Preparing for the LSAT takes approximately three months of strategized learning. How the applicant prepares boils down to the question: What is on the LSAT? The LSAT has four testing areas: Reading and Comprehension, Analytical Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, and the Variable Section. Only the first three sections add the final score. Our LSAT Experts break down each section to help you understand what each entails, the question dynamics, the scoring mechanism, and how to answer the question.
Understanding What Each Section Entails
LSAT is a 3-hour standardised test that acts as the law school admission exam. It consists of 99-102 questions divided into three main categories, as explained below:
Reading and Comprehension
Reading and Comprehension is the first section answering the “what is on the LSAT’ question. It has between 26 and 28 questions. This section accounts for 26% of the total score. It takes a total of 35 minutes. The Reading and Comprehension section primarily consists of four lengthy passages. It tests how well applicants can read paragraphs piecemeal, understand the key concepts, and answer questions based on the contextual inferences learned. Applicants must make overall sense of the reading passages, understand the arguments, and adopt evidence-based approaches when answering the questions.
- Applicants have 6-8 questions per passage
- 35 minutes for four passages means each passage should take between 8-9 minutes
- Thus, each question takes approximately 1 to 1.5 minutes
- Each passage is between 400 to 500 words in length
- One of the four subject areas is composed of two related passages
- These two passages will be about 200 words each
- Each paragraph in the four passages should have a central idea supported by facts, opinions, or claims
- The passages have 3 to 4 paragraphs each.
Our Expert Tips for Studying for the Reading and Comprehension section
- Use timed test preps based on previous LSAT tests to simulate the actual examination conditions
- For every passage on the practice test, circle the key concepts, facts, opinions, and the central idea
- Express your understanding of the individual passage, giving a brief of what it entails in your words
- Answer the questions based on your understanding above
- Work on your timing by setting the base target at 3 to 4 minutes per passage
In addition to the practice papers, applicants need to read widely. Learners can use study materials like Wikipedia articles and introductory textbook passages. Having a solid background in general reading and comprehension guarantees up to 59% success chance in this section.
The Variable Section
The variable section is an unscored part consisting primarily of an unscored legal writing sample. It is the second content area of the LSAT. Even though this section doesn’t add to the final score, applicants must attempt it. The scores are only released to law schools once applicants complete their LSAT writing samples.
The Logical Reasoning
Logical Reasoning is the third answer to “what is on the LSAT” question, comprising primarily 24-26 multiple-choice questions. It takes 35 minutes to complete. The logical reasoning adds up to 33% to an applicant’s score. Thus, it requires targeted preparation that addresses all the weaknesses for the best grades.
- Each question has five answer choices lettered A to E. However, applicants must choose only one correct answer from the five options.
- Some questions have the keyword “EXCEPT,” “CANNOT BE TRUE,” “MUST BE TRUE,” and “INFER” written in capital letters.
- Some questions consist of stimulus paragraphs ranging between 50 to 70 words.
- Stimulus phrases comprise arguments drawn from various academic topics and histories. They require students to express their understanding of hypothetical scenarios using the contextual knowledge learned.
The Expert Preparation Tips for the Logical Reasoning Section
- Applicants should review past papers to understand the recurring patterns and keywords used in the LR questions
- Beware of common question types, including the flaw, inference, strengthening/weakening, and assumption questions
- Understand the uncommon question types, including the parallel reasoning, role, principle, paradox, and argument method questions
- The pacing should target 1 and 20 minutes to complete each question. Use timed practice tests to simulate the actual testing conditions.
- Notch up your annotation skills, as it helps applicants to understand note-taking, especially when jotting down the key concepts.
The Analytical Reasoning Section
The analytical or game section of the last answer to “what is on the LSAT” question, consisting of 22-24 questions and accounts for 24% of the scores. It takes 35 minutes to complete. These multi-choice questions are colloquially known as logic games. They require test takers to arrange patterns, elements, and variables in a specific manner.
- Each question is based on a short, descriptive textual passage of about 80-100 words.
- Each descriptive passage has a list of items marked A to E.
- Each passage has 5-7 questions, and all questions have five answers where only one answer is correct.
Consider taking as many test preps as possible to prepare for this section. These questions require full-length preparation to hone your analytical skills.
The analysis captures the components of the LSAT, giving out all answers to the “what is on the LSAT” question. If you need help handling your LSAT, reach our support via live chat or call us for 1-on-1 consultations.