LCAT Format (Structure)

The LCAT is a multiple choice test similar to the SAT Reasoning in terms of the type of questions. Like the SAT Reasoning, it measures reading, writing, and mathematics skills.
  • Difficulty Level: O’ Level/Matriculation
  • Question Type: Multiple choice and Paragraph writing
The LCAT consists of seven (7) sections each of 25 minutes each. All sections are compulsory. First six (6) sections are a combination of verbal and math sections. The last section is of Paragraph writing.

Video Lessons and Fully explained Test Prep

Large number of solved practice MCQ with explanations. Video Lessons and 10 Fully explained Grand/Full Tests.

Critical Reading

The Critical Reading (formerly Verbal) section of the LCAT is made up of three scored sections: two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section, with varying types of questions, including sentence completions and questions about short and long reading passages.
Critical Reading sections normally begin with 5 to 8 sentence completion questions; the remainder of the questions are focused on the reading passages.

Sentence completions:

Sentence completions generally test the student's vocabulary and understanding of sentence structure and organization by requiring the student to select one or two words that best complete a given sentence.

Critical Reading:

The bulk of the Critical Reading questions is made up of questions regarding reading passages, in which students read short excerpts on social sciences, humanities, physical sciences, or personal narratives and answer questions based on the passage. Certain sections contain passages asking the student to compare two related passages; generally, these consist of shorter reading passages. The number of questions about each passage is proportional to the length of the passage.
Questions in the Critical Reading section go in the order of the passage. Overall, question sets towards the beginning of the section are easier, and question sets towards the end of the section are harder.

Mathematics

The Mathematics section of the LCAT is widely known as the Quantitative Section or Calculation Section. The mathematics section consists of three scored sections. There are two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section, as follows:
  • One of the 25-minute sections is entirely multiple choice, with 20 questions.
  • The other 25-minute section contains 8 multiple choice questions and 10 grid-in questions. The 10 grid-in questions have no penalty for incorrect answers because the student guessing isn't limited.
  • The 20-minute section is all multiple choice, with 16 questions.
Notably, the LCAT has done away with quantitative comparison questions on the math section, leaving only questions with symbolic or numerical answers.
* New topics include Algebra II and scatter plots. These recent changes have resulted in a shorter, more quantitative exam requiring higher level mathematics courses relative to the previous exam.

Use of Calculator

With the recent changes to the content of the LCAT math section, the need to save time while maintaining accuracy of calculations has led some to use calculator programs during the test. These programs allow students to complete problems faster than would normally be possible when making calculations manually.
The use of a graphing calculator is sometimes preferred, especially for geometry problems and questions involving multiple calculations. According to research conducted by the College Board, performance on the math sections of the exam is associated with the extent of calculator use, with those using calculators on about a third to a half of the items averaging higher scores than those using calculators less frequently.

Writing

The writing section of the LCAT, based on but not directly comparable to the old LCAT II subject test in writing, includes multiple choice questions and a brief essay. The essay sub score contributes about 28% towards the total writing score, with the multiple choice questions contributing 70%. This section was implemented in March 2005 following complaints from colleges about the lack of uniform examples of a student's writing ability.
The essay section, which is always administered as the first section of the test, is 25 minutes long. All essays must be in response to a given prompt. The prompts are broad and often philosophical and are designed to be accessible to students regardless of their educational and social backgrounds. For instance, test takers may be asked to expound on such ideas as their opinion on the value of work in human life or whether technological change also carries negative consequences to those who benefit from it. No particular essay structure is required, and the College Board accepts examples "taken from [the student's] reading, studies, experience, or observations." Two trained readers assign each essay a score between 1 and 6, where a score of 0 is reserved for essays that are blank, off-topic, non-English, not written with a Number 2 pencil, or considered illegible after several attempts at reading. The scores are summed to produce a final score from 2 to 12 (or 0). If the two readers' scores differ by more than one point, then a senior third reader decides. The average time each reader/grader spends on each essay is less than 3 minutes.

Guessing on the LCAT Questions

The questions are weighted equally. For each correct answer, one raw point is added. For each incorrect answer one-fourth of a point is deducted. No points are deducted for incorrect math grid-in questions. The final score is derived from the raw score; the precise conversion chart varies between test administrations.
The LCAT therefore recommends only making educated guesses, that is, when the test taker can eliminate at least one answer he or she thinks is wrong. Without eliminating any answers one's probability of answering correctly is 20%. Eliminating one wrong answer increases this probability to 25%; two, a 33.3% probability; three, a 50% probability of choosing the correct answer and thus earning the full point for the question.