The Law School Admission Council announced in early October that it is going digital. Starting in July 2019, the Law School Admission Test will be administered on a tablet with its own program developed and patented by the LSAC. The digital version offers stronger security with an aim to provide a better experience for the test taker.
LSAC Announces Additional Test Dates
The goal of the change is to modernize law school admissions as well as make it easier for students to go through the law school admissions process. Along with the new format, the LSAC also announced the expansion of test dates from six to nine testing dates.
For the July testing, some test-takers will still use a pencil and paper. The LSAC will decide who takes the digital version and who remains with the old paper and pencil version. Beginning with the September 2019 test, the LSAT will be full on digital.
In a stroke of luck, those taking the test in July will have the option to cancel their LSAT scores if the scores don’t match up to expectations, regardless of the format. This option is the one and only time that it will be offered as it is an effort to make the transition a little less anxiety prone, notwithstanding that many exams are now digitally administered, such as the GRE. Those who cancel their tests can retake the test through April 2020 with no additional fee.
“The structure of the test sections and test questions will not be any different than the paper-and-pencil LSAT, and we’ll be providing free online tutorials, so we don’t think test takers will have any problems moving to the digital version,” said Kellye Testy, President and CEO of LSAC “In our field tests, candidates found the Digital LSAT easy to use. That said, we wanted to provide additional options for those who register for our July transitional test.”
LSAC’s New Technology
The LSAC tablet is sharp. Not only does it have a built-in screen reader, but the user can change the fonts and adapt other features that make the tablet easy to use for those with disabilities. The new format will also allow faster score reporting to schools.
Aside from the tablet, students will now be given scrap paper for diagramming. It wasn’t allowed with the old format.
Kaplan Test Prep is on board. “While change is not always easy, digital testing should allow for a more consistent test-taking experience for students and should allow scores to be in students’ hands faster, which are both positive developments,” said Jeff Thomas, executive director of pre-law programs. He continued, “Kaplan Test Prep will, of course, provide ample digital LSAT preparation tools and practice opportunities for those who do end up sitting for a digital LSAT administration.”
Some seem to suspect that the LSAC developed the new format to remain in competition with the Graduate Record Exam, which has been digitally administered for some time. Some schools have even begun to accept GRE results in lieu of LSAT scores. However, the LSAC has been testing its digital version before the acceptance of GRE results began.
“For 99% of law school candidates, their enrollment journey begins with the LSAT,” said Testy. “Our goal is to make it easy and convenient for candidates to pursue their passion for law and justice.”
There’s no denying that this is a big step for LSAC but it’s also just the beginning for the prospective law student. From tackling the LSAT to completing the law school applications, prospective law students have their hands full.