IS THE LSAT ONLINE

Is the LSAT Online? What You Need to Know

Introduction

Is the LSAT online? In the summer of 2020, the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) transitioned from an in-person format to a remotely proctored, online version to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. This allowed test takers the convenience of taking the exam from the comfort of their own homes. However, some desired a return to in-person testing due to concerns over technical issues, distractions, and other challenges associated with remote testing.

This article will tackle the digital LSAT, how to take the LSAT online, and as in-person testing returns, it’s important to understand how it will differ from pre-pandemic exam administrations.

A poster with the letters and acronym for LSAT.

Understanding the LSAT

What is the LSAT? The Law School Admission Test is a standardized exam needed for admission to all law schools accredited by the American Bar Association. The LSAC creates and administers the exam. Its goal is to measure essential abilities required for law school, including reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning.

The current format of the LSAT contains four scored multiple-choice LSAT sections:

  • One reading comprehension section with four passages and about 5 to 8 questions per passage assesses the test taker’s ability to understand complex texts.
  • One analytical reasoning section with about 22-24 questions testing the ability to understand and evaluate arguments and draw conclusions from facts.
  • Two logical reasoning sections with about 24-26 questions each evaluating the skills to analyze, critically assess, and complete arguments.

There is also an unscored experimental section, which may be reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, or logical reasoning. The LSAT takes around 3.5 hours to complete. 

A Brief History of the LSAT: From Papers to Digital

Is the LSAT online even before the pandemic? Yes. In October 2018, the Law School Admissions Council announced a substantial change to the Law School Admission Test. For the first time in over 25 years, the LSAT would be administered digitally rather than on paper. The inaugural digital administration occurred in June 2019, initiating a series of further modifications to the LSAT’s testing format.

The Start of LSAT Flex

Initially, the digital LSAT retained the same structure and types of sections previously utilized in the paper-and-pencil format. Candidates took the test on a tablet device at specified testing locations, such as college campuses or conference centers, under the supervision of in-person proctors. However, the landscape changed dramatically with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-2020, raising the question: can you take the LSAT online? 

The LSAC promptly responded by suspending the use of tablets and testing centers. As a workaround, the LSAC introduced a take-at-home version known as the “LSAT Flex.” With this alteration, taking the LSAT online became a viable option. In the LSAT Flex, candidates were proctored remotely and required to complete one section each of Logical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Logic Games, with no breaks between the sections.

The LSAT online format, offered through the LSAT Flex, proved to be practical and secure and garnered considerable approval from test-takers. Accordingly, even after pandemic restrictions were eased, the LSAC opted to retain this online format. 

Changes to the LSAT Online Format

In late 2021, a further modification was introduced: the reinstatement of an experimental section. This additional section allows the LSAC to test new questions for future administrations and appears indistinguishable from the three scored sections—Logical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, or Logic Games. A 10-minute break is now offered between the second and third sections during the test to accommodate this section.

The LSAT has evolved significantly, from its initial paper-and-pencil days to the current option of taking the LSAT online. These changes underline the LSAC’s dedication to adapting to the needs of test-takers and law schools, ensuring the LSAT remains a pertinent and effective instrument for assessing the aptitude of prospective law students. 

If you have a disability or special needs, applying for LSAT accommodations such as extended time or assistive technology well before your chosen LSAT test date is crucial. To avoid additional fees and ensure that your required accommodations are in place, it’s advisable to register early for the exam.

Where Can You Take the LSAT?

Before, you’d find yourself taking the test in makeshift locations like classrooms. The LSAT is now managed by Prometric, which handles the online LSAT. They’ve got specialized test centers worldwide, covering every state in the U.S. and even Washington, D.C. These places are made just for testing, so you even get a locker for stuff you can’t take into the exam room.

As for the test itself, whether you’re seated in a Prometric center or at home, you’ll use the same LawHub platform. It’s got handy tools like a timer and a digital highlighter. You’ll get pencils and paper for multiple-choice questions but not for the writing part.

For those testing outside the United States, the LSAT can be taken on the same days as everyone else, adjusted for local time. It is still only available four times a year internationally and nine times a year in the United States. Use resources like the LSAT study guide and LSAT Practice Test to prepare for both in-person and online formats of the test.

A student reading on his laptop

Test Day Rules, Regulations, and Requirements for the LSAT

If you plan to take the LSAT at home or another location, you must follow specific LSAT testing room requirements. Your test area should be private, quiet, and well-lit. A stable internet connection is also essential for completing the test without interruption. An Ethernet cable is often recommended for a direct connection to your router instead of relying solely on Wi-Fi.

LSAT Computer Requirements

Only the Mac OS, Microsoft laptops, and desktops are compatible with the ProctorU software necessary for the online LSAT. You’ll need an alternative computer if you own a Chromebook, Linux system, or tablet. Moreover, administrative rights are required on the computer for downloading the necessary software. Your computer should have:

  • A Mac or Windows operating system
  • A Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome web browser
  • At least 1024 MB of RAM
  • A working webcam and microphone

What if you can’t meet the requirements? In case you don’t have the required equipment or a conducive environment, LSAC provides an assistance request form to help you meet these prerequisites.

