With the high cost of law school looming in the near future, the last thing you want to do is waste a lot of money on a test that you are (hopefully) only going to take one time.
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is certainly an important test: it can determine your potential financial aid package, where you go to law school, or even if you go to law school.
But keep in mind that the LSAT has been taken by millions before you, and there are plenty of free resources out there to help you increase your score and study for the exam.
Here’s our roundup on the best free LSAT prep and practice tests in 2020.
What you need to know before taking the LSAT
Before starting to study for the LSAT and running down those free resources, here is some basic information you should know about the test:
LSAT Exam Outline
The LSAT consists of these five sections:
1. Logical Reasoning
There are two sections of logical reasoning or “arguments” sections. Each section includes 24 to 26 multiple choice questions; you have 35 minutes to tackle this part of the test.
This section tests your ability to:
- Identify main points of argument
- Apply logic to abstract concepts
- Extract relevant information from dense text
- Analyze and evaluate different arguments
2. Analytical Reasoning
The analytical reasoning section also takes 35 minutes and consists of four logic games that each have between 4 to 7 questions apiece.
This sections tests your ability to:
- Identify patterns
- Understand rules and how they impact potential outcomes
- Make connections
- Recognize relationships between concepts
- Analyze situations
- Make conclusions based on a set of facts or rules
3. Reading Comprehension
There is one 35-minute reading comprehension section. It consists of approximately 27 multiple choice questions made up of four reading passages, including one passage that is written by two different authors.
This section tests your ability to:
- Identify main ideas
- Find relevant information within a text
- Draw inferences
- Understand scholarly text
4. Unscored Section
Finally, there is an additional 35-minute section that is unscored. It may be a logical reasoning, analytical reasoning, or reading comprehension section; the purpose is to evaluate some test questions that are being considered for future LSATs.
If it’s not scored, does that mean you don’t have to prepare for it? No, and here’s why:
You aren’t told ahead of time which section of the LSAT is the unscored one. So in order to get the highest possible score, you have to take every exam section seriously.
5. Writing Sample
The writing sample portion of the LSAT is unscored, but it will go to any law school where you send your LSAT scores. While the LSAT writing sample was previously an optional section, all first-time test takers beginning August 2020 are required to provide one LSAT writing sample. Those who have provided a handwritten or online LSAT writing sample already don’t have to provide another. You can take the LSAT writing sample up to eight days ahead of the scheduled date of the LSAT.
Any good LSAT study guide or practice book should help acquaint you with these different sections. More on that below!
LSAT Question Types
What kind of questions are on the LSAT?
Except for the writing sample, all questions on the LSAT are multiple choice. However, this doesn’t mean you can solve them all with the same strategy; you’ll need to be able to use different strategies for each section to come up with the correct answers.
Timing of the LSAT
How long is the LSAT exam? When is the LSAT exam held?
The LSAT is typically given seven days a year— usually on a Saturday. Between the time it takes for each section, establishing your identity, getting set up, and your break, you should count on the LSAT taking about four hours to complete.
Registering for the LSAT
How do I register for the LSAT exam?
All LSAT takers register for the LSAT online at the Law School Admission Council website. If they don’t have one, test takers must create an LSAC account. Additionally, you need to upload your photo ID to confirm your identity.
Given the COVID-19 crisis, at the time of publication, LSAC is allowing test takers to take the LSAT-FLEX at home. This uses a proctoring software that allows greater flexibility of where and when the test may be taken.
Requirements for Law School
What do you have to do to get into law school?
Most law schools require that you have a B.A. or B.S. before you can enroll in them. Admissions decisions are largely made based on your GPA and LSAT score, though some admissions counselors may consider other factors. You should be prepared to provide
Becoming a Lawyer
How do I become a lawyer?
All states have their own unique rules regarding what it takes to become a lawyer. In general, you must complete a law school education and pass the bar exam. However, you must also apply to the state board, have a background check completed on you, and prove that you are a person of good moral character.
