How Long is the LSAT? 3+ Hours -LSAT Test Day Breakdown
- Jul 01, 2017
- LSAT Advice
LSAT test day looks different for all test takers. You have to account for setting up your workspace and how long the pre-admin process takes on top of the time the LSAT exam itself takes on the actual test date.
So, how long is the LSAT? On average, the LSAT takes around three hours total to complete for test takers. The test contains three scored 35 minute sections, one unscored 35 minute section, and a 10 minute break in between sections two and three.
So, let’s break down each part of your day. We’ll begin with the exam itself since it is the longest and most important part of test day:
LSAT Test Day Breakdown: How Long is Each Section of the LSAT?
- • Logical Reasoning (Arguments)
- • Reading Comprehension
- • Analytical Reasoning (Logic Games)
- • Experimental
- • Writing Sample
How long is the Logical Reasoning Section?
The logical reasoning section is 35 minutes with 25-26 questions.
In the Logical Reasoning section, you will have approximately a minute and a half for each question. It tests you on how well you can evaluate logical arguments. This is an important skill you will absolutely need in law school and while practicing law.
You will see at least one LR section on test day; two times if the experimental section is also LR. Since there are only three scored sections of the exam, the LR sections count for a third of your LSAT score. This makes sense given how important the skill it’s testing is to your life past pre-law.
How long is the Reading Comprehension Section?
The Reading Comprehension Section is 35 Minutes with about 4 passages.
You will face four long passages followed by a set of questions in this section. Given the time you have, you will be able to spend just under 9 minutes on each passage set. That may seem like a lot of time but, in reality, you have under 9 minutes to read a long, often complicated passage and then answer several questions based on that passage. It can be time-consuming.
This section tests your reading comprehension and ability to understand what the passage is really about. Can you find and decipher the argument? Can you find relevant information within the content-rich passage? Can you make inferences based on what you read? These are skills necessary for many parts of life; they are very important to lawyers trying to decipher a difficult case.
How long is the Analytical Reasoning (Logic Games) Section?
The Analytical Reasoning Section is 35 Minutes with 4 games.
You will have the same timing for each game as you do on each passage set in Reading Comprehension: just under 9 minutes per game. This section presents you with a game or prompt containing a set of items, people, or places, a set of rules that will help you determine how the items are placed or arranged, and then questions based on those rules or exceptions to those rules. Diagramming these games can be difficult at first, but practice can really improve a student’s score and skills in this section.
The analytical reasoning section tests your ability to understand relationships between two or more objects, follow rules, make inferences, analyze a situation, and apply logic. All of these are skills that would be not only useful but necessary to be an effective lawyer.
How long is the Experimental Section?
The Experimental Section is 35 minutes.
There will be one experimental section that you will face on test day. This section can be any of the above sections. You will not know which is experimental, so you should plan to face every section of the exam as if it were scored.
How long is the Writing Sample Section?
The Writing Sample Section is 35 minutes with one prompt.
While this section is not scored and there is some speculation over how much weight it carries with the admissions councils, you need to take this section seriously. Practice your writing sample before test day. I can’t stress that enough. Don’t just rely on your writing ability to get you through this.
As of 2019, the writing sample section is now known as “LSAT Writing.” While it’s still a 35-minute section, test takers now have the flexibility to do this section from the comfort of their home or even on a different day. Test takers should still prepare for the writing sample beforehand, as if it was the actual LSAT exam. Mental endurance is key to success on this exam; it is just as essential as your skills in each LSAT section.
Are there any breaks during the LSAT exam?
There is a 10-minute break.
You will get a 10-minute break after the second section of the exam. During this break, you will be able to have a drink and a snack if you’d like. It is highly recommended you take a bathroom break during this time. You face two more section of the exam after this break; if you’re focusing on your need to use the facilities, it can affect your performance and test score.
In total, the average test taker will face about three hours and 30 minutes of testing with a 10-minute break after the second section. That’s a long time to spend reading and answering questions. Make sure that you’ve prepared yourself and have the mental endurance to make it through every section without complete fatigue.
The exam will consist of 35-minute test sections::
- • 3 scored multiple-choice sections
- • 1 unscored writing sample
- • 1 unscored experimental multiple-choice section
The exam has ~100 multiple choice questions; however, you will not be expected to answer every question. You will not be penalized for unfinished or incomplete answers. Keep in mind the exam gives you more questions than can be answered in 35 minutes on purpose, so be strategic with how you choose to answer certain questions.
LSAT Test Day Breakdown
Unfortunately, you can’t just count the hours you’ll spend taking the exam; your day will include a lot more than that. You will have to account for your travel time. Many students choose a test center facility near home, but some students don’t have that option. Get to the testing center early; not so early that you start to lose your focus, but early enough that you don’t feel rushed.
Once you get to the testing center, you will face the check-in process. There is time set aside for security measures, paperwork, and seating students. This can take anywhere from 30-90 minutes. The size and staffing of the center will play a role in how long this process takes. Don’t expect to just arrive and begin testing immediately. Then, it’s time for the exam itself. As we mentioned earlier, you will be testing for about 3.5 hours.
How Long Will the LSAT Test Day Take in Total?
In all, you’re looking at a 4.5 to 6-hour long day. The length of test day is exactly why you should be taking your LSAT practice test in a realistic setting. It may be a long day, but if you’ve been preparing yourself for it with LSAT prep, it can go a lot more smoothly.
LSAT-Flex Test Day Breakdown: How Long is Each Section of the LSAT-Flex?
The LSAT-Flex is the shorter LSAT created in response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. The LSAT-Flex is taken remotely, at home, on the student’s computer.
How long is the LSAT-Flex?
The LSAT-Flex is comprised of three equal sections.
The Logical Reasoning Section on the LSAT-Flex is 35 minutes with 25-26 questions. There is only one section of Logical Reasoning on the LSAT-Flex.
The Reading Comprehension section on the LSAT-Flex is 35 minutes with about 4 passages.
The Analytical Reasoning (Logic Games) Section on the LSAT-Flex is 35 minutes.
The LSAT Writing Section (Writing Sample) on the LSAT-Flex is 35 minutes and students can take it anytime within one year after their LSAT date.
Whether it’s the regular LSAT or the LSAT-Flex, you might be wondering, “How do I prep for the LSAT?” We’ve got your answer for optimal LSAT preparation with our LSAT prep course options! Blueprint has LSAT prep to fit every future law student’s unique learning style. If you’re looking for an instructor-led class with the convenience of an online course, check out Live Course. If you prefer to prep at your own pace, try our on-demand Self-Paced course or work one-on-one with a private LSAT tutor to design your unique LSAT course and study plan!
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