The LSAT exam format consists of four sections. Each of these LSAT sections contains one or more types of challenges, questions, and writing exercises.
The test as a whole is going to require you to decipher scholarly texts, write long-form content (which isn’t scored), answer complex logic games, and resolve arguments. It’s not for the faint of heart.
Wrapping your mind around the individual sections is a huge step toward conquering the concepts and processes you’ll need to do well.
The LSAT sections are: Logical Reasoning, Analytical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Experimental Section, and Writing Sample. You have 35 minutes to complete each one and pass the test.
Here is an overview of each of the LSAT sections and what they consist of.
Originally published on July 8th, 2020, this article was updated, fact-checked, and republished on September 1st, 2022.
LSAT Logical Reasoning (Arguments)
LSAT Logical Reasoning is the arguments portion of the test. Here’s an overview of what you’ll encounter in this section of the exam:
- One section
- Between 24 and 26 multiple-choice questions in each section
- 35 minutes to take each section
Logical reasoning tests your ability to uncover the anatomy of an argument: what are the main points, abstract concepts, and relevant info in the text?
You will need to swiftly unpack and analyze a passage of writing. What you read could cover any subject matter. What’s most important are the concepts contained within the writing.
Reading through a narrative or scenario, you’ll be expected to call out assumptions, critique an argument, and find any errors. You will practice this process a lot, especially because you’ll have no idea which scenario or passage is going to be on your test.
You’ll have to nail the timing and process scorers are going to expect to see demonstrated in your work.
You can find samples of Logical Reasoning questions from LSAC.
LSAT Analytical Reasoning Tips (Logic Games)
LSAT Analytical Reasoning is commonly referred to as the logic games. The word “games” is a bit misleading, because you may not find them particularly fun. Challenging, yes.
Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll see in the Analytical Reasoning section:
- One section
- Four games
- Four to seven multiple-choice questions in each logic game, with 22-24 questions in total
- 35 minutes to take this section
Analytical reasoning is an important skill used by attorneys and litigators. This section of the test is meant to test your ability to determine how rules impact outcomes, relationships, and conclusions.
Guidelines will apply to each of the logic games. You must follow these very closely.
This analytical reasoning LSAT section is challenging and unique. During your study, you’ll practice these types of questions, and become familiar with the way ideas are laid out and what you are expected to do.
You may be given a situation to evaluate. You may also be asked to compare or contrast things like a series of digits, the relative positions of objects, or actions and consequent reactions.
Take a look at some sample Analytical Reasoning questions from LSAC to get a better understanding of the format. Then develop and practice your logic game strategies to get more efficient at solving them.
LSAT Reading Comprehension Tips
LSAT Reading Comprehension is another individual section of the test.
Here’s what’s on it:
- One section
- 26-27 multiple-choice questions
- Four passages
- Three with one author
- One with a combination of two sources
- 35 minutes to take this section
Reading comprehension on the LSAT doesn’t mirror other tests, such as the SAT. You are not simply exhibiting your ability to understand what you read.
The LSAT will require a deeper treatment of the written text. You will be presented with a text, and then expected to draw inferences, find information, solidify main ideas, and draw conclusions.
This is another skill-based exercise that isn’t about the concepts themselves, but rather, how they are treated. You will be expected to quickly grasp the point and locate fallacies, paradoxes, and contextual clues to answer questions correctly.
There are some sample Reading Comprehension questions on LSAC’s website.
LSAT Experimental Section
The LSAT experimental section is unscored. It is 35 minutes long.
You will be presented with an extra section of Logic Games, Reading Comprehension, or Logical Reasoning that will not count towards your score.
The goal of this section is to continuously craft new questions and see how test-takers respond to them. The responses help determine if the new content is the right quality and difficulty to be used on a future LSAT. It is very hard, almost impossible, to distinguish between the unscored section of a test and its scored counterpart.
Because they need real data, LSAC makes this section of the test blend in with the others — you won’t know which section it is when you’re writing it. You have to give every section the same amount of effort to make sure you get a good score.
LSAT Writing Sample
The LSAT writing sample is unscored as well. You will have 35 minutes to write. While it is unscored, this section is relevant and important for getting accepted into law schools.
The writing sample you create will be submitted, along with your test score, to law schools.
It does not need to be taken at the same time as the rest of the exam. In fact, you can take it up to 8 days before your exam date. You also can take it at any point after the test as well, although you will not receive your score until the sample is completed.
The writing sample is about crafting an argument based on a series of facts and defending that argument, regardless of if you think it’s true or not. it will also ask you to recognize and refute/concede possible arguments from the opponent’s side.
You will prepare for this section of the test by practicing writing that offers commentary for a variety of texts. It’s therefore important that you practice broadly, since you will have no idea what subjects you’ll be given to write about on the day of your test.
With unique content and skill requirements for each section, you’ll need to create a study plan to methodically practice everything. Using a prep course can make sure you cover all your bases, and have plenty of material for practice and self-assessment.
Check out our comparison of the best LSAT prep courses to decide which one is best for your needs.
Here are some additional answers to questions you may have about the LSAT sections.
How many sections are on the LSAT?
There are three scored sections and two unscored sections on the LSAT, which you’ll sit for on whichever of the upcoming LSAT test dates you’ve chosen. The three scored sections are Analytical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning.
The unscored sections are the LSAT Experimental Section and a writing sample.
What is the easiest section on the LSAT?
“Ease” is not a term often associated with the LSAT. Candidates struggle with different sections depending on the way they think.
While no part is “easy,” some test-takers say that Analytical Reasoning (or Logic Games) is the hardest part of the test. Because the LSAT is unlike any other test you may have taken, it’s important that you dedicate study time to mastering the skills you’ll be expected to have to pass.
How many questions in the Logical Reasoning section?
There are between 24 and 26 multiple choice questions in the Logical Reasoning section of the LSAT, which you’ll have 35 minutes to answer.
Does the LSAT have math?
The LSAT is not a subject-based text and does not have traditional mathematics sections. There are, however, numerals present and mathematical concepts may arise in one or more of logic, reasoning, and even comprehension sections.