Remember: taking the LSAT is no guarantee that you’ll be accepted into law school, just like taking the bar exam doesn’t guarantee you’ll be admitted to practice law in your jurisdiction.
Free LSAT Practice Tests and Study Resources
Now for the good stuff. Here’s what you came for:
There are so many free resources out there for people wanting to take the LSAT. Here is our roundup of the best LSAT prep materials that cost nothing.
LSAT Diagnostic Tests
One of the best ways to prepare for the LSAT is to take a diagnostic test. This way, you can see where you stand right now, determine your weakest areas, and help you focus your studying in the coming months.
The best LSAT diagnostic test to take is the one published by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Yep, they’re the same company responsible for administering the LSAT.
They currently offer a free, real test that takes all relevant parts of the official LSAT test for a previous year and gives it to you under simulated conditions. This is as close to the real thing as you can get for a diagnostic tool.
If you want to take additional diagnostic tests, you can find some more here:
- Varsity Tutors – This site offers some free diagnostic tests in each of the three major sections of the LSAT.
- Kaplan – Kaplan offers a three-hour diagnostic test that comes with a score analysis.
- Princeton Review – The Princeton Review offers a free online test you can take under simulated conditions and some free tests in person.
- Blueprint – In addition to Blueprint’s LSAT prep packages, they also offer a free LSAT diagnostic test and score analysis to help determine your baseline.
Free LSAT Practice Tests
Part of your studying regimen should consist of taking at least one LSAT practice test each week. This will help you prepare for the rigor of taking the real test while also helping you track your progress.
While there are lots of free practice tests out there, many of these are offered by premium LSAT prep courses or tutors that want to charge you for extra help. You can still access the freebies, but you might be hit up with promotional emails during the process. Some options include:
- LSATMax offers a free practice test for LSAT; After you take it, you receive a free score report and explanations.
- Varsity Tutors – This site offers over 300 practice tests in individual subjects like reading comprehension, logic games, and logical reasoning. This can be helpful if you run out of your print sample LSAT tests.
- Magoosh – Magoosh offers a free practice LSAT test with official Law School Admissions Council questions and expert explanations.
- Union Test Prep – Union Test Prep offers LSAT practice tests split into each of the three main sections. Additionally, you can download an LSAT practice test PDF for a one-time $5 purchase.
- 4Tests – 4Tests also offers a free online prep test.
Free LSAT Sample Questions and Answers
Here is where the Internet really becomes your best friend. There are thousands of sample practice questions out there— you just need to know where to look.
The good news is that we’ve done all the searching for you. Check out the LSAT sample questions below:
One of the top places to find LSAT practice questions is Quizlet. If you’re not familiar, this site combines flashcards and modern technology to make rote memorization easier for you. At the time of publication, a simple search of “LSAT sample questions” yielded 21 pages of results.
Some of these include:
- This comprehensive guide contains 15 different sets of cards, including practice tests, analytical reasoning, reading comprehension, and logical reasoning sections.
- This set is more of a study guide that explains how to take the LSAT.
- This set provides a list of LSAT example questions along with the correct answers.
- This set focuses on how practice LSAT questions are constructed.
If you’re more of a visual learner, YouTube is another great place to check for LSAT example questions:
There are videos featuring questions with logic games and explanations the host draws out so that you can clearly see how they reached the right answer.
You can also find a lot of good diagramming strategies on YouTube.
You can also find some helpful information broken down into different sections, such as the logical reasoning section.
There are professional LSAT trainers that use YouTube as a way to advertise their services, but you can tap into these resources without having to pay anything.
A good comprehensive series to follow is “Free LSAT Prep Hour” hosted by Dimitry Farber. He teaches for Manhattan Prep and did a lot of work on LSAT books— so you can get some expert-level knowledge if you learn from him.
