Law Council Revamps LSAT

The biggest change to the Law School Admission Test in 15 years will, in reality, be a small change. There will be a slight alteration to the reading comprehension and writing sample sections, according to Steven Marietti, the director of pre-law programs at Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions.

The style of questions on the LSAT has remained consistent for the last 15 years.

The writing sample section currently can include an argument or decision prompt, but once the new changes take effect, only decision prompts will be included.

The comprehension section, which now consists of four passages with approximately seven multiple choice questions each, will consist of five passages with seven or so questions split among two smaller passages.

The two smaller passages now also cover a different skill: comparative reading. The other four passages will remain the same.

Thurgood Marshall College senior and UCSD Pre-Law Society Secretary Lindsay Osborn, who recently finished her LSAT testing, said that students planning to take the test should prepare for the changes.

“”Take a course,”” Osborn said when she heard about the new changes. “”Kaplan knows what’s going on; it is better to be safe than sorry.””

The LSAT currently consists of six 35-minute sections. The six components – analytical reasoning, two logical reasoning, reading comprehension, a writing sample and experimental section – combine to average approximately 100 questions.

Neither the experimental and writing sample are not scored.

Though essentially only seven questions will be affected, those seven questions can accumulate to three to six points in an overall score ranging from 120 to 180.

Considering that 150 is the average score, those minimal points end up holding great value when used for law school admissions and compared to fellow competitors, Marietti said. Although the structure and format of the exam remains the same, the change should be noted by students planning to take the test.

“”Anytime there is change, regardless of magnitude, if there is time to prepare you can at least avoid uncertainty,”” Marietti said.

The Law School Admission Council, which distributes the LSAT, will be releasing a sample of the new comparative reading questions in February 2007, although it will not compare to the approximately 5,000 past questions students taking the LSAT before June 2007 can view, according to Marietti.

The average student spends a two to three months preparing for the LSAT, so aspiring students planning to take the new LSAT should prepare for the new type of questions accordingly, Marietti said.

Readers can contact Jessie Chau at jlchau@ucsd.edu.

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