LSAT Frequently Asked Questions
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is an integral part of law school admission in the United States, Canada, and a growing number of other countries. The test is designed specifically to assess critical reading, analytical reasoning, logical reasoning, and persuasive writing skills — key skills needed for success in law school. The LSAT is the only test accepted for admission purposes by all ABA-accredited law schools and Canadian common-law law schools.
The LSAT is administered in two parts. The first part of the test is a multiple-choice exam administered at test centers throughout the world. Starting in September 2019, the multiple-choice portion of the LSAT will be administered digitally in North America — learn more about the Digital LSAT. The second part of the test is a written essay, called LSAT Writing. LSAT Writing is administered online using secure proctoring software that can be installed on the candidate’s own computer.
Some law schools will accept tests other than the LSAT for admission. However, students who want to maximize their chances for admission are advised to take the LSAT. It is the only test accepted by all ABA-accredited law schools, and it is the only test that helps the test taker to determine if law school is right for them.
Each year, 100,000 potential law school applicants worldwide take the LSAT. As of June 2019, the LSAT is now administered in two parts. The first part of the test is a multiple-choice exam administered multiple times each year at designated testing centers throughout the world. The second part of the test is a written essay, called LSAT Writing. LSAT Writing is administered online using secure proctoring software that is installed on the candidate’s own computer and can be taken from the convenience of their home or other preferred location.
The multiple-choice portion of the LSAT began its transition to digital in July 2019 and became fully digital in September 2019 in the United States (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and Canada. In these locations, the LSAT is now offered on a tablet, which includes great features such as a timer with a five-minute warning, highlighting, and flagging to keep track of questions that a test taker may want to revisit in a section. In other parts of the world, the LSAT continues to be administered in the traditional paper-and-pencil format.
Your LSAT Score Report includes the following:
- Your current score.
- Results of all reportable tests — up to 12 — including absences and cancellations for standard LSAT takers due to the ongoing challenges related to COVID-19. An LSAT result is reportable for up to five testing years after the testing year in which the score is earned. LSAT testing years run from June through May.
- An average score, if you have more than one reportable score on file.
- Your score band.
- Your percentile rank, which reflects the percentage of test takers whose scores were lower than yours during the previous three testing years. A percentile rank is reported for each of your scores.
You will receive your score via email approximately three to four weeks after the test. If you take the LSAT more than once, law schools will see all scores earned within the past five years, though most will evaluate your candidacy based on your highest score. Law schools will also see if you canceled a score, withdrew, or were a no-show at a test administration. Your score is only released to you and the law schools to which you apply.
If you took the LSAT: Beginning the day after the test, you may cancel your score on the LSAT Status page of your LSAC.org (Law School Admission Council) account. This option will only be available to you within six calendar days after the test. The deadline to cancel your score online will be 10:59 p.m. (CT) on the sixth day after your LSAT date. More information is available at Canceling Scores, https://www.lsac.org/lsat/taking-lsat/lsat-scoring/about-score-preview.
In response to requests and feedback from test takers, LSAC has created a new score preview option for first-time test takers who wish to see their LSAT score before deciding whether to keep it as part of their LSAC transcript and report it to law schools. This feature is available starting with the August 2020 test administration and all subsequent test administrations. If you are a first-time test taker, Score Preview is now available for purchase through your LSAC online account.
What it costs: Score Preview costs $45 for candidates who sign up prior to the first day of testing for a given test administration, or $75 for those who sign up during a specified period after their given test administration. (Please note: First-time test takers who have an approved LSAT fee waiver can sign up for Score Preview free of charge.)
If you took the LSAT-Flex: Should you decide to cancel your LSAT-Flex score, you must do so within six calendar days of the date of your LSAT-Flex by contacting LSAC directly at LSACinfo@LSAC.org or 215.968.1001.
Please note that the above deadlines do not apply for first-time test takers who have signed up for Score Preview. First-time test takers who sign up for Score Preview will receive their scores at the same time other test takers receive theirs (assuming they have completed their LSAT Writing and have no holds on their accounts), and will have six calendar days to decide if they want to cancel or keep their score. If they take no action, their scores will be added to their LSAC transcript and released to schools at the end of the six-day period.
Your LSAT score is a crucial factor in determining where you go to law school—or if you go at all. Law school admission committees look at your LSAT score to determine if you have the skills required for success in law school. It helps admissions officers compare your record with those of students from other schools.
Most law schools use an "index formula" — a weighting of your LSAT score and undergraduate cumulative GPA to determine your application's objective strength. Almost universally, the LSAT score has a greater weight than your undergraduate GPA, accounting for more than 50% of the admissions decision.
If your grades are lackluster‚ an outstanding LSAT score can help, make the case that you are capable of handling the academic rigors of law school. Alternatively,‚ if you've been out of college for some time‚ your score can show that you still have the skills necessary to succeed.
An outstanding LSAT score will not necessarily get you into your target school; but a low score will certainly keep you out.
All of your 12 most recent LSAT results will be reported to the law schools to which you apply if earned in the current testing year or if earned in the prior five testing years. (Note that LSAT results include scores, cancellations, and absences). LSAT testing years run from June through May.
For example, if you apply to a law school in January 2021, any LSAT scores you earn in the June 2020-May 2021 testing year will be reported. Any scores you earned during the following testing years will also be reported:
- June 2019-May 2020
- June 2018-May 2019
- June 2017-May 2018
- June 2016-May 2017
- June 2015-May 2016
If you took the LSAT in June 2015, you could use this score to apply to law school through May 2021. Results from LSATs prior to June 2015 will not be reported.