You can also practice LSAT questions back over on the Law School Admissions Council website, which also gives you an explanation of the answers. Manhattan Review offers 62 free practice questions, including 20 logical reasoning questions, 20 logic game questions, and 22 reading comprehension questions.
But if this still isn’t enough, you can also find many LSAT example questions from the makers of their LSAT books online.
Free LSAT Logic Games Practice and Examples
For many people, the most difficult part of the LSAT is the logic games sections. These questions follow some type of setup like:
Abigail, Ben, Chris, David, Emily, and Frank meet at a local movie theater. Use the following rules to determine the seating of the six friends.
- Abigail does not sit next to David.
- Emily and Frank sit next to each other.
- Ben sits next to Emily or Chris.
- David arrives late and takes the last available seat.
- If Abigail sits next to Ben, Ben sits next to Chris.
These games require that you follow a set of rules to determine the possible grouping or sequencing of the items in question.
For many test takers, LSAT logic games practice is a large component of their study plan. Hence, the Internet provides a substantial library of free practice materials for this section. You can find a number of LSAT logic games practice questions free over at Cambridge LSAT, Griffon Prep, and The LSAT Trainer.
Once again, YouTube is one of the best sources for LSAT logic games. By watching some of these videos, you can get strategies from people who have taken the test, sample questions, and clear explanations that are worked out for you.
Some of the free logic games and related resources on YouTube include:
- This 10-minute video describes each type of logic game and how you recognize them.
- If you have three minutes, watch this video on LSAT ordering games.
- There are plenty of videos like this one that give you a sample LSAT logic game question and then work through the answer.
- Some of the test prep companies have their own videos on questions and explanations of LSAT logic games.
- Watch this video on strategies to help you diagram LSAT logic games.
- You can find strategies from people who have taken the LSAT before.
Free LSAT Flashcards
As I previously mentioned, Quizlet is the premier site for free LSAT flashcards. Among many other sets, you can find the following:
- This set lists important concepts of the LSAT.
- This set is helpful for drawing diagrams and notations for the logic games section.
- This set of 25 cards was created by Kaplan Test Prep.
- This set provides strategies for the logical reasoning questions.
- This set provides a number of indicators to help you answer questions correctly.
Aside from these, several companies offer free flashcards to accompany their full review courses:
- Varsity Tutors offers thousands of flashcards that you can complete during your free time, which are broken down into the three major sections of the test.
- Study Shack offers basic LSAT concept flashcards with an easy “know” or “don’t know” classification to make your studying easier.
- Magoosh also offers flashcards that cover 190 LSAT concepts. You can practice online or download an app for Android or iPhone.
LSAT Writing Sample Examples and Tips
While the LSAT writing sample was previously an optional part of the exam, it is now required. Ultimately, it may be important enough to help you get accepted over another student with similar scores but with no writing sample.
This 35-minute portion of the exam is no longer administered at the end of the test (when all the takers are exhausted) like it used to be. Now, you can take the LSAT writing sample up to 8 days before your LSAT test day.
Also, while you may already have a writing sample submitted to your top schools of choice, some law school admissions offices say that they consider this writing sample instead. Unlike other writing samples you might show them, the LSAT’s is completed under timed conditions that more closely resemble the type of writing you’ll need to do throughout law school.
Fortunately, you can find some free writing samples online:
- As usual, you’ll want to start out with free resources from LSAC. They provide writing samples and an answer key so you can see if you succeeded in issue spotting.
- Magoosh publishes this helpful step-by-step example LSAT writing sample.
- West.net provides this writing sample as an exemplary example.
Free LSAT Study Guides
You can also find full-length study guides or brief cheat sheets for free online, such as:
- This LSAT study guide in PDF format that introduces you to the LSAT and Magoosh’s study system.
- Union Test Prep publishes study guides for each of the major sections and the writing sample portion of the test.
- AlphaScore’s LSAT study guide operates as a checklist of the major concepts you will need to understand to perform well on the LSAT.
