Law School Admission in the Time of COVID-19: Top 10 Questions About the LSAT-Flex
All of us at LSAC are saddened by the COVID-19 outbreaks affecting so many countries and communities around the world. Our hearts go out to all of the individuals, families, and communities that have been affected.
As the continued devastating impact of the COVID-19 virus forced cancelation of the March and April LSATs, we knew we had to put together alternatives to address the needs of candidates and enable them to continue to pursue their dream of a legal education.
On April 7, which feels like a month ago in this COVID-19 world, we announced that LSAC is offering an online, remotely proctored version of the LSAT in the second half of May for test takers who were registered for the April test.
Over the past week, we’ve been able to nail down the scheduling and remote-proctoring plans, so today we are announcing the test dates for the May LSAT-Flex. We expect that most test takers will test on either Monday, May 18, or Tuesday, May 19, with a small number of tests occurring later in the week based on specific remote proctoring requirements. We will open the scheduling sign-up process next Wednesday, April 22, so that May test takers can select the available time that works best for their schedule. I want to emphasize that we will release scores for all test takers on the same day, regardless of when they test during the week of May 18. Currently, we are targeting Friday, June 5, as the score release date, and we will update that as needed.
The remotely proctored LSAT-Flex gives candidates the opportunity to earn an LSAT score even if the COVID-19 crisis makes it impossible to deliver the test in person.
Over the past week, we have received a lot of support for the LSAT-Flex from candidates and schools — and we’ve also received a lot of questions.
To help answer the most pressing questions, we’ve compiled a list of the “Top 10 Questions About the LSAT-Flex.” We’re also maintaining a longer list of questions and answers on our LSAT-Flex information page.
We will continue doing everything we can to provide candidates with the opportunity to test and the other services they need, while following public health guidance to help protect the safety of test takers and the broader community.
Stay safe, and stay focused on your legal education journey — the world needs your voice and your advocacy now more than ever!
Top 10 Questions About the LSAT-Flex
1. Will law schools accept the LSAT-Flex as a valid alternative to the standard LSAT?
Yes. While every school has its own process for admission and candidates should always talk directly to the schools to which they are applying, we have received overwhelming support for the LSAT-Flex from our member law schools. We have not received any indication from any member school that they will not accept the LSAT-Flex as a valid part of a candidate’s application. To the contrary, we have heard from many, many schools thanking LSAC for providing the LSAT-Flex so that candidates have the opportunity to test at a time when the COVID-19 crisis has made in-person testing impossible.
2. How should I prepare for the LSAT-Flex, since the proportion of Logical Reasoning questions is different on the LSAT-Flex? Are you going to count the Logical Reasoning questions on the LSAT-Flex double, or will Logical Reasoning questions have the same weight as Analytical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension questions on the LSAT-Flex?
We are not double-counting Logical Reasoning questions on the LSAT-Flex. The Analytical Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension questions on the LSAT-Flex will be scored without weighting one section more than another. The LSAT-Flex will include roughly the same number of Analytical Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension questions, so if you find one type of question more challenging than others, you may want to focus your preparation on those questions.
3. Will you be making the Logical Reasoning section on the LSAT-Flex harder, to make up for the fact that there are fewer Logical Reasoning questions?
No. Speculation that we will be making the Logical Reasoning section on the upcoming May LSAT-Flex harder than normal is not accurate. All sections of the May LSAT-Flex, including the Logical Reasoning section, will be composed of LSAT questions that have been extensively tested and analyzed through the same rigorous item-development and section-development processes that are used for the LSAT. The Logical Reasoning section on the May LSAT-Flex is not designed to be harder or easier than a typical Logical Reasoning section on a typical LSAT.
4. Is the LSAT-Flex an accurate predictor of a candidate’s performance in law school, given that the proportion of Logical Reasoning questions is different on the LSAT-Flex than it is on the LSAT?
