Frequently Asked Questions about LSAT Writing

LSAC strives to ensure LSAT® takers have the information and resources they need to succeed on test day, including up-to-date information about LSAT Writing®. The FAQs below have been compiled based on common questions we receive about LSAT Writing and have been divided into subjects to help you find the information you’re looking for.

Additional FAQ collections address specific aspects of the test, such as The LSATTesting Accommodations, and LSAT Score Preview.

If you can’t find an answer to your question, please contact our Candidate Services team:

Chat: You can start a conversation with an LSAC customer representative via chat by using the icon at the bottom-right corner of your screen. Our chat feature is available during business hours.

Email: LSACinfo@LSAC.org

Phone: 1.800.336.3982

Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET
Saturday and Sunday: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET
Please note that holiday hours may differ.

Quick Links:

Registering for LSAT Writing

Preparing for LSAT Writing

Disability-Related Test Accommodations

Test and Test-Taker Security

Taking LSAT Writing

LSAT Scores and Law School Admission

Registering for LSAT Writing

How do I register for LSAT Writing?

One administration of LSAT Writing is included in your LSAT registration. By registering for the LSAT, you will be automatically eligible to complete the writing section as of eight (8) days before you take the multiple-choice portion of the LSAT. You can access LSAT Writing from your LSAC online account.

What does LSAT Writing cost?

The LSAT registration fee includes both the multiple-choice portion of the LSAT and LSAT Writing. There are no additional fees associated with LSAT Writing.

Do I have to take LSAT Writing if I have already completed a writing sample during a previous LSAT administration?

No. Candidates are only required to have one writing sample on file for their LSAT to be considered complete. Writing samples may be from either a previous LSAT administration or from an administration of LSAT Writing.

Can I register to take LSAT Writing as a standalone?

No, we are no longer offering standalone LSAT Writing. For questions, please contact LSAC’s Candidate Services team at LSACinfo@LSAC.org or 215.968.1001.

Is LSAT Writing available outside of North America?

Yes. LSAT Writing is available in all locations with access to the internet.

What kind of computer do I need in order to take LSAT Writing?

LSAT Writing requires a desktop or laptop computer running Windows or Mac OS that has a webcam, a microphone, only one connected monitor, and an Internet connection.

LSAT Writing is not compatible with mobile devices, Chrome OS, or Linux. 

Be sure that you have administrative rights to the computer on which you’ll take the test. (This is so you can download the required proctoring software.)

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What if I don’t own a computer?

LSAC is committed to ensuring test takers have the equipment and other resources they need to take the LSAT and LSAT Writing. If you don’t have the required equipment, internet access, or a quiet place to take the test, please complete the Assistance Request form in your LSAC online account by the assistance request deadline associated with your test administration. We will work with you to try to address your needs.

How will I log in to take LSAT Writing?

Candidates will launch LSAT Writing using the link provided on the new LSAT Writing page of their LSAC online account. The link will surface at 12:00 a.m. (ET) on the date eight (8) days prior to the start of the candidate’s LSAT administration. The exam can only be launched from the individualized link provided in the candidate’s account.

Do I need any identification to take LSAT Writing?

Yes. At the beginning of the exam, every candidate will be required to present a physical, valid North American government-issued photo ID or an international passport. Please note that, by law, U.S. military IDs cannot be photographed and thus cannot be used for this purpose.

Learn more about ID requirements

What features are included in the LSAT Writing interface?

LSAT Writing’s interface offers many common word-processing functions, including:

  • The ability to cut, copy, and paste text within candidates’ essays. 
  • A built-in spell-check feature that identifies misspelled words and underlines them. Test takers can access a context menu of suggested spelling options from each misspelled word.
  • A highlighting feature.

The interface also includes a digital “Scratch Paper” section where test takers can type notes, instead of writing them on a physical piece of scratch paper. 

Further, the LawHub test-delivery software used for LSAT Writing includes built-in, user-adjustable tools such as a feature to increase text size incrementally and a line-spacing function.

To get familiar with the LSAT Writing interface and experience, we encourage candidates to explore the Writing Sample Practice Prompt available for free through LSAC LawHub®.

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Does LSAT Writing impose a word or space limit for the writing sample?

There is no word or space limit for LSAT Writing. You are advised not to worry about the length of your writing sample, but instead to concentrate on crafting a response to the prompt that is well-written, cogent, and well-argued.

Will I be able to request accommodations for LSAT Writing?