- Kaplan’s LSAT study guide is geared to help you study for the LSAT with limited time and offers valuable test-taking tips.
Free Online LSAT Prep Courses
In addition to all of the other amazing resources for the LSAT that you can find online for free, some sites offer free LSAT prep courses.
- You can find a free course on YouTube here:
- One of these LSAT prep courses is offered by LSAT Center; it includes over 300 pages of valuable study materials and sample LSAT questions.
One free LSAT prep course you should not ignore is Khan Academy’s Official LSAT Prep. Khan Academy is a noted non-profit educational organization that supplements K-12 lessons through short videos and analytical tools. It is often used by public schools and libraries. The Official LSAT Prep was made in collaboration with LSAC and offers a free diagnostic test, general test information, a series of LSAT practice tests, articles and video lessons on how to approach the major sections on the LSAT, explanations of test answers, and a helpful logic toolbox, making this one of the best LSAT prep courses available.
Other Free LSAT Resources
There are several other free LSAT resources across the web that don’t fall into the categories listed above. For example:
Blueprint offers a free LSAT toolkit that lets you predict your chances of being accepted to the law schools of your choice. This can help you save money by not wasting application fees for schools that are a long shot. They also provide video explanations of their free LSAT practice test and offer periodic free webinars.
Actually, a number of the big prep companies offer free trials for their prep courses or other LSAT study materials:
- Alphascore offers a free trial of their Logic Games prep course.
- The Princeton Review has an entire section of their site dedicated to free practice tests and LSAT events.
- Kaplan offers free consultations with their staff of exam experts. Take advantage of this if you need some extra guidance when planning for the LSAT.
Remember: you can take advantage of these free materials by working through them quickly. Just be sure to cancel before the free trial period expires if you don’t want to be charged!
You can also look for other free LSAT resources, such as:
- Free LSAT study schedules
- Test prep books at your local library
- Study aides used by someone who recently went to law school
- Software programs or collaborations offered through your local high school or public library
- Free sample prep courses offered through your pre-law program or a local law school
Benefits of Using Free LSAT Resources
What are the benefits of using free LSAT study materials online?
Besides the obvious answer (it’s free!), there are several other benefits of using free LSAT resources.
For example, tapping into free resources can get you acquainted with the test structure. After you complete so many sample LSAT questions, they will become increasingly familiar with you. Consequently, you’ll be able to recognize patterns and develop strategies on how to approach certain questions.
Additionally, LSAC often recycles test questions. This means some of your free practice questions might actually show up word for word on the full exam.
Finally, if you are interested in using a full LSAT course, working through the free materials from different companies can help you identify which one you like best before investing in a paid course.
Some Other Resources to Check Out
Not all resources are free, but you may still want to consider these. Consider it a way to increase the odds of you achieving a higher score. Some options include:
Premium LSAT Prep Courses
While free resources are great, you may still want to consider supplementing these resources with a prep course that you actually pay for. While the average price of these courses is $1,500, there are several available for much less— and others available for more that come with extra bells and whistles.
You might be shocked by the sticker price of some of these prep courses, but it ultimately comes down to making an investment in your future. If a few points on the test help you to get into a better school or to secure a scholarship, the price is worth it!
So what kind of prep course do you look for? There is no shortage of prep courses for studying for the LSAT, but some of the best options include:
- The Princeton Review
- 7Sage LSAT
- Manhattan Prep
These prep courses come in a variety of packages and options: some are fully online, on demand, or in person. They offer tremendous benefits, including:
- Diagnostic tools: Most of the LSAT prep courses are set up to give you a practice test that assesses your current standing. From there, advanced analytics and diagnostics help to determine areas of weakness. Hence, you can save time by focusing your efforts on areas that will have a bigger impact on your final score and be able to study more efficiently.
- Study schedules: These LSAT prep courses offer study schedules that are tailored around how much time you have to devote to studying for the LSAT. These schedules can be a real game changer by giving you focus and a plan on how to tackle your studying.
