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Introducing The LSAT – An Information Primer

John Richardson, B.A., LL.B., J.D.

This is a short compilation of the most common questions and concerns “Law
School Bound” students have about the LSAT and its role in the admissions
process. It will also provide you with information about LSAT Preparation books,
courses, seminars, tutoring and workshops in Toronto, Ontario, the rest of
Canada and the U.S.

In addition to the information here please you will find information on our four
sites affiliated with the Richardson Prep Centre:

http://www.prep.com

http://www.prelawforum.com

http://www.lawschoolbound.org

http://www.prelaw.ca

http://www.lsatstudygroup.com

http://www.lsatlogicgames.com

http://lsatbooks.wordpress.com

http://prelawforum.wordpress.com

http://lawschoolbound.wordpress.com

Facebook Groups:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2338673922

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7644906956

Outline Of Frequently Asked Questions FAQs Organized By


Category:

1. What Is The LSAT, Where Does It Come From And What Role Does It Play
In The Admissions Process?

2. How Do I Register For The LSAT And Why Should I Take The LSAT Early?

3. About The LSAT - Exact Upcoming Dates


4. About The LSAT - What Does It Test? What Counts? What Is
Experimental?

5. About The LSAT - How Is It Scored? What Does The Score Mean? Do All
Questions Count The Same? Is There A Guessing Penalty? Can I Cancel My
Score?

6. LSAT Preparation - "Success Favours The PREPared Mind!"

7. About LSAT Books ...

8. About LSAT Preparation Courses ...

9. Richardson - Law School Bound - Our Experience - Since 1979

10. Richardson - Free LSAT Strategy Seminars

11. Find An LSAT Course Anywhere In North America

12. Contact Richardson - Law School Bound

1. What Is The LSAT, Where Does It Come From And What Role Does It Play
In The Admissions Process?

Q. What is the LSAT?


A. The letters LSAT stand for “Law School Admission Test.” The test is required
and is part of the admissions process for almost every law school in North
America. The LSAT is the same in both Canada and the United States.

Q. Who administers the LSAT?


A. The LSAT is developed and administered by a company called “Law Services”
based in Newtown, PA. They may be found at:

http://www.lsac.org

(215) 968-1001

A free sample LSAT is available for download.

Q. What kind of LSAT score is required for admission to law school?


A. Although the LSAT is very important, it is only one part of your application file.
(For applicants in the regular applicant category, your grades will be more
important than your LSAT score.) There is no established passing or failing LSAT
score and each school is free to decide what score will satisfy its admission
requirements. For example, there is at least one school that treats the LSAT as
fifteen percent of the decision and there is another where the LSAT counts for
almost fifty percent of the decision.

2. How Do I Register For The LSAT And Why Should I Take The LSAT Early?

Q. How do I register for the LSAT?


A. Complete information about the LSAT and registration may be found at:
http://www.lsac.org
The best way to register is online. There are deadlines for registration and since
the most popular test centers (for example Toronto) fill up quickly, you should
register as early as possible.

Q. How many times may I take the LSAT and is there a fee?
A. There is a fee. Under the current rules you are permitted to take the LSAT only
three times in any two year period.

Q. When may I take the LSAT?


A. At present the LSAT is available to be taken 4 times a year – usually in June,
October, December and February.

Q. Is there a date by which I am required to take the LSAT?


A. Different schools may have different admissions policies and procedures. You
should research these deadlines on a school by school basis.

Q. When would it be advisable to take the LSAT?


A. The deadline for the application to Ontario law schools is Nov. 1. There is no
reason to delay until that time. We recommend that you take the LSAT when
there is the least conflict with other academic commitments.

Q. Would you recommend taking the LSAT in June?


A. In a perfect world, June is the perfect time for the LSAT. Most students are
finished school in May making May a perfect time to prepare. Should you need to
take the LSAT again – October is the perfect second time. If you cannot take the
LSAT in June, we strongly recommend that you take the LSAT in October.