Scheduling and ProctorU Account

Your LSAT will be administered online through ProctorU software via the LSAC LawHub. To schedule your test, create a ProctorU account and await an email confirmation from LSAC. Keep in mind that scheduling closes two days before the LSAT test day, so be sure to finalize your date and time beforehand to avoid rescheduling fees.

To prepare for the exam, LSAC recommends familiarizing yourself with the online test interface about two days before the LSAT test day. You can do this by watching instructional videos and taking practice tests.

Check-in Process

On the LSAT test day, log into your ProctorU account and begin the check-in process by selecting “Start Session.” After a system check and identity verification, you must install the ProctorU software and enter your LSAC login credentials.

Breaks and Time Limit

Each section will be given a maximum of 35 minutes, and there will be a 10-minute break between the second and third sections of the exam.

LSAT Allowed Items

Ensure that all items are placed inside a plastic sealable bag and should be securely closed. The proctor will inspect all these items before the exam starts. The LSAT-allowed items are the following:

  • Up to five sheets of blank paper (unlined, lined, or graphed)
  • Writing utensils like standard pencils, pens, and highlighters
  • A pencil sharpener and a non-mechanical eraser
  • Tissues
  • Foam ear plugs (non-electric)
  • A beverage in a plastic container (up to 20 oz)
  • A non-digital wristwatch
  • Personal medical items like prescription eyeglasses and inhalers

The prohibited items in the testing area include electronics, sunglasses, handbags, backpacks, and any printed materials like books and notes.

By adhering to these LSAT test day rules, LSAT allowed items, and LSAT testing room requirements, you can make your test experience as smooth as possible. Consider enrolling in an LSAT Prep Course for structured training and resources to better prepare for the LSAT. For more personalized guidance, LSAT Tutoring offers one-on-one sessions tailored to your specific needs and challenges.

Online LSAT vs. In-Person LSAT

Is the LSAT online? Yes, but it has its own set of disadvantages. Both online and in-person LSAT options offer advantages and disadvantages. You can choose how to take the LSAT based on your preferences, technological capabilities, and familiarity with the exam format.

Pros and Cons of Taking the LSAT Online

PROS CONS
Taking the LSAT online allows for a familiar and comfortable setting, reducing test-day stress. Online testing may expose you to technical issues such as unstable internet or computer glitches.
Online LSAT testing eliminates the need for commuting, giving you more time for last-minute preparation. A familiar home setting could bring back memories of past poor performances, increasing test-day anxiety.
Remote testing provides a private space, allowing better concentration without distractions from other test-takers. An online proctor can pause your test for various reasons, disrupting your focus and adding stress.

Pros and Cons of Taking the LSAT In-Person

PROS CONS
In-person LSAT exams provide a standardized and controlled setting, eliminating worries about noise and lighting. Commuting to a distant test center and being in an unfamiliar environment can add to test-day stress.
In-person LSAT exams offer stable internet and compatible computer systems, reducing technical risks. Sharing a testing room with other test-takers can be distracting for some, unlike the solitude offered by online tests.

How to Prepare for the LSAT?

Preparing for the LSAT requires significant effort, but fortunately, there are customized options to meet your specific needs. If you prefer studying independently, there are many free LSAT resources online you can utilize. However, if you’re seeking a more structured method, enrolling in a prep course could be the optimal solution. Odyssey Test Prep stays on top of the latest LSAT changes to offer you the most current and effective preparation methods.

1. LSAT Prep Course

Our LSAT prep course provides a structured study program to help you prepare for the exam. Live or on-demand expert instruction covers strategy for each section type and how to approach different question types. Practice tests and drills allow you to apply the methods you learn. Some key benefits include interactive learning, accountability, and access to instructors for questions. Enroll in our tried-and-true LSAT Prep Course and master the LSAT!

2. LSAT Tutoring

Experienced tutors evaluate your skills and weak areas to design a customized study plan. Sessions allow focused time on the section types or question formats you struggle with most. Your tutor tracks progress, adjusts the plan as needed, and keeps you motivated leading up to test day. Ace the LSAT online with the help of top-ranked LSAT Tutors!

3. Law School Admission Consulting

Our consultants review your target schools, help craft a compelling personal statement, provide feedback on essays, guide you on letters of recommendation, and advise on presenting extracurriculars. Consultants stay up-to-date on law school admissions trends and help optimize applications for admission success. Consulting provides individual guidance from application to acceptance. Achieve a high LSAT score and get admitted to your dream law school with our consultants!

Final Thoughts: Is the LSAT Online?

The LSAT has undergone significant changes recently. This shift to a digital, online format provides greater flexibility and accessibility for test takers. The content and fundamental skills assessed by the LSAT remain the same. To select which option best meets their needs, students must know the regulations and procedures for both in-person and online testing.  We provide a Free LSAT Consultation to help you analyze your test preparation needs and provide a tailored study strategy. Use this chance to ask questions and obtain professional advice on how to improve your LSAT score.

With thorough preparation using trusted study resources, test takers can feel confident taking the LSAT in their chosen test-taking format.