The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) measures reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning. The test is intended to predict performance in law school, and long experience with it has validated that assumption and tested its reliability. It is required by most ABA-accredited law schools in the country and accepted at all of them.* To take the LSAT you will need to create an account with the Law School Admission Council and then register in advance for one of the dates the test is administered; you cannot walk into a test center the day of the test if you were not already registered.
*As of Autumn 2022, approximately 50% of law schools will accept the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) in lieu of the LSAT. If a student takes both tests, however, all law schools will use the student's LSAT score in the review process and not the GRE ("If you take the LSAT, you are an LSAT applicant"). If you are considering applying only to schools which accept the GRE, be sure to speak with a pre-law advisor about which test to take.
The LSAT is currently offered eight times each year, approximately every 6-8 weeks. All test administrations are online - students have a two-day window in which to take the test (you do not have two days to complete it - once you start the LSAT there is a time limit in which to finish). Be aware of the various deadlines when deciding when to take the LSAT.
Currently all LSAT test administrations are "undisclosed" - you will only receive your test score, percentile rank, and a copy of your writing sample with no additional information about the test itself (when the LSAT was administered in-person, some of the test administrations were "disclosed" - test-takers received not only their score/rank but their answers and information about the questions to help understand the score and where students scored higher/lower).
The optimum time of year for taking the test is what works best for your schedule and ability to prepare. For many students this is an early to mid-summer test administration, thereby allowing students time to assess their chances for admission at a given school and an opportunity to re-take the test if they desire to do so. Other students will take the LSAT in the autumn due to summer commitments or because they are more comfortable taking a test while they are in the "student mindset" during an academic term. For similar reasons students who are planning to do something else between college and law school may decide to take the test in the spring while they are still in college.
Whenever you take the LSAT, you should begin to prepare at least a term in advance of the test date. Remember that law schools want students who can organize, analyze, draw conclusions, and communicate ideas. You can take the test more than once (talk with a pre-law advisor about when it's appropriate to retake the LSAT) and your scores remain valid for up to five years.
There are numerous resources available to students who are preparing to take the LSAT, including:
- Sample tests and questions available from the Law School Admission Council
- Free online resources provided by Khan Academy in collaboration with LSAC
- *Online apps and resources provided by commercial test prep companies
- *In-person courses and related materials provided by commercial test prep companies
*While it is common for students to purchase online materials or pay for the services of an in-person review course, these resources can be expensive, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Students should take the time to investigate all options and decide what will work best for them. Below are some frequently utilized commercial test prep companies.
*A company's inclusion on this list (presented alphabetically) does not constitute an endorsement by Ohio State and a company's absence from this list is not an indication of the reverse.
- Princeton Review
- TestMax / LSATMax