3. About The LSAT – Exact Upcoming Test Dates

What follows are test dates for 2009 – 2010

Monday June 8, 2009

Saturday September 26, 2009

Saturday December 5, 2009

Saturday February 6, 2010


The above information comes from Law Services. It may also be found at:
http://www.lsac.org/LSAT/test-dates-deadlines.asp

4. About The LSAT – What Does It Test? What Counts? What Is


Experimental?

Q. What does the LSAT test?


A. The short answer is that the LSAT is multiple choice test of reading and
reasoning in context. The reading and reasoning skills are tested in the context of
three question types – Analytical Reasoning (Logic Games), Logical Reasoning
and Reading Comprehension.

Q. What is the format of the LSAT and how many questions are there?
A. The LSAT is composed of five thirty-five minute sections. Four of these
sections contribute to your LSAT score and one is experimental (meaning it does
not contribute to your score). The four sections that count are (in no particular
order):

1. Logical Reasoning 24 – 26 questions


2. Logical Reasoning 24 – 26 questions
3. Reading Comprehension – 26 – 28 questions
4. Analytical Reasoning – 23 – 25 questions

Regardless of the exact number of questions in each section the LSAT is


composed of 101 questions.

LSAT test takers are required to complete a thirty minute writing sample which
does not contribute to your LSAT score.

Q. Can you tell me more about the experimental section? Why is it there?
How is it used?
A. The experimental section is an additional thirty-five minute section that test
takers are required to complete. It is NOT identified as being experimental. The
purpose is so that LSAT can try out future questions for possible use. It will be a
repeat of one of the three question types that counts. All questions in the
experimental section will be of that one question type. For example, your LSAT
might have an additional section of Reading Comprehension. Although all test
takers get exactly the same four sections that count – different test takers will
receive different experimental sections.

Q. Is the LSAT a paper based or computer based test?


A. At the present time the LSAT is a paper based, standardized test.
5. About The LSAT – How Is It Scored? What Does The Score Mean? Do All
Questions Count The Same? Is There A Guessing Penalty? Can I Cancel My
Score?

Q. How is the LSAT scored?


A. The LSAT is reported on a scale of 120 to 180. Your score corresponds to a
percentile ranking. This means that it is a reflection of how you perform relative to
all test takers. There is no established passing or failing score. At the risk of
oversimplification:

First your raw score is determined – the number of right answers out of 101 is
counted up.

Second – the raw score is then converted to a scaled score which corresponds to
a percentile ranking.

For example, a score of 151 reflects a performance in approximately the 50th


percentile (although is does vary a bit from test to test).

Q. Do all LSAT questions count the same or do some count more than
others?
A. All LSAT questions have exactly the same weighting – they count the same.
Therefore, it is essential that you make sure that you first answer the questions
that are easier for you (I emphasize “for you” – different people have different
strengths and weaknesses.)

Q. Is there a penalty for selecting the wrong answer?


A. No there is no penalty for selecting the wrong answer.
Therefore, it is essential that you put an answer for every question on the test.

6. LSAT Preparation – “Success Favours The PREPared Mind!”

Q. Should I prepare?
A. Obviously you should be prepared when you take the LSAT. Even Law
Services (the creators and marketers of the LSAT) encourage preparation.

Q. How much should I prepare?


A. You have two preparation objectives. They are:

First, to actually be prepared.


Second, to feel that you are prepared.
Different people have different preparation needs.

Q. How early should I start preparing?


A. This is a matter of opinion and is subjective. But, it would be a mistake to
presume that you will needs months and months of preparation (although some
people may). Our advice is to begin with a period of four to six weeks prior to the
test and then to add more time if necessary. (This is another argument for taking
the test in June or October.)

Q. How should I prepare?


A. This is done through a combination of actual LSAT practice questions and
additional books and courses.

7. About LSAT Books …

Q. What about books that come directly from LSAT?


A. At a minimum you should familiarize yourself with the LSAT using actual LSAT
questions. They are available for purchase from LSAT and in many university
bookstores, Chapters/Indigo and of course online. At present there are
approximately 45 actual released LSATs many of which are available for
purchase. With few exceptions the actual LSAT tests come with answers but not
with commentary. Hence, the need for additional books.

