Kristin Fracchia

Should I Take a Practice LSAT with an Unscored Section?

man looking pensive about LSAT unscored section

When preparing for the LSAT, one of the key strategies that does not get emphasized enough is pacing. The LSAT is a marathon, not a sprint, so pacing is essential.  How you manage your time and stamina across all sections of the test can significantly impact your final score. This brings us to an important question: Should your practice LSAT include an unscored section? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Let’s dive into why this is crucial for your LSAT preparation.

1. Building Stamina for the Long Haul

The LSAT is already a lengthy test.  The inclusion of an unscored section extends the total testing time to almost 2.5 hours. That’s why it’s essential to simulate the full test experience during your practice sessions.  You have to build up the stamina needed to maintain focus and efficiency throughout the entire exam. Just as athletes train under conditions that mimic their actual competitions, LSAT test-takers should practice under test conditions that reflect the true length and intensity of the test.

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2. Preparing for Heavy Reading

On both the current and upcoming new LSAT, test-takers could end up facing two Reading Comprehension sections if the unscored section happens to be of that type. This scenario doubles the amount of dense, complex reading material you’ll need to digest and analyze under time constraints. Including an unscored section in your practice tests ensures that you’re ready for this possibility, honing your reading and analytical skills to manage the potential extra workload efficiently.

3. The Element of Surprise

On test day, you won’t know which section is the unscored one. This uncertainty means you must approach every section with maximum effort and seriousness, as if your score depended on it—because, for all you know, it does. Practicing with an unscored section teaches you to treat each section with the same level of determination and vigor, ensuring that you’re not caught off guard on the actual exam.

4. Combating Fatigue

Fatigue can significantly affect your performance, especially in the later stages of the test. If you only practice with three sections, you’re not fully preparing your mind and body for the endurance required for the real test. Including an unscored section in your practice tests helps you build the mental and physical endurance needed to maintain a high level of performance throughout the entire exam.

Practice with official LSAT questions. Start your online LSAT prep with Magoosh today. Start a free trial

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, taking a full practice LSAT with three scored sections and one unscored section is essential for preparing you for the real deal. Remember, the goal of LSAT preparation is not just to master the material but also to master the test-taking experience itself. By incorporating an unscored section into your practice regimen, you’re taking a significant step towards achieving both these objectives.


  • Kristin Fracchia

    Dr. Kristin Fracchia has over fifteen years of expertise in college and graduate school admissions and with a variety of standardized tests, including the ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, and LSAT, with several 99% scores. She had a PhD from the University of California, Irvine, an MA degree from The Catholic University, and BA degrees in Secondary Education and English Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park. She was the recipient of the 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award and the Chancellor’s Club Fellowship from the University of California, Irvine. She’s worked as a high school teacher and university professor, as an independent college and graduate school admissions counselor, and as an expert tutor for standardized tests, helping hundreds of students gain acceptance into premier national and international institutions. She now develops accessible and effective edtech products for Magoosh. Her free online content and YouTube videos providing test prep and college admissions advice have received over 6 million views in over 125 countries. Kristin is an advocate for improving access to education: you can check out her TEDx talk on the topic. Follow Kristin on LinkedIn!

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