LSAC Successfully Launches New Digital LSAT
Feedback from test takers and supervisors will be used to make future digital tests even better
The Law School Admission Council announced that its July 15 administration of the first-ever digital version of the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) was generally very successful, opening an exciting new chapter in LSAC’s history with help from the organization’s technology partners at Microsoft and its dedicated test center staff.
“So many people over so many years made this milestone possible for LSAC,” said LSAC President and CEO Kellye Y. Testy. “I thank you all: our board members having faith in us, the dedication and hard work of the LSAC team, and our first-class technology partners at Microsoft. I especially want to thank our test center teams and the thousands of test takers who took the plunge with us and signed up to take the July LSAT. Together we have begun a new chapter in LSAC’s proud history.”
From around the country, test takers and test center workers reported that the Microsoft Surface Go tablets used to administer the Digital LSAT generally worked as expected and provided an easy, accessible, and secure digital version of LSAC’s reliable and unbiased law school entrance exam, widely considered the premiere test for measuring the skills needed to succeed in law school.
More than 24,000 test takers were registered for the July LSAT that occurred yesterday at over 450 test centers across North America. About half took the Digital LSAT at 203 digital test centers, spread across 7 time zones, from Newfoundland to Alaska.
Sabrina, from Flemington, N.J., said she entered the Digital LSAT skeptical and nervous, since she wasn’t used to taking tests in a digital environment. After taking the test, however, she said she loved the accessibility features of the Microsoft Surface Go tablet, finding it “easier on my nerves” than paper and pencil.
For Alexis, from Waynesboro, Pa., the July 15 administration was the first time she had taken the LSAT. She had taken practice tests on paper. “Overall, the digital exam made it a much smoother process,” she said. Taking the test on a tablet offered many advantages, Alexis said, including having more space between the lines in the reading passages, not having to flip back and forth in the test booklet while working on the logic section, and being able to keep track of how much time she had left — all while still being able to use scratch paper.
Alexis prepared for the exam using tools found on LSAC’s website and those offered by Khan Academy, both of which she found helpful.
James Schultz, test center supervisor at Michigan Technological University, said he initially was skeptical about the transition to digital but that the experience exceeded his expectations. Citing features such as the automated five-minute warnings and the highly intuitive interface, Schultz said technology expertise was not required to navigate the test. “Having experienced the Digital LSAT today, I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said.
A few test centers across the U.S. and Canada experienced relatively few issues, said Troy Lowry, LSAC’s chief information officer, and LSAC will use all the feedback from test centers and test takers to improve the digital experience for future test administrations. “We are pleased that 99.3% of the test takers who were registered at digital test centers were able to complete the test, but we won’t be satisfied until that number is 100%,” he said.
“The digital exam that was administered today represents a huge milestone, and the fact that it went so smoothly is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone who made this possible,” Lowry said.
Laurie Loth Pugliese, LSAC’s senior vice president for candidate services, called the inaugural Digital LSAT “an important part of the journey to law school and into the legal profession,” adding that the test “will continue to support both candidates passionate about pursuing a legal career and the member law schools that prepare them.”
LSAC looks forward to feedback from test takers and test center staff as it seeks to refine the Digital LSAT for future administrations. The July 15 administration used a combination of digital and paper-and-pencil tests; starting with the September test administration, all LSAT testing will be completed digitally.
Law School Admission Council