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What are the Different LSAT Sections?

There are three types of scored, multiple choice LSAT sections, along with an unscored writing sample. The multiple choice sections are Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning, and Analytical Reasoning. I’ll give you a brief description of each section below, but if you want a more in-depth look at any of them, check back soon for individual posts on each section.

Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension looks exactly like it does on most other tests, including the SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. You’ll be given a passage that’s about half a page long, and then you’ll have a handful of questions to answer about that passage. There are three individual passages and one passage pair (two shorter passages with a single set of questions asking you to compare the two) on each test, and there are always 27 questions total in this section. Since there are roughly 100 scored questions on the entire exam, Reading Comprehension is worth about 27% of your total score.

Logical Reasoning

Logical Reasoning is probably something new for you, unless you’ve taken the GMAT and remember the Critical Reasoning component. In this section, you’ll be given a short paragraph that poses an argument or lays out some facts, and then you’ll be asked a single question about that paragraph. For example, you might be asked which answer choice strengthens the argument, weakens the argument, or provides an explanation of facts in the paragraph that seem to contradict each other. There are two Logical Reasoning sections on the exam, and each contains roughly 25 questions. That means Logical Reasoning is worth about 50% of your total LSAT score.

Analytical Reasoning

The Analytical Reasoning section–better known as Logic Games–is the most notorious section of the exam. It intimidates test takers because it’s unlike what you’re used to seeing on other standardized tests, but it’s still quite learnable. It consists of four separate “games,” in which you’ll be given a scenario and a set of rules, and you have to answer questions about possible outcomes. For example, you might be asked to arrange the order in which seven planes land at an airport terminal, but you’ll only be given basics like, “If Plane P arrives before Plane S or Plane T, then it must also arrive after Plane X.” Once you familiarize yourself with the most common game types, these can actually be kind of fun (or I’m just a big geek). In any case, there is only one Logic Games section and it usually only has about 23 questions, so it’s only worth about 23% of your score.

Writing Sample

Finally, there’s the writing sample. The writing sample is the final stage of the exam, and it’s unscored. However, your entire sample will be sent to each law school to which you apply, so you don’t want to forget about this section. You’ll be given a scenario and asked to make a choice between two courses of action. There will be a few criteria provided to help you make your decision, and all you have to do is make a strong argument in support of your course of action. No prior knowledge of the topic is required or expected, and there is no right or wrong answer. Basically, this is your chance to show off your ability to argue a point, and since you’ll be doing a lot of that in law school, this is also a great way to test the waters!
This was just a brief explanation of each section of the LSAT. Again, for more detailed descriptions, check back soon or try our post “What Are LSAT Questions Like?” where you can see one or two examples from each of the sections.

Otherwise, check out the rest of the blog for tons of helpful information on test dates, registration, scoring, preparation, and more.

Best of luck to all of you, and let us know if you have any questions. LSAT prep doesn’t have to be miserable, and that’s why we’re here!


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