What’s changing on the Digital LSAT?

The Law School Admissions Council recently announced that the LSAT is changing from a paper-and-pencil test to a digital, tablet-based test. The easier-to-administer Digital LSAT™ will be offered more frequently, and test-takers will receive their LSAT scores more quickly. LSAC research indicates that most LSAT test-takers are regular users of mobile devices and are familiar with reading and interacting with these devices so they’ve made the test interface to function similarly to mobile apps. The Digital LSAT™ will be offered on Microsoft Surface tablets.

LSAT digital pilot

The writing sample will no longer be taken on the day of the test. Instead students will be able to log in to the LSAC website and complete the writing sample for up to a year after their test date.

The June 2019 LSAT administration will be the final paper-and-pencil test. July 2019 LSAT test takers will receive either a paper-and-pencil test or a tablet exam and will not know which test they’ll receive until test day. The LSAT will move to all digital testing starting with the September 2019 test administration.

Here are 5 things you need to know about the new format:

  • You will have control over font size, line spacing, and brightness.
  • You’ll have a section timer that you can opt to see or hide until there are 5 minutes remaining—after that, you’ll get a pop-up 5-minute warning, and the timer will appear until the end of the section.
  • For multiple-choice questions, you’ll be able to mark questions for review, rule out answers, collapse or expand answers, or change your selection.
  • You’ll be able to highlight or underline text in passages.
  • You can try out the new digital format by visiting https://familiar.lsac.org.

What’s not changing on the LSAT Digital Test?

The Digital LSAT™ will contain the same number and types of questions that have been on the LSAT for over a decade, and testers will be have the same amount of time to answer each question. Test-takers will continue to see approximately 100 scored Games, Arguments, and Reading Comprehension questions. Sound logic and strong reading skills will be vital to achieve a strong LSAT score.

What does this mean for you?

While the changes to the test appear to be fairly superficial, our experience with other digital tests shows us that people will do best on a test they know and have had lots of practice taking. If you are applying to law school in the next two years, we recommend you study for and take the paper-and-pencil LSAT before it changes. With over 80 real LSAT practice tests and proven LSAT strategies, our Ultimate LSAT course will prepare you for success. If you are planning to attend law school at some point in the future beyond two years, it is probably best to wait until the digital LSAT, but rest assured that The Princeton Review will have your back when it is time to prepare. Our online content is already mobile friendly and we’ve been researching the changes to the LSAT for over a year. Our July 2019 LSAT courses will prepare students for both the paper-and-pencil and digital versions of the LSAT, and we’ll have courses to prepare students for the digital LSAT starting in June 2019. Until then, focus on your academic profile so you’re law school applications are as strong as possible.

The July 2019 LSAT Test

You might be asking yourself why anyone would take the July test if they don’t know which test they’ll get before test day. While that’s certainly a risk, we will prepare students to take both versions of the test, and LSAC has offered July 2019 test takers special incentives. Regardless of which test you take, you’ll be able to view your scores and still have the option to cancel. If you cancel, you’ll be able to retake the Digital LSAT until April 2020 without paying any additional fees!

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