A comprehensive guide to the LSAT Sections
LSAT structure 2023 discussions often come with fear and anxiety among students. While the test itself is highly logic based, the low number of high-scoring candidates is what creates the hype!
Know the right details of what to expect in the test and prepare well for it. That’s it. That’s really all you need to make the LSAT into a piece of cake. It really is that simple, just prepare well – AND KNOW WHAT YOU’RE PREPARING FOR! We’ll sign up for the tricky part here and break down the entire LSAT test structure for you so that you’re confident about what you’re really aiming to study for.
The test structure isn’t complex at all. It’s in fact fairly simple and is made up of 5 sections. Each of these is timed 35 minutes and contains only multiple choice questions. The following sections, along with a writing sample, make up the entire LSAT exam:
- One Analytical Reasoning (AR) section,
- One Reading Comprehension (RC) section,
- Two Logical Reasoning (LR) sections,
- One Experimental section that could be in the form of any of the above three sections.
The catch here is the scoring of each section. The original 4 sections, except the Experimental section, are all marked and will sum up to make your total LSAT score. The Experimental section, however, along with the writing sample, are unscored parts of the test.
So how would you figure out if the Experimental section is of Analytical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, or Logical Reasoning?
Identify which of the original four sections is extra than the standard format. For example, if you have two Analytical Reasoning sections in the test, one of these would be the Experimental section. Or if you have three Logical Reasoning sections, one of the three is definitely an Experimental section.
On the grim side of it, you’ll have no idea which of the sections from that is an Experimental section. So remember that you MUST attempt all the sections with complete attention and focus. You simply CANNOT treat any of them as less important than the other.
When it is not scored, what’s the point of including it in the test?
Well, your performance in these unscored parts does not impact the total score. Still, it gives an idea to the examiners about their difficulty levels. These unscored sections then may or may not be included in the future LSATs.
Let’s walk you through each section and component of the LSAT test
Analytical Reasoning (Logic Games Section)
This section tests the basic analytical skills lawyers utilize in their everyday jobs. There are 4 scenarios or “games” containing different facts and rules forming some problems presented to you. Each game is followed by around 5 to 7 multiple-choice questions. The idea is for candidates to apply the logic from those facts and rules and predict the correct conclusion from it. This also derives the name “Logic Games” for this section.
Pro-tip: While answering this section, do not forget what the aim of this section is. It’s there to test your comprehension skills. The scenarios will have to be read between the lines, and the conclusions will only be derived once you get the gist of the passage.
Reading Comprehension Section for LSAT Structure
In this section you will be given 4 sets of reading questions. Three of these sets will only be single passages, whereas the fourth set will have two shorter passages instead of one. Each set will be followed by 5 to 8 multiple choice questions, which will have to be answered after.
Don’t get worried about these different passages; you’re supposed to play with all of them alike. You have to divulge into them, identify the idea that is being delivered and draw inferences from what is presented in them. Apply the rules given, and analyze the story narrated in each passage. These passages can get pretty creative – anywhere, from biology to history and from geography to law. So take it easy! Nobody expects you to apply any acumen from outside the passage. All the answers are in there. You just have to pay attention!
The only difference while solving the fourth set (the one with the couplet passages) will be to draw a comparison between the two. That’s it. The rest is all the same technique.
Logical Reasoning Sections
This is the only section that comes as a pair. Yep, that’s a hint as to why the Logical Reasoning section is a big deal. This section can be argued as the most smartly designed section in the LSAT. Each section will have 24 to 26 arguments, which you must dive in and read immersively. Each argument is followed by a multiple choice question. Assess what is being told, check out the strengths and weaknesses presented, identify the pieces of evidence, make conclusions, and choose the statement you feel is right from the multiple-choice.
Pro-tip for you: There’s an entire strategy to answering Logical Reasoning questions, guaranteed to save time and bring you to the right answer choice. We have already covered that in another supporting article. Read it here and relax because we’ve got your back!
We’ve already armed you on how to check which category this section is from. However, you’ll never know which of the “extra” sections is the Experimental section. So you must attempt it with the same diligence and perform equally well.
No matter how good or bad you do in this section, the score doesn’t make a difference. So the best thing to do is:
- Prepare your best for all 4 original sections.
- Pray that the extra section you couldn’t do very well in turns out to be the experimental section.
The Writing Sample part sounds like the cumbersome element of the LSAT, mainly because it doesn’t come as part of the test sheet. This part can be attempted on the same day of your exam but after leaving the exam premises. It will be on your LSAC account and can be attempted even several days after you’ve sat the main LSAT. This means you won’t have to sit for it under pressure. To top it off, as we mentioned earlier, the Writing Sample isn’t scored so you don’t have to really worry about it.
That being said, please note that although the Writing Sample is the unscored part of the LSAT, it is still essential. Your LSAT application will be deemed incomplete until you’ve properly attempted and submitted your writing sample.
The Writing Sample set has a prompt or a passage presented as a problem question. You’re also given two positions to choose from in light of the problem. With the one you choose, you have to form your side of the argument, using the facts and information available to support it, and present it as part of your response. You’ll be given the same timeframe of 35 minutes to form and present your response.
The exciting part is that there’s no right or wrong answer. Instead, you’re assessed on how better you defend your position and criticize the other. Either way, the ground is all yours to play on!
Wrapping it up!
The above break-up makes up for the entire LSAT exam structure. Now that you have a clear idea of the monsters you’re expected to tame in the exam, you’re in a perfectly safe position to start prepping for each section.
Remember, we’re here to make your LSAT journey a plain sailing voyage day in and day out. Access Prep offers personalized instruction and strategies to help you conquer the test and achieve your goals. Sign up for a free consultation session today and take the first step towards your dream law school! Don’t forget to bookmark this article for future reference, we’re constantly updating our blogs with tons of material regularly just for you!