Yes. The LSAT-Flex will be composed of LSAT questions that have been extensively tested and analyzed through the same rigorous item-development and section-development processes that are used for the LSAT. While the proportion of Logical Reasoning questions on the LSAT-Flex is different than the proportion on a standard LSAT, the LSAT-Flex will provide law schools with a valuable assessment of a candidate's skill level on the critical reading and reasoning skills that are vital to success in law school, just as the standard LSAT does. Because the LSAT-Flex is a test taken remotely, scores for the LSAT-Flex will have an annotation that the test was administered in the online, remotely proctored format. As always, we want to stress that both the LSAT and the LSAT-Flex should be used in conjunction with a candidate’s academic achievement, work experience, and life experience in a holistic law school admission process.
5. Will the LSAT-Flex be inherently easier than the standard LSAT, because it is shorter and has fewer questions?
No. The individual questions and individual sections will have similar levels of difficulty as a typical LSAT. Some people may think that the shorter duration of the LSAT-Flex is a benefit. Some people may feel more pressure because they believe that the smaller number of total questions means that each question has a bigger impact. Some people may see taking an online test in their own home as a benefit; other people may see taking an online test in their own home as a source of more distraction.
Given how the COVID-19 emergency has made in-person testing temporarily impossible, we need to offer an at-home test to address the needs of candidates and schools. Due to the demands of live online proctoring, the LSAT-Flex had to be designed so it could be accomplished in approximately two hours without a break.
6. I don’t have a computer or a reliable internet connection or a quiet, private space to take the test; how am I supposed to take the LSAT-Flex?
LSAC is committed to doing everything possible to help every test taker obtain the equipment they need to take the LSAT-Flex. For candidates who do not have access to an appropriate computer, we will work with them to try to provide a loaner device or other solutions if appropriate.
We understand that some candidates may not have access to a quiet or private room in which to take a remotely proctored test, particularly during this time of disruption and social distancing due to the COVID-19 emergency. If you do not have an appropriate place to test in your home, please contact Candidate Services at LSACinfo@LSAC.org or 215.968.1001 to discuss your situation and see if we can help identify potential solutions in your area, consistent with local public health guidelines.
7. How will you ensure that this LSAT-Flex doesn’t create additional barriers for underrepresented candidates, including candidates of color and candidates from economically disadvantaged backgrounds?
LSAC is committed to expanding opportunity and access for candidates who continue to be underrepresented in legal education and the legal profession. Even as we are administering the LSAT-Flex as an emergency measure to provide a safe testing alternative during the current public health emergency, we are very much aware that the COVID-19 crisis is having a disproportionate impact on many communities. We will try to ensure that every test taker has the equipment and appropriate space in which to take the LSAT-Flex, and we will work with schools and community organizations to try to ensure that the COVID-19 emergency does not set back our and our schools’ ongoing efforts to diversify legal education.
8. Will you be giving additional LSAT-Flex test administrations in June if the COVID-19 emergency is still affecting large parts of the country?
If necessary, yes. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation very closely and will follow the direction of public health authorities in determining whether the June LSAT must be canceled in some or all locations. We are making contingency plans so that no matter what the COVID-19 situation is in June, candidates will have the opportunity to test. If necessary, another remotely proctored LSAT-Flex could be a part of the solution.
9. I have an LSAC-approved medical accommodation that allows extra time; can I still receive this accommodation on the LSAT-Flex?
Yes. LSAC is committed to working with LSAT-Flex test takers with disabilities to see that their accommodation needs are met under the circumstances. All test takers who were approved to receive accommodations for the March 2020 or April 2020 LSAT test date will receive the same or equivalent accommodations for the LSAT-Flex test being administered in May 2020. For test takers who have been approved for additional time, we have designed the LSAT-Flex to provide that accommodation. LSAC will communicate directly with candidates who have elected to take the May LSAT-Flex regarding their approved accommodations in the context of LSAT-Flex.
10. I have an LSAC-approved vision accommodation to use alternative materials, such as a braille test or a large-print paper test; can I still receive this accommodation when the LSAT-Flex test is given in May?
Yes. For test takers who have been approved for a braille test or a large-print paper test, LSAC will work directly with them on a case-by-case basis to see that they receive their approved accommodation and appropriate remote proctoring in these circumstances. LSAC will communicate directly with candidates who require braille or large-print paper test materials to coordinate how they will receive their test materials and remote proctoring.