LSAC Announces Digital LSAT Launch Schedule
Please note: The ability for test takers to see their scores before choosing whether to cancel was unique to the July 2019 test, given the transition from paper and pencil to a digital test format.
Transition to digital testing will begin with the July 2019 test; the LSAT will be fully digital in North America starting September 2019.
The LSAT will be offered 9 times in the 2019-2020 test cycle to expand candidate access and choice.
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) today announced the schedule for transitioning the LSAT — the assessment tool used by over 99% of all law school applicants — to a digital format beginning with the July 2019 LSAT test.
“The LSAT will be fully digital in North America starting in September 2019. We’ve planned this transition carefully to ensure candidates have all the information they need to decide their preferred testing schedule,” said Kellye Testy, President and CEO of LSAC.
Because law school candidates in the current testing year will have anticipated the current paper-and-pencil test format, LSAC has scheduled the transition to begin with the July 15, 2019 test, after this year’s law school admission cycle is largely completed. At the July 2019 test, some test takers will be assigned pencil-and-paper tests, and some will be assigned digital tests, which is a best practice under educational testing standards for moving to a new testing method.
To ease the transition, LSAC is also offering July test takers a special option: regardless of format, July test takers will have the opportunity to see their score before they decide whether they wish to cancel it. Those who decide to cancel can choose to retake the test again through April 2020 free of charge.
“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,” Testy said. “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.”
The launch of the Digital LSAT represents the culmination of several years of work. “We were not satisfied with the current electronic testing formats available,” said Testy. “We wanted higher security and a better user experience.”
The new Digital LSAT will be delivered on a tablet device loaded with patented software developed by LSAC and includes numerous features that will benefit test takers and schools, including faster reporting of scores. Current LSAT preparation materials can be used to practice effectively, including the free test preparation LSAC offers in collaboration with Khan Academy. Additional practice materials for use specifically on tablets are also forthcoming.
“The LSAT is widely acknowledged as the best tool for assessing the potential for candidates to succeed in law school and pass the bar examination,” said Testy. “The Digital LSAT will maintain the quality and predictive value that the LSAT is known for, while providing a modern delivery system that enhances security, access, and ease of use.”
Following the July 2019 transition test, the LSAT will be administered digitally going forward. LSAC is committed to accessibility for test takers with disabilities, and the tablet delivery system offers flexible type sizes, built-in screen reader, and other enhancements that will deliver an optimal testing experience for test takers needing such accommodations.
At the same time LSAC is moving to its new test-delivery system, the organization has increased the number of administrations in its testing calendar. There will be nine LSAT administrations in the 2019–2020 testing year (PDF) — up from six in the current testing year.
“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.”
Law School Admission Council