Is the LSAT an Aptitude Test?
LSAT is a critical exam for anybody seeking to join the law school in the U.S., Canada, and several other countries. While preparing the LSAT is not a ride in the park, people find it easy to turn the tables and get good scores when they understand the exam’s intent. The LSAT creators designed the exam to test whether a prospective law student possesses the necessary qualities and skills to succeed in law school—not their knowledge of legal studies.
What is the LSAT?
The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) measures the preparedness of a learner who is looking to enroll in a law school. All ABA-accredited law schools and Canadian common law schools accept LSAT scores as the primary admission criteria. However, in recent years, some schools have started allowing students to provide either LSAT or GRE scores.
The exam consists of five individually times and scored sections plus a writing sample:
- Logical Reasoning (2)– The two Logical Reasoning sections consist of 24 to 26 questions each, and test-takers have 35 minutes per section. According to the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), these multiple-choice questions “assess your ability to analyze, critically evaluate, and complete arguments.”
- Analytical Reasoning– Also known as the logic games section, this portion of the exam comprises four games with four to seven related multiple-choice questions. The LSAC says, “Analytical reasoning (AR) questions measure your ability to understand a structure of relationships and draw conclusions about that structure.”
- Reading Comprehension– In 35 minutes, test-takers must answer about 27 questions based on the four given reading passages. The reading excerpts are typically complex, simulating the advanced reading that law students have to do for legal documents.
- Unscored, Variable Section– The variable section can be either an additional Logical Reasoning, Analytical Reasoning, or Reading Comprehension section.
- Unscored, Writing Sample– Test-takers have 35 minutes to answer a single written question. This section assesses one’s ability to create and support an argument through the written word.
Is the LSAT an Aptitude Test?
Yes, the LSAT is an aptitude test designed to test skills and abilities that are considered critical for success in law school. Prospective law school students must possess good comprehension skills since practicing law involves reading and interpreting complex text. They must also evaluate complex scenarios, think critically, and make insightful inferences.
Here is a summary of what the LSAT measures in a prospective law student:
- Endurance and Speed– The LSAT is a timed test with five multiple-choice question sets. Completing each section in the allocated 35 minutes or less requires speed and knowledge. It also tests your endurance in that you will likely be under pressure from the desire to pass while the limited time needs you to reason quickly.
- Long-Term Studying Abilities– Critical thinking skills and mastery of the law cannot be achieved in a rushed night of studying. And while you do not need to learn the law to pass the LSAT, you must have a learning schedule and start preparing for the test three months before the scheduled date.
- Substance– With the LSAT, substance refers to your personal qualities as a law student and a prospective future. Sound reasoning and critical analysis are essential to pass the test.
How Should You Prepare for the Exam?
Recommended preparation for the LSAT is three to four months, but you can significantly cut this down by enrolling in a high-quality test preparation agency. Such an agency can help you prepare and practice the various sections of the test and identify your strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, they’ll give you access to question banks and full-length practice tests. LSAT practice from Kaplan is one of the best preparation programs you will find on the internet that will support you all the way to the day of the exam.
Understanding the Exam
With a clear understanding of the LSAT and what skills each portion of the exam assesses, you can plan your study sessions more strategically. That way, you won’t waste your time on question types you’ve already mastered and can prepare more diligently for the parts of the exam that give you pause. Masting the exam takes time and hard work, but an impressive LSAT score is well within reach if you understand the exam’s intent and apply this knowledge each step of the way.