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 Summer 2019 there is a small but growing list of law schools (39 out of 200+) which will accept the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) in lieu of the LSAT. If a student takes both tests, most if not all of those law schools will use the student's LSAT score and not the GRE. 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 nine times each year, approximately every 5-7 weeks; some tests are offered on a Saturday, some on a Monday. Some test administrations are "disclosed" which means you will get your score and a copy of your writing sample as well as a copy of your answers and information about the questions to help you understand why you received the score you did. The other tests 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.
The Ohio State University is usually a test location for the LSAT; other test administration sites are listed on the LSAC website. Be aware of the various deadlines when deciding when to take the LSAT and even then many popular test sites will fill up long before the deadline. If a test location is full, you will have to travel to another test location or take the test on another date. Currently Ohio State is the only test location in Central Ohio; the next closest location is in Dayton.
The optimum time for taking the test is what works best for your schedule and ability to prepare. For many students this is the June or July test date, 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 take time off between college and law school may decide to take the test in early 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.
For test dates that fall on Saturdays, students who observe the Sabbath can register to take the LSAT on a non-Saturday date (test dates for Sabbath Observers vary - check with LSAC for details).
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