Q. What about books that don’t come directly from LSAT but come from
other sources?
A. There are many LSAT books on the market. You will want them to provide the
commentary on the test that LSAT fails to provide with their own tests. Obviously,
we would recommend our own:
Mastering The LSAT – How To Prepare Effectively And Successfully – John
Richardson – ISBN: 0-9696290-3-6.

A site that specializes in LSAT Prep Books is:


http://lsatbooks.wordpress.com

8. About LSAT Preparation Courses …

Q. What about LSAT Preparation Courses?


A. A very high percentage of LSAT test takers do take LSAT courses. LSAT
Preparation is a large industry. There are many different courses of varying
durations, formats and prices.

Q. What should I consider when selecting an LSAT course?


A. We suggest that in selecting an LSAT course you consider at least the
following:

- Does the course teach a general approach (see information about courses
below) which is firmly rooted in the twin LSAT realities of timing (you will run out
of it), LSAT technology (all LSATs must be designed in the same way)?
- The experience level and quality of the teachers (remember that all courses are
taught primarily from actual LSAT questions)

- Time of day the classes are run (some people are too tired at the end of the day
for evening classes) evenings or weekends or both

- Duration and format – do you want a longer or shorter course? Both have their
benefits.

9. Richardson – Law School Bound - Our Experience – Since 1979

We have taught our LSAT courses since 1979 – making our program one of the
longest running programs in existence anywhere. In fact we are aware of only
one other program (anywhere in the world) that has existed for as long as we
have.

Weekend Courses Of Various Durations

Our courses are available in Toronto, Ottawa, London, Kingston and other
locations in Canada.

We offer our courses on the weekends in the format of four, three, two or one
weekends.

Our pricing is the most competitive in the industry.

What Our Course Teaches - The Approach


Our course teaches approach. We teach systematic ways of eliminating wrong
answers. We teach the identification of right answers.

The LSAT is not a test of background knowledge. Rather, it is a test of reading


and reasoning. It is important that a score on say the June test has the same
meaning as a score on the October test. To achieve consistency, every edition of
the LSAT must measure the same things in approximately the same ways. As a
result, LSAT questions are the "end product" of specific rules of design.

Our course exploits this design requirement. We teach specific principles of


approach that will allow you to "identify" the answers to LSAT multiple choice
questions. These principles INCLUDE (but are not limited to):

• diagramming techniques

• the recognition of ways that LSAT test designers make wrong answers seem
attractive
• the recognition of ways that LSAT test designers make right answers seem
unattractive

• the best order to attack LSAT questions

• reading "between the lines" in reading comprehension

• avoiding "clutter" in logical reasoning

10. Richardson - Free LSAT Strategy Seminars

In order that you may meet our instructors and learn more about our programs,
we offer numerous free LSAT strategy seminars. A directory of dates may be
found at:

http://www.prep.com/law/lsatstra.html

11. Find An LSAT Course Anywhere In North America

Ontario – Canada:
Richardson – Law School Bound offers LSAT Preparation Courses and Seminars
in Toronto, Ottawa, London and Kingston and in some other parts of Canada.
http://www.prep.com
http://www.richardson-prep.com

Canadian provinces outside of Ontario:


For information about LSAT courses offered by other providers outside of Ontario
visit:
http://www.prep.com/law/lsatprepdirectory.html

U.S.:
For information about LSAT Preparation Courses offered across the U.S. visit:
http://www.getprepped.com

12. Contact Richardson – Law School Bound

Information on our LSAT preparation programs is available at:

http://www.richardson-prep.com

http://www.prep.com

http://www.lawschoolbound.org
http://www.prelawforum.com

Tel: 416-410-PREP

Richardson Prep Centre


Box 19602, Manulife P.O.
55 Bloor St. W.
Toronto, Ontario
Canada
M4W 3T9

Copyright © John Richardson, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. All
Rights Reserved.