Taking the LSAT 2020: Crucial Information You Need to Know
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If you want to get into law school, you need to pass the rigorous Law School Admission Test. It is an integral part of the law school admission process in the United States and an increasing number of countries worldwide. It is also the only exam accepted by every ABA-accredited law school.
In the United States and Canada, the Law School Admission Council will provide the Law School Admission Test on three upcoming dates in 2020. However, some tests have already been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. So, make sure you keep an eye on all the latest news for any potential date changes. At present, the LSAT is scheduled for August 29th, October 3rd, and November 14th. There are also dates planned for early 2021, in January, February, and April. The LSAT can also be taken in a wide number of other countries around the world. So, for places like Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, South America, and Central America, check the dates on the Law School Admission Council’s website.
LSAT PreparationIt is best to study for the LSAT two or three months in advance of the exam date. For help in your studies, it is highly recommended you choose an excellent online LSAT prep course. Choosing the right one can help you score high on the LSAT and get into your dream law school. Check out this list from CrushTheLSATExam for a comparison of the best prep courses available.
Another recommended way of preparing for the LSAT is to take practice tests. A mock test enables you to identify which types of questions you need to spend more time practicing. It also allows you to know what it is like to take the LSAT under time constraints and estimate how much time you should spend on each question. Knowing in advance what the questions and instructions look like will also help to minimize distractions and avoid wasting time on the day of the actual exam. You can find practice sample tests on the website of the Law School Admission Council.
LSAT FeesAttending law school is not cheap. For the 2018-2019 school year, the average fees for US residents attending private law schools in the US were $48,869 per year, and the average fees for public law schools were $27,591 per year. Fees will be different for international law schools, and both public and private schools around the world differ in how their systems operate. Find out more by checking out these 2020 statistics for private and public law schools.
First things first, though. Before you can attend law school, you need to pass the LSAT. That means you have to pay the LSAT fees. In the US, the basic fees are:
- LSAT: $200
- Credential Assembly Service: $195
- Law School Report: $45
LSAT Syllabus and PatternThe paper-based LSAT comprises of multiple-choice questions across four scored sections. There is also one unscored section to complete. You are allocated 35 minutes to complete each section. Here are the five sections.
Logical ReasoningThis section is divided into two sections, and it accounts for 50% of your overall score. Logical reasoning tests your ability to analyze and evaluate arguments based on their objective merits. The questions involve crafting, analyzing, reviewing, and improving arguments. The crucial element of the Logical Reasoning sections is identifying an assumption in an argument. To do that, you will need to find the conclusion and then locate the premises that support it before identifying any holes in the argument.
Reading ComprehensionThis section tests your ability to derive information from a complex text and make relevant connections to glean insights. The text consists of four parts of around 60 lines, each of which is divided into three to four paragraphs. You will then have to answer five to six questions about the passage. The four parts of the reading comprehension section are Law, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities.
Analytical ReasoningThis section tests your ability to interpret relationships and derive logical reasoning about the structure in question. It features the notorious LSAT logic games. You must complete four logic games, allowing around eight and a half minutes for each one. Every game begins with a scenario, followed by rules that apply to it. You must then figure out the answers to questions concerning the given scenario. About half of the Analytical Reasoning questions are conditional, which means they introduce a new rule to the scenario that applies to only one specific question. The other questions are based on the scenario and original rules only. There are three main types of logic games: assignment, grouping, and ordering. You must learn the characteristics of each game type and each one’s diagramming techniques if you want to score well in this section.
Writing SampleThere is also an additional unscored experimental writing section, which is also 35 minutes long, that is administered at the end of the examination. That writing section is sent to all of the law schools to which you apply. The purpose of the Writing Sample test is to assess your ability to construct a compelling argument and demonstrate strong reasoning with supportive evidence. The unscored test also measures your ability to express your thoughts in written form in a clear and precise manner.
LSAT ScoresThe LSAT is scored on a scale of 120 to 180. An average score is 150. But if you are looking to get into one of the top law schools, you will need a score well over 160. Each LSAT question answered accounts for one point of your raw score. There are no deductions for incorrect answers. You will be notified when your score is available. You can then obtain your score report, which includes:
- Your current score.
- Results of all reportable tests you have taken.
- An average score, if you have more than one score on file.
- Your score-band.
- Your percentile rank, which shows the percentage of test-takers who have scored lower than you over the previous three years.
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