Yes. Candidates can submit requests for accommodations for LSAT Writing at the same time they request accommodations for the multiple-choice portion of the LSAT, using the same form. The process for reviewing accommodation requests will not change.

What accommodations are available on LSAT Writing?

For information regarding available testing accommodations, visit Accommodations that May Be Available on the LSAT.

Some accommodations that are available on the LSAT will not be needed for LSAT Writing (e.g., extra breaks between sections, a non-Scantron answer sheet).

How is test security managed for LSAT Writing?

The secure proctoring platform uses input from the webcam, microphone, and screen of the candidate’s own computer to ensure that the writing sample is the candidate’s own work, and that the candidate is not receiving any inappropriate assistance.

Prior to the exam, candidates will complete a video check-in process. As part of the check-in process, candidates will be required to clearly display a physical, valid government-issued photo ID issued by the United States of America, U.S. Territories, Canada, or Australia or an international passport for the camera to capture. This image must not be blurry or out of focus. Candidates will also be required to show their workspace using their webcam, to ensure that only permissible items are in that space. The room will be scanned to make sure no other people or prohibited items are in the room. Candidates who require additional items in their workspace due to a disability may seek appropriate accommodations through the standard procedures for requesting testing accommodations.

The proctoring software will automatically close any messaging, word-processing, or web-browsing applications before the exam begins and prevent such applications from being opened during the exam.  

Audio and video from every testing session will be reviewed by trained proctors.
 

What steps is LSAC taking to protect my privacy?

Initial reviews of LSAT Writing videos will be conducted by trained proctors in a secure, supervised environment. If a video is flagged for suspicious behavior or test conduct violations, LSAC trained staff will review it for the limited purpose of investigating and handling any such misconduct or violationsPlease see the LSAC Privacy Policy for how LSAC collects, uses, discloses, and otherwise processes information.

What will be recorded during the test, and what will you do with the videos after the exam?

Input from the candidate’s webcam and microphone will be recorded, as well as everything happening on the candidate’s screen during the exam. No videos or images from LSAT Writing will be shared with any law schools. However, audio and video data will be retained in a secure location for later review in the event of a test security investigation and/or misconduct and irregularities investigation. See Misconduct & Irregularities and LSAC Candidate Agreement for more information.

What electronic devices are prohibited?

Devices that cannot be in the room during LSAT Writing include timers of any kind, electronic cigarettes, fitness-tracking devices, digital watches, alarm watches, beeping watches, calculator watches, chronograph watches (digital or non-digital), mobile phones, beepers, pagers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), calculators, cameras, recording devices, listening devices (including, but not limited to headphones, ear buds, Air Pods, and other electronic listening devices and/or noise- cancelling devices other than generic foam ear plugs), headsets, and iPods and other media players. Please note that tablets, laptops, and personal computers not being used to take the exam are prohibited.

Prohibited electronic devices may not be in the room during the exam because they cannot be monitored via your webcam feed. Please be aware that your testing session will be flagged, and your writing sample canceled, if any prohibited electronics are noted during the room scan portion of your check-in. This includes any monitors or desktop computers that happen to be on the desk you may be resting your laptop on during the writing session. If your session is flagged, your audio and video data may be referred for an investigation by the Misconduct and Irregularities Subcommittee. More information can be found at Misconduct & Irregularities and in the LSAC Candidate Agreement.

What other items are prohibited?

Test takers may not use briefcases, handbags, or backpacks of any kind. Hats or hoods, except religious apparel, may not be worn. Sunglasses or other eyewear with tinted lenses may not be worn. Books, printed materials, scratch paper, writing implements (regular or mechanical pencils, and/or ink pens), erasers, highlighters, and any reference materials (including, but not limited to, sticky notes, whiteboards, calendars, notebooks, guides, flyers, or other outside materials) prepared prior to the start of your session may not be used.

Non-electronic prohibited items can remain in the room, but they must be put away and not used, accessed, or referenced during the exam.

What can I use to write notes since scratch paper is prohibited?

Unlike the multiple-choice portion of the LSAT, physical scratch paper and writing utensils are not permitted during the standard administration of LSAT Writing. Instead, the LSAT Writing interface includes a built-in, digital “Scratch Paper” section where you’ll be able to type notes, instead of writing them on a physical piece of scratch paper.

What if I need headphones, ear plugs, or earbuds to take the exam?

Test takers may use soft, non-electronic