How Hard is the LSAT

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The law school admissions test (LSAT) is given to prospective students who have aspirations of attending law school. Law schools use the LSAT as an important criterion for attendance.

Our team will dive into how hard the LSAT actually is, the hardest LSAT sections, and the LSAT difficulty in general.

Too Long, Didn’t Read: Find the answer to “how hard is the LSAT” below with insights from our expert team.

Prep for your exam with our LSAT practice tests.

Is the LSAT hard?

In very simple terms, yes, the LSAT is hard. You will need to complete 4 LSAT sections, which include a logical reasoning, analytical reasoning, and reading comprehension section.

The questions you will be asked on the LSAT are designed to test your intelligence, not your ability to recall facts or do simple math.

One main reason the LSAT is difficult is the fact that you need to be able to connect various concepts to arrive at an answer, with those concepts not always being obvious at a first glance. You also need to do this in a timed setting.

The general design of this exam is unique from other exams you may have taken in the past, which makes it so difficult. The LSAT is designed a lot more like an intelligence exam versus a traditional standardized exam.

For example, on the ACT or SAT, you either know how to answer the question, or you don’t. The LSAT is a lot less cut and dry.

You will be asked to answer around 100 questions. Each section is timed. The LSAT is scored on a scale from 120 to 180, with a 180 being a perfect score. According to the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), the average score is 152.

If you score a 160, you will be in the 80th percentile. You can read more about LSAT scores in our complete guide.

Hardest LSAT Sections

When looking at the hardest LSAT sections, it is important to remember that people may naturally find some sections easier than others. This can be due to certain people grasping specific concepts easier or more study time spent on a specific topic.

We will dive into each specific section below and review the hardest LSAT sections. If you want a complete breakdown of each section, visit our guide to LSAT sections for even more information.

You can also practice for your exam with our LSAT practice test.

How Hard is Analytical Reasoning?

Analytical reasoning is typically one of the hardest LSAT sections. It is commonly referred to as the “logic games” section.

There is 1 section with 4 different logic games. Each one of these games includes 4-7 questions. You will only have 35 minutes to complete this section.

You will be asked to understand effects of rules on decisions and outcomes as well as draw conclusions and apply logic.

What makes this section so challenging is that the questions are so different from anything you may have encountered before (unless you utilized LSAT practice questions before the exam).

Make sure you read the questions and statements given to you very carefully. You cannot make assumptions and questions are not related, so you cannot carry over any knowledge.

How Hard is Logical Reasoning

Logical reasoning, also referred to as arguments section, consists of 2 separate sections. One section will count towards your score and the other is an experimental section. You will have 35 minutes to complete each section.

Each section will have 24-26 questions. You will be given short passages and asked to answer questions about the passages. You will be asked to break down various arguments for analysis.

This section can be challenging as you will need to evaluate the various passages and then conduct analyses such as making assumptions, finding flaws, or strengthening/weakening an argument made in the passage.

You will have to carefully evaluate both the argument and the answer choices to find errors in the construction of the argument itself or any of the possible answer choices.

When you add a timing element (35 minutes per passage) to this section, it can become difficult.

When taking this section, remember that just because an answer is true, does not mean it is the correct answer – it may not be the answer to the posed question.

How Hard is Reading Comprehension?

The reading comprehension section is made up of 1 section with about 27 questions. You will also have 35 minutes to complete this section.

You will be given 4 passages and asked to answer various questions about the passages. The passages in the section are either from the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, or law. The subsequent questions will ask you to identify elements like:

  • Main idea
  • Information stated
  • Information inferred
  • Meaning or purpose of words

The most difficult part of this section is the timing. You will have a little more than 1 minute to answer each question – but that does not take into account the time it will take you to read each passage.

However, this section is most comparable to other exams you may have taken in the past. That is usually a relief for many students heading in to take their LSAT.

How Hard is the Writing Sample

This is not considered one of the hardest LSAT sections. This section is not scored. However, it will be sent out to schools you are applying to, so you want to construct a good essay.

This section is not difficult because you can do it on your own time. The LSAC recently decided to open up this section 8 days prior to your test date. You will be able to complete this whenever is most convenient for you.

LSAT Pass Rate

Since the LSAT is not a pass/fail exam, there is no pass rate. However, there are certain scores that you may want to achieve in order to reach your goals and get into the law school of your choice.

You can dive deeper into LSAT scores with our in-depth article, but in general, you will want to score above 150 to ensure you get into a law program, but every point increase corresponds to more schools that you could get accepted to as well as more potential merit aid from schools where your scores are above their median.

LSAT Difficulty FAQS

Is the LSAT actually hard?

Yes, the LSAT is actually hard. The test is designed in a way that is different to a lot of students. The test is designed more as an intelligence exam than a traditional standardized exam.

With that being said, if you put the time and effort into your studies, you can achieve a good score.

How easy is it to pass the LSAT?

It is easy to pass the LSAT because there is no pass/fail score for this exam. However, you will want to get a good score on this exam to ensure you get into a law program.

The average score is 152. Although the average score will be sufficient to get you into many law schools nationwide, you want to do as well as possible to ensure more merit aid.

How long should you study for the LSAT?

It is recommended that you spend between 150 and 250 total hours when studying for this exam. The length of time it takes you to do this depends on how far out your exam is.

If you have 3 months, you can comfortably spend about 15 hours per week and be at 180 total study hours after 3 months.

You can begin preparations for your exam with our free LSAT practice test.

Authored By: Vincent Gullo
Authored By: Vincent Gullo

Vincent Gullo is a master's students at Tufts University working towards his Masters in Law & Diplomacy.

He is also an LSAT prep course teacher for Kaplan. Vince has helped students reach scores in the top 10% of all test-takers.