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What is on the LSAT exam?

If you’re reading this article, chances are you already know what the LSAT is. But, if you’re not quite sure, read this article first, and then come right back.

Now that you know what the LSAT is, let’s dive into what is on the LSAT exam.

The LSAT has six sections. Luckily for you, only four of them determine your actual score. Generally speaking, the LSAT will test you in three different areas: (1) reading comprehension, (2) logical reasoning, and (3) analytical reasoning. I’ll get into these three areas in a little bit.

First I want to get into the “un-scored” portions of the exam; the writing sample and the experimental section.

The Writing Sample

The writing sample gets a lot of grief from prospective LSAT takers. It shouldn’t be that way. First of all, like I said, it’s not graded. Second, there is no incorrect answer. What more could you ask for … an ungraded exam with no wrong answers? I’d take that over a stressful multiple choice exam every time.

Each writing sample gives you two sets of facts, and asks you to make a decision and defend it. This portion tests your ability to analyze a situation, and make logical arguments to defend it. A large portion of your time will be taken up by outlining your answer. Since this is always the last section on the exam, once you’re done, the test is over, and you can go enjoy some stress-free time.

The Experimental Section

This portion of the exam will be an extra one of the three main multiple choice section types on the exam. The problem is, you don’t know which one is the experimental section, and which one is graded. The test makers like to put in this section to test out potential test questions.

It’s written just like a regular test section, and you won’t be able to tell the difference. This means you’ll have to give equal effort to all the sections, and you won’t be able to take any lightly.

Reading Comprehension

The reading comprehension section tests exactly what it states: your ability to understand what you read.

There are four sections within each reading comprehension section. There are three sections with a single passage, and one section with two shorter passages.

The single passage sections test your ability to grasp a long, difficult article. You’ll get questions about the main points of each article, making inferences based on the writings, principles and definitions, and even questions about the author’s tone and perspective.

For more information on reading comprehension basics, check out this article.

Logical Reasoning

The logical reasoning section is arguably the most important section of the exam. It takes up 50% of the exam, since there are two, separate sections.

Each question in this section will have you analyze a short passage and then answer one or two questions about it. It will test your ability to look at the passages logically and figure out assumptions and conclusions that might not be clear at first glance.

You’ll also be asked to find flaws in arguments and analogies as well.

Here is a more comprehensive post on the logical reasoning section.

Analytical Reasoning

This section is also called the logic games section. It’s unique to the LSAT, and it freaks a lot of people out. Don’t worry, though, with the right tools, you can tackle this section with ease.

You’ll be given a scenario with specific rules and guidelines. You’ll need to analyze it and then come up with a bunch of inferences, based on the rules in each question.

Once you understand how to look at and analyze the different games, this section could become one of your favorites.

For more logic games information, check out this post!

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