Test Prep 101: What You Need to Know About the Digital LSAT
This past October, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) announced the launch of computer-based testing for the North America administrations Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Beginning in July of 2019, the LSAT will be a hybrid of paper and computer-based testing, utilizing a tablet, and will transition to a full digital examination in September. For students looking to complete their LSAT examinations via paper and pencil, the June 2019 test date will be your last guaranteed opportunity to take the examination on paper.
The transition to computer-based testing has become increasingly popular over the last several years with the GRE, GMAT, ACT and now LSAT transitioning over. While the ACT has only transitioned international students to the computer-based examination, it will be following with a nation-wide rollout. The LSAC has taken a slow and steady approach to the switch, announcing the transition in fall of 2018 and not enacting it until the July 2019 test date.
What to Expect
Starting with the July examination, some testing centers will be distributing the pencil-and-paper exams, while others will be rolling out the digital test. The digital test will we taken on tablets, rather than on a desktop computer or laptop. Although content will be the same on either exam, there will be slight differences to the formatting. Unfortunately, there is no way for a student to know in advance what type of exam your registered test center will be using (unless you qualify for some accommodations.) However, the LSAT did release a statement on their website stating that July test takers will have the opportunity to see their score before deciding whether they wish to cancel. Those students who decide to cancel their score can retake the test one more time (up to April 2020) free of charge.
While you will not need to take a digital copy of the exam for the June 2019 sitting, there will be a change implemented for the LSAT Writing section. The writing sample section of the LSAT will be computer-based for all candidates starting in June. Test-takers will complete the writing sample separate from the regular test sitting on a desktop or laptop computer and will have up to 1 year from their test date to complete it. This will be the only section of the LSAT required to be taken on the digital format at that time.
How to Prepare
If you plan to sit for the July LSAT we recommend familiarizing yourself with the digital LSAT platform just in case your testing center uses it instead of the paper-based text. The LSAT has put out a free tool to become acquainted with the digital testing platform. In addition to the LSAT’s free tool, they have also partnered with Khan Academy to provide free digital content for students to access in order to prepare. For students preparing for either the computer-based or the paper examination, there is still the option of working out of the numerous books (paper and ebooks) available on the LSAC website. However, the ‘latest’ edition of test-prep materials available to students (prior to Khan Academy) was from 2015, so it may be advantageous for students prepping for the paper exam in June to review the newer materials available as well.
In order to assist students with transitioning to computer-based testing for the LSAT, the LSAC council has offered an additional three testing dates for the 2019-2020 testing year. See below for the testing schedule.
2019-2020 LSAT Test Dates
Monday, June 3rd, 2019
Monday, July 15th, 2019
Saturday, September 21st, 2019
Monday, October 28th, 2019
Monday, November 25th, 2019
Monday, January 13th, 2020
Saturday, February 22nd, 2020
Monday, March 30th, 2020
Saturday, April 25th, 2020
With the upcoming changes to the LSAT, it’s important to note when the changes will take place and how to prepare. At IvyWise, we’re always abreast of the latest trends and changes in testing, and our team of expert tutors is prepared to help you navigate this latest development. If you need help preparing for the LSAT, contact us today.