Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is designed to measure your ability to reason and think analytically and aids law schools in their evaluation of applicants. The exam consists of five 35-minute sections (one of which is experimental) and a 30-minute writing exercise. This writing sample is not scored, but a copy is forwarded along to each law school to which you apply. Some law school admissions officers may review your writing sample in their consideration process, so be sure to give it careful attention. The four scored sections include three different types of questions: Reading Comprehension (1 part), Analytical Reasoning (1 part) and Logical Reasoning (2 parts). The scoring scale range is between 120-180.

The LSAT is administered four times a year – in February, June, September/October, and December. If you are considering applying as a college senior, the optimal time to take the exam is either in June (between your junior and senior years) or in September/October of your senior year. If you are planning to take time off being college and law school, you may want to take the LSAT following graduation when you may have more time to focus and study. LSAT scores usually remain valid for five years.

Above all else, it is essential that you are well-prepared and that you register for the LSAT when it best fits your schedule. Ideally, you should aim to take the LSAT once. Many applicants decide, though, to retake the LSAT a second (or, in few cases, a third) time and, in most cases, the higher score will be given more weight. However, Admissions Committees may also average your LSAT scores in their evaluation of your application. Please keep in mind that your Law School Report will list all of the dates for which you sat for the LSAT (including "no-shows" and cancelled tests). It is a rigorous exam and you should make your preparation for it a priority.

LSAC (Law School Admission Council) administers the LSAT and also provides some introductory, free LSAT materials to get you started in your preparation.

Online registration for the LSAT is the preferred method. When prompted, please respond "yes" to the question authorizing your pre-law advisor to receive a copy of your LSAT score and other coded information. This information will be held in strict confidence and is used to maintain accurate statistics for Penn applicants each year.