Tag Archive: LSAT writing sample

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What Law Schools Look For in Your LSAT Writing Sample

Ah, the LSAT writing sample. You will never find a more wretched collection of half-formed arguments and poor writing. You should be careful.

Or not.

Because, in all honesty, it doesn’t matter very much.

The writing sample on the LSAT always evokes a feeling of dread from first-time LSAT test-takers. You’ve sat in a room for over three hours, nerves shot and caffeine headache pounding, with dozens of other students, many of whom haven’t showered in the past few days in order to maximize their study time. The last thing anyone wants to do is write an essay.

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So What’s the Deal With the LSAT Writing Sample?

The LSAT has six sections. The last of those sections is often ignored, but since you’ll have to deal with it on test day, we’re going to talk about it today.

The writing sample always comes at the end of the LSAT, after all five multiple-choice sections. The proctors will collect your test booklets and answer sheets, then pass out the writing sample topic and the sheet on which you’ll write your essay. You’ll have 35 minutes to plan your essay and write.

The writing sample isn’t scored, but law schools will see it. It isn’t likely that your writing sample will play a big role in whether you get in, as long as you follow directions. It would look really bad if you were to blow off the writing sample entirely, or doodle pictures instead. Writing Twilight fan fiction probably isn’t the best idea either.

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Starting with the June LSAT, LSAC to Score Writing Samples

We’ve heard rumblings about a potential change regarding the LSAT writing sample section for quite some time, and today LSAC announced that beginning with the June LSAT the writing samples will now be scored.

The structure of the exam remains the same. The writing sample will appear as the final section and just as before, examinees will be presented with a decision prompt and provided two criteria for making a decision. However, the essays will now be scored from 1-5. LSAC stated on its website that scoring for the section will be based on factors including but not limited to, “argument structure, clarity, persuasiveness, grammar and punctuation.” Spelling was not listed, but some have already hinted that misspelled words could lower one’s score under the clarity and/or grammar criterion.

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The SAT is Changing — Should the LSAT be Next?

make the essay optional, and it will stop pretending like knowing all those ancient English words actually matters.

Should the LSAT change as well? Definitely.

Why The LSAT Is Good As Is

As it is, the LSAT ain’t too shabby.

First, a down-and-dirty statistics lesson. Correlation is given as a value from -1 to 1. The farther you get from 0, in either direction, the stronger the correlation. A positive value means that as one variable goes up, so does the other. Or, as one variable goes down, the other does the same.

The correlation between an applicant’s LSAT score and their first-year law school grades ranges from .12 to .56, depending on the law school.

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Excerpts of Greatness: The October 2010 LSAT Writing Sample

The Los Angeles Clippers. Red-headed step children. The LSAT writing sample. Certain things in life have a reputation of being less important than their peers, yet their very existence provides amusement to us all. This is an interesting dichotomy, no doubt, and I was reminded of it last weekend when going over my October 2010 LSAT results. The fall LSAT is always disclosed, which means that the LSAC gives you everything back. You can be your own Monday morning quarterback, looking over a couple of careless mistakes on logic games, or you can break the test into sections and see what you need to improve on. You can even look at your Scantron answer sheet, admiring your ability to pencil clearly and forcibly within the bubbles (good job!).