex arguments comprising trick questions, variabilities, and abstract concepts. They also require learners to answer questions with speed and agility, which minimizes the applicability of the concepts learned.
- Questions on the LR sections require different approaches learners must practice. While many learners struggle with inference and assumption questions, other question formats dragging their scores include flaw, weaken, and strengthen. These formats require weeks of timed practice to develop firm background knowledge and answering techniques.
Challenges in Reading and Comprehension Section
The Reading and Comprehension section comes last in the difficulty index. However, some learners struggle with it for the following reasons.
- Examinees have 35 minutes to answer 6-8 questions from four passages. Each question takes 2 minutes. It takes weeks of practice to manage this time and provide accurate answers within that short duration. The time pressure and the need to provide correct answers add to the test anxiety and impair students’ cognitive thinking.
- The four passages are dense and lengthy, covering unfamiliar concepts that need time to grasp. Common testing areas for the RC include legal tests, philosophy, literature, and science. Many learners struggle to comprehend these areas.
- Beyond reading, learners must analyze arguments, identify logical flaws, and think critically to make informed deductions. Even the most brilliant students struggle to identify logical inconsistencies in other persons’ works.
- Each question in the RC LSAT section has five confusing answer choices. In most situations, several answers may be true. However, only one choice is correct. A learner must take time to identify the option that accurately responds to the question asked.
Note that the perceived area of difficulty on the LSAT varies depending on the individual learner’s capability and preferences. The inferences made above depend on findings from various test-takers. Additionally, learners can take diagnostic preparation exams to identify areas of weaknesses and strengthen them before their LSAT tests.
How Hard is the LSAT? The Bottomline
To this end, the question “How hard is the LSAT” leads to one answer: LSAT is the most challenging exam in law. It comes close to the MCAT, but the MCAT is substantive, while LSAT is skill-based. For questions, clarifications, and help with the LSAT exam, contact our support for 1-on-1 consultation.