LSAT Cost & Why the Test Is Worth the Investment
As if the unparalleled difficulty of the LSAT exam wasn’t enough to make it a daunting endeavor, the LSAT cost adds a further element of fear for prospective law school students.
If you’ve already purchased a Kaplan or other great LSAT prep books, then it’s time to start thinking about preparing financially for the exam itself.
Indeed, the LSAT is by no means a cheap exam, but in this guide we’ll go over everything you need to know about the costs involved in sitting the LSAT, the ways you can go about paying for it, and even answer some of the more frequently asked questions about the test’s fees.
But take heart! If you follow this guide, you’ll be able to prepare financially for this investment in your legal education and future career in law.
LSAT Cost Breakdown
When considering LSAT costs, it’s a good idea to study a breakdown of the fees involved in sitting the test. It’s probably not nearly as straightforward as you might think, since there are different packages available based on how many score reports you wish to purchase, among other factors.
In this guide, we’ll provide a comprehensive breakdown of all the fees and other costs associated with the LSAT exam, it’s different components, available packages, and score reporting options.
This material is pretty dry, but we hope you’ll find the information we’ve included helpful as you begin the first stages of your future career in the field of law.
Basic LSAT Fees and Packages
Let’s start by asking the most basic question that you came here to have answered: how much does it cost to take the LSAT?
In short, the cost to sit the LSAT exam (including the writing portion), with no associated packages, fees, score reports, or services is a flat $200 per test.
But that’s where the simplicity ends. Let’s take a look first at the other basic fees that you’ll encounter when registering for the LSAT.
Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
The company that produces and regulates the LSAT exam, LSAC, offers LSAT test-takers the option to utilize their Credit Assembly Service, known as CAS. This service is designed to make applying to law schools a much more streamlined process.
You simply submit your transcripts recommendation letters, and all other documentation required for you law school applications directly to LSAC.
Then, LSAC will simply send all of your documentation, along with your LSAT score report to the schools you have designated that you are applying to.
It’s definitely a great service for simplifying all the moving parts involved in applying to law schools, but it will cost you. The current fee for CAS is $195. Additional law school reports (the package of documents sent to schools through CAS) are $45 each.
LSAT & CAS Package Options
There are two further options you can choose from that combine the cost of the LSAT, CAS services, and a certain number of law school reports. Combining these components this way will save you some money compared to purchasing them a la carte.
- Package 1: Includes LSAT exam, CAS, and one law school report for a total of $430.
- Package 2: Includes LSAT exam, CAS, and six law school reports for a total of $650
Auxiliary LSAT Fees and Refunds
But the cost of LSAT goes even further than these basic fee structures. There is a host of auxiliary fees associated with the exam depending on a variety of circumstances. We’ll go over each one, the associated costs, and a brief explanation of what they mean.
- Test Center Change: If you find that you need to change the location where you will be taking the exam, you’ll have to fork over $125 to LSAC for the privilege.
- Test Date Change: Similarly, if you have to reschedule your exam for another time, you’ll be charged $125 as well.
- Unpublished Test Center: For those test-takers who live 100 miles away or farther from an established, “published” LSAT test center, LSAC will happily set up another testing location for you, for a fee, of course. The cost to sit the test at a domestic unpublished test center is $295, while the cost to do the same at an international location is $390. And please note, these costs are in addition to the standard LSAT testing fee.
- Handscoring: If you suspect there might be an issue with the scoring of your exam once you receive your score report, you can request that LSAC handscore your exam. This will cost you $100.
Of course, if you cancel your registration, you expect a refund. And with the LSAT, you can certainly get one, just don’t expect much. They keep a large portion of your initial payment for “processing costs.”
If you request a refund for either the LSAT or CAS services, you’ll only get a refund of $50 each. Ouch!
Forms of Payments
Now that we’ve answered the question “how much does the LSAT cost?” it’s probably a good idea to look at the forms of payments you can use when paying for your test and other associated fees.
You must register for the LSAT either online or by phone. In both cases, you can pay your fees with the following types of credit or debit cards: MasterCard, American Express, VISA, or DISCOVER.
Given the high cost to take LSAT, it’s reasonable to expect that some prospective law students will be unable to pay. For such students, LSAC offers a fee waiver to cover the costs of both the LSAT exam as well as the CAS.
There are very specific eligibility requirements for fee waivers, so check out the details on the LSAC site.
LSAT Fee FAQs
Finally, let’s get some answers tom some of the most commonly asked questions about LSAT fees,
- How much does it cost to retake the LSAT? $200. Just like the initial test. This will not include the writing portion of the exam. You must retake the writing and multiple choice sections of the exam separately, each for their own fee.
- How much does it cost to retake just the writing portion of the LSAT? $15
- How much does it cost to retake just the multiple choice portion of the LSAT? $200.
Finally, you need to know how many times you can take the SAT so that you can plan the exam costs overall.