What are the LSAT Sections in 2021?

Gavel and cards with question marks indicating LSAT sections - image by Magoosh

In 2020, the LSAT became an online, remotely proctored exam in response to COVID-19. A new, shorter format called LSAT-Flex was introduced and remained in place throughout early 2021. Now, the “Flex” label is on its way out, but some of the changes to the LSAT format (the LSAT sections in particular) will remain in place indefinitely.

So, how many sections are on the LSAT if you’re taking it in 2021 or beyond? Right now, the LSAT consists of three graded sections, one unscored experimental section, and a writing sample. Let’s look at each of those in a little more detail.

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LSAT Sections: What You Need to Know in 2021

Logical Reasoning

Logical Reasoning, LR for short, is a series of about 25 multiple-choice questions, each accompanied by its own short passage. The passage presents an argument, or sometimes a very brief debate between two parties, and then you’re asked a question about the logic used in that argument. In the pre LSAT-Flex world, there were two graded LR sections per exam, but now there’s only one. You can find a more extensive guide to LSAT Logical Reasoning here.

Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension, or RC, will likely be the most familiar of the LSAT sections if you took the SAT or ACT in high school. It consists of approximately 27 questions overall, spread across three individual passages and one pair of passages. The RC passages themselves are significantly longer than the bite-size ones in LR, but the questions are pretty standard reading-comp fare. You might get asked about the overall purpose of the passage, for instance, or about the main difference between two authors’ viewpoints. Click here for an in-depth walkthrough of the RC section.

Analytical Reasoning (Logic Games)

Officially known as Analytical Reasoning, the remaining multiple-choice section on the LSAT is more often referred to as Logic Games or LG. This section presents you with four scenarios, or “games,” that each form the basis for a set of short, related logic puzzles. There are 5 to 7 questions per game, for a section-wide total of 23.

Each game begins with some basic rules about how a set of things—movies to be screened, speakers at a conference, paintings on a wall, etc.—can be sorted into groups or placed in order. The questions then ask you about the logical consequences of those rules. For example, a game might describe rules for scheduling a team of workers for different shifts throughout the week. The questions would then be a bunch of “what-ifs” about the different possible schedules that could result. See this page for our complete LSAT Logic Games guide.

Experimental LSAT Section

There’s also one “experimental” section where the LSAT makers test out new questions to assess their difficulty. This one’s unscored, but it can be any of the three section types mentioned above: LR, RC, or LG. It’s 35 minutes long, just like the scored sections.

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Writing Sample

Finally, the LSAT includes a required writing sample, which you complete on your own time, separate from the rest of the exam. Although the writing sample is unscored, it must be submitted before you can see your score. The prompts for this essay have a lot in common from one exam to the next: each time, you’re given a pro-con scenario in which you must choose and defend a side. You can see an annotated example of an LSAT writing prompt here, using an official LSAC prompt.

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