A Compendium of LSAT and LSAC-Sponsored Item Types 1948-1994 (RR-94-01)
Lynda M. Reese and Ruth Anne Cotter

Executive Summary

This report provides an overview of the makeup of the LSAT since it was first administered in February of 1948 through to the present. Various item types have been included, disregarded, changed, added, and reevaluated during this time period. Half-day tests have made way for full-day tests, only to return to the current half-day test administration.

Throughout this evolutionary process, the goal of the LSAT has been a consistent one. It is to give law schools an objective means of assessing a candidate’s ability to succeed in the law curriculum.
Some item types have made consistent appearances on the LSAT; others have been removed because of poor validity; some were too difficult to score; others were pretested but never adopted for operational use. A detailed description of these items is included here, as well as the influence each has had on the current LSAT.

In this report, each item types is described, its purpose explained, and the timing and length of the test is given. For example, emphasis has been directed consistently throughout the history of the LSAT on analytical reasoning, word recognition, and reading comprehension. These sections are detailed and their importance to the overall goal of law candidate evaluation are explained.

Finally, a time line shows the year by year development of the LSAT from its inception to the present. This comprehensive report of item types provides an understanding of the current LSAT and its relation to the law schools for which it was developed.

A Compendium of LSAT and LSAC-Sponsored Item Types 1948-1994 (RR-94-01)

Research Report Index