The Law School Admission Test (LSAT), administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), is an independent, international test, designed to measure aptitude for graduate legal study. It focuses on reading and verbal reasoning skills, and no knowledge of law is required.
Things to know:
- General entry applicants to the Melbourne JD (Juris Doctor) need to sit the LSAT.
- You can sit the LSAT multiple times and we will use your highest LSAT score when assessing your application.
- We advise applicants to aim for a score in the top 25 percentile.
There are strict registration deadlines and fixed test dates. The LSAT can be taken in any Australian capital city and in many countries around the world. LSAT scores are valid for five years.
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to sit the LSAT?
All applicants are required to sit the LSAT when applying for the Melbourne JD. Only University of Melbourne Guaranteed Entry applicants are exempted from sitting the LSAT.
What score do I need?
As a strong performance in the LSAT can compensate for weaker tertiary results and vice versa, we cannot predict what LSAT score will be needed in order to successfully apply for the Melbourne JD.
An LSAT score in the top 25th percentile is considered a strong result, however, we certainly accept students with a lower LSAT score if they have performed well in prior tertiary studies. A high LSAT score alone does not guarantee admittance to the Melbourne JD, as an applicant’s academic results are also relevant.
What's the format? Is it an online test?
The LSAT comprises five 35-minute multiple choice sections and a writing sample. All tests sat outside of North America are still paper based (excluding the LSAT Writing sample).
The multiple-choice sections assess: reading comprehension, analytical reasoning and logical reasoning. More details about these areas can be found on the LSAC website.
Your writing sample assessment does not influence your LSAT score, although it does form part of your application.
Upon completion of the multiple-choice sections, you will be given access to online software and can complete the 35-minute writing sample at a time and place of your choosing. This change was implemented by LSAC to shorten the test day and give test takers more flexibility.
Please note that your LSAT results will only be released to us once you have completed at least one writing sample. It is recommended that you complete the LSAT writing sample within two weeks of sitting the test.
More details about LSAT Writing can found on the LSAC website.
How should I prepare?
The LSAC website includes information on LSAT preparation materials and provides links to sample questions, explanations and some sample LSAT tests. MLS encourages applicants to download the sample LSAT tests from the LSAC website and sit it under exam conditions. Please remember that your LSAT score is only one of two criteria considered in assessing your application.
Many local bookshops also stock LSAT preparation books. A variety of study materials can be ordered online, with some booksellers offering next day delivery within Australia (which is likely to be quicker than if you order through LSAC). These books contain a wide range of beneficial information, including:
- Detailed explanations of the LSAT and how it is scored
- Tips and strategies to practice specific LSAT sections (e.g. logic reasoning, logic games, reading comprehension and writing sample)
- Guides for the week of the test, including what to expect on the day and after the test
LSAC have partnered with Khan Academy to offer free online diagnostic tests and personalised study plans to help you prepare for the LSAT. Diagnostic tests can help identify your strengths and weaknesses, and clarify which questions require more focus when preparing for the LSAT.
There is also plenty of online material providing tips and assistance with LSAT preparation. However, please note that some of these websites are independent from MLS and we cannot confirm their reliability.
When do I sit the LSAT?
We encourage you to consider sitting the LSAT towards the end of the second year of your undergraduate degree. This allows enough time to sit the test again if you wish to improve your score. Remember that your LSAT score is only one of two criteria considered in assessing your application so it's important to focus on your undergraduate studies too.
There are four LSAT sittings offered each year. The LSAT held in October is the last test applicants can sit to be considered for admission to the Melbourne JD the following year. Registration closes approximately ten weeks before the date of the test.
For further information, visit the LSAC website.
Where can I sit the LSAT?
The LSAT can be taken in any Australian capital city and in many countries around the world. Please visit the LSAC website for full list of test centres.
If you are unable to travel to a listed test centre, and you are located over 160 kilometres (100 miles) from an open, published centre, you may request that LSAC establish a nonpublished test centre.
No matter where you sit the LSAT, your score is valid to apply for the Melbourne JD.
How do I register?
You must register for the LSAT online at the LSAC website.
Can I resit the LSAT?
Yes. LSAT scores are valid for five years and we will use your highest LSAT score when assessing your application. Test takers are permitted to take the LSAT three times in a single testing year (the testing year goes from June 1 to May 31).
What if I've already sat the LSAT?
If you have taken the test within five years of the JD application deadline, you may choose to use those results or you can sit the LSAT again to try and improve your score. We will use your highest LSAT score when assessing your application.
Applicants who already have a writing sample from a previous LSAT are exempt from LSAT Writing. If you wish to provide a new writing sample, you can opt to do this for a fee.
How do I submit my LSAT results?
You must include your eight-digit LSAC account number in your Melbourne JD application after you have registered for or sat the LSAT. This allows us to download your LSAT scores directly from LSAC after results are released.
I’ve applied for the JD but got a higher LSAT score. What do I do?
If you have sat the LSAT again and your score is higher than the previous score you submitted for your Melbourne JD application, you will need to update your application to have it reassessed. Information on updating your application is provided in your offer letter
Will the selection committee read my LSAT essay?
Yes. The writing sample is not scored, but copies are sent to us with your LSAT score report. The writing sample is your the opportunity to show the selection committee how you write an essay under exam conditions.