About the LSAT
As part of the application process for the Melbourne JD, applicants need to register for, and sit, the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
The LSAT is an independent, international test administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), which sends results directly to Melbourne Law School.
It can be taken in any Australian capital city and in many countries around the world. Applicants should consult the LSAC website to confirm all registration and test date information as dates may vary depending on the centre location. Applicants who have taken the test within the last five years may use those results for admission purposes.
Melbourne Law School also runs information sessions about the LSAT.
Online videos about the LSAT are also available in the right-hand column of this webpage.
Do I have to sit the LSAT?
All applicants for the Melbourne JD have to sit the LSAT prior to applying. Only University of Melbourne Guaranteed Entry applicants are exempted from sitting the LSAT.
What can I expect?
The LSAT comprises five multiple choice sections of 35 minutes each and a 35 minute writing sample. The writing sample does not go toward the calculation of your LSAT score, although we receive this sample and it forms part of your application.
The LSAT has three types of questions:
- Reading comprehension
- Analytical reasoning
- Logical reasoning
Go to About the LSAT on the LSAC website for a more detailed description of these three question types and what to expect in the LSAT. Information on how the questions in the LSAT are relevant in testing an applicant's aptitude to study law is also available. This document is an extract from The Official LSAT Handbook, a publication of the Law School Admissions Council.
How should I prepare?
We strongly recommend that in order to perform to your true ability, you take the time to prepare for the LSAT. The LSAC website includes information on LSAT Preparation Materials, providing links to sample questions with explanations and a couple of sample LSAT tests. Many bookshops also stock LSAT prep books which can be ordered online (some offer next day delivery within Australia) if not available in-store. We encourage you to download the sample LSAT test online and sit it under exam conditions to decide for yourself if further preparation is needed. Please remember that your LSAT score only forms part of your application, and is only one of the two criteria considered in assessing your application.
Where can I get more help to prepare?
LSAT preparation books are available in the Melbourne Law School Library and can be found by searching the University of Melbourne Library catalogue (Keyword: LSAT).
The Co-Op Bookshop SPP stocks The Official LSAT Handbook, in addition to other publications from the Law School Admission Council. Various practice tests are also available for purchase and the Co-Op Bookshop accepts online orders. Please contact the Co-Op Bookshop directly to place your order.
Many local bookshops also stock LSAT preparation books which can be ordered online. If in stock, some offer next day delivery within Australia (which is likely to be quicker than delivery if you order through LSAC). These books are very useful. Amongst other things, they offer:
- An explanation of the LSAT and how it is scored;
- Tips and strategies to practise specific skill types (e.g. logic reasoning, logic games, reading comprehension and writing sample);
- Some books even offer a preparation guide for the week of the test, what you can expect on the day and after the test;
- Some offer a diagnostic test to identify your strengths and weaknesses so you know what questions to focus on in your preparation for the LSAT.
There is also plenty of material available online that provides tips and assistance with LSAT preparation. However please note that some of these sites are independent sites and we cannot vouch for their reliability.
How do I know what score I need?
The point of preparing thoroughly for the LSAT is to maximise your performance on this selection criterion. Please bear in mind that it is not possible for the Law School to publish indicative scores or ranges of scores given that the LSAT is one of two selection criteria that are applied for entry to the Melbourne JD. The other criterion is the applicant’s previous academic results. The two criteria are assessed in a holistic way and no single criterion is determinative or given more weight than another.
Will the selection committee read my LSAT essay?
Yes. The LSAT essay is not scored, but copies of the writing sample are sent to Melbourne Law School along with your LSAT report. This writing sample is a good opportunity to show the selection committee how you write an essay under exam conditions.
When do I sit the LSAT?
The LSAT is administered four times a year, in February, June, October, and December. The October LSAT is the last LSAT sitting should you wish to be considered for CSP/Bursary or scholarship for the following year. Registration closes a month before the date of the test.
Applicants are encouraged to sit the LSAT as early as possible to allow time for resitting the test if required. In the past, the JD Selection Committee has seen applicants substantially improve their LSAT score in the second sitting. This has been the difference in previous years between being offered a CSP or Bursary place compared to an Australian Fee place. LSAT scores are valid for five years and the LSAT can be sat three times in two years. Melbourne Law School will use your highest LSAT when assessing your application.
Key Dates for Admission
There are strict registration deadlines and fixed test dates.
What if I’ve already sat the LSAT?
If you have already taken the test within the last five years of the application deadline, you may choose to use those results in your application for the Melbourne JD. You must still provide us with your LSAC registration number in your application.
Where can I sit the LSAT?
For full details of when these test centres administer the LSAT, and for the full list of LSAT test centres, go to the LSAC website.
What if my country/city does not have a registered test centre?
If it is impossible for you to travel to a published/listed test centre, and you are located over 100 miles from an open, published center, you may request that LSAC establish a non-published test centre.
More information on setting up a non-published test centre is available on the LSAC website. You can also contact LSAC at email@example.com and request a paper registration packet. Please copy the Melbourne JD office into this email (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can follow up your request and minimise any inconvenience to you.
What if I am unable to register for my chosen venue?
There may be more than one test centre for the Melbourne location, such as Rydges Hotel in Carlton, near the University of Melbourne. If you are unable to register for a Melbourne Test Centre please notify the Admissions Team immediately.
Can I resit the LSAT?
If you believe that your test score does not reflect your true ability, you can resit the LSAT. LSAT scores are valid for five years and the LSAT can be sat three times in two years. Please visit the LSAC website for further information.
If I resit the LSAT, which score does the selection committee take into consideration?
The selection committee will note all your scores but will use your highest score when considering your application. The selection committee will also take into account your LSAT essay as this gives an indication of your capacity to reason and write under examination conditions.
How does the Melbourne Law School retrieve my results?
You must include your 8 digit LSAC account number in your Melbourne JD application form once you have registered or sat the LSAT. This allows us to download your LSAT scores and essay directly from LSAC once results are released.
How do I register?
You must register for the LSAT online at the LSAC website.
What do I do if I have difficulties with LSAT registration?
Contact the Admissions Team immediately. We will be happy to assist in whatever way we can.
Step by step instructions on the LSAT registration process are also available.