- Adaptable: Many of the online LSAT prep courses use innovative technology that adapts the lessons and questions based on your progress, providing a more personalized approach.
- Real time results: You can track your progress at any stage in your LSAT study. This provides tangible proof of your exam readiness and ensures you waste as little time as possible.
- Comparable to the real test: Since the LSAT is now being completed over a computer, studying under simulated conditions will help you better prepare for test day.
With an average LSAT score of 151 (according to LSAC), students should take advantage of all available study resources when preparing. Just raising your score a few points above this can help you differentiate yourself from other law school applicants.
While there are plenty of good and free LSAT preparation materials out there, you may be better off using those materials to supplement your comprehensive LSAT prep course. If you feel you need more help than these free LSAT resources provide, check out our reviews of the best LSAT prep courses:
Some of the LSAT prep companies offer private tutoring— Varsity Tutors is one fantastic choice. Alternatively, you can look for a local or online private tutor. The benefit of this is that you can focus your time, money, and attention on the areas that will have the most impact on you. Also, the approach is completely individualized.
DIY Study Materials
You may also want to invest in some good DIY LSAT study materials, like PowerScore’s LSAT Bible Trilogy. You may also want to invest in a series of official LSAT exams like this. You can check local bookstores, eBay, Amazon, Craigslist or other online locations for some used materials to save some money.
How to Study for the LSAT
The LSAT is a rigorous test. Next to the bar exam, it may be the most important test you take during your lifetime. Here is a quick step-by-step plan to help you tackle the LSAT.
1. Familiarize Yourself with the Test
You should have a working knowledge of the basic sections and types of abilities you will need to demonstrate during the LSAT. Reminder: There’s a brief primer at the top of this article that acquaints you with this information. Read the instructions to each section well before the test date.
2. Create a Study Schedule
Look at the amount of time that you have to study for the LSAT and how many hours a day you think you can devote to this task. Create a study schedule based on this information. You can also use some of the commercially prepared or free LSAT study schedules discussed above.
3. Practice sample questions
By the time you are finished studying for the LSAT, you should have completed thousands of sample questions, almost to the point of being able to write your own. You should work on all sections and question types and be able to recognize them easily. You can spend extra time on the sections and question types that are more difficult for you.
4. Take Practice Tests
You need to be able to monitor your progress as you go along, as well as put yourself in shape for the big test day. Taking practice tests is the best way to accomplish these objectives. Schedule at least one practice test each week. Try to complete the test under simulated test conditions. This will help you get familiar with the procedure and better prepare you for test day.
5. Review Explanations
It is not enough just to know that you were right or wrong, you need to know why you were right or wrong. Look over the questions you got wrong and read the explanations. As you go through the practice tests, mark the questions you struggle with. Even if you ultimately got the question right, try to find out what the rationale was. Understanding why you got questions right or wrong will help you better approach similar questions in the future, a key component of your LSAT preparation.
6. Find an LSAT Prep Course
There are several very good LSAT prep courses that will provide you with all of the materials that you need, including study schedules, diagnostic tests, sample questions, video explanations, and more.
7. Be Consistent
Studying for the LSAT is largely a marathon. You will get up, take sample questions, take sample tests, read explanations, and repeat. As long as you spend enough time working this routine, you will become familiar with the test and improve your analytical and reasoning skills, which ultimately results in a higher score.
8. Take Care of Yourself
Studying for the LSAT is a rigorous undertaking. It takes several hours every day, days on end. Meanwhile, you are probably still in college and trying to keep up with your other obligations or working a summer job. Try to take care of your essential needs, like eating a balanced diet, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep, especially in the days leading up to the test.
Whether you are frugal with your LSAT preparation and do it all yourself (with the help of some of the great free resources above) or you use these free resources to supplement your commercial preparation course, the resources identified above are truly invaluable.
Take full advantage of them and use them to maximize your score.