How the Digital LSAT Will Shape the LSAT of the Future

As the creators of the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), Law School Admission Council measurement scientists and test developers are responsible for continually researching the performance of the test to ensure that the LSAT is the most effective, fair, and valid assessment of candidates’ potential for success in law school. This ongoing research has driven the steady evolution of the LSAT over time. The first LSAT in 1948 had more than 500 questions and took all day to complete  the many modifications and improvements to the test since that time were all made possible by research on how the test performed.

As we look forward to this weekend’s September 21 LSAT, which will be the first fully digital LSAT administration in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean, we want to share some thoughts on how the digital test will help us continue the tradition of using our research to improve the LSAT and the entire admission and learning journey for students.

Just as we have for decades with the paper test, we will continue to ensure strict privacy and security of the data we gather through administering the LSAT. We will never share personally identifiable information about how individual test takers interacted with questions or the test as a whole without their permission.

But by looking at aggregated data on how tens of thousands of students interacted with the digital test, we expect to learn a great deal about the functioning of each LSAT question and each answer choice at a level of detail we have never seen from a paper test. This sort of information may seem like dry data or “inside baseball,” but this knowledge will lead directly to improvements in how we design and administer the LSAT. The rich data from the Digital LSAT will enable us to research new ways to assess the skills required in law school, and may also provide valuable information on skills gaps or other areas that could help member law schools enhance their course offerings or academic support to improve students’ overall learning outcomes.

Among the first areas our experts will research are how test takers allocate their time per question and how tools (such as eliminating answer choices or flagging questions for review) are used. This research and subsequent analyses will provide important insights on potential areas for innovation as we continue to work  to evaluate and improve the LSAT.

We will provide regular updates here on the Law:Fully blog as we dig into the rich data from the digital test, so stay tuned!

Lily Knezevich

Senior Vice President for Learning and Assessment, LSAC

Lily Knezevich is the senior vice president for learning and assessment at the Law School Admission Council. She earned her BA from New York University, majoring in mathematics and philosophy, and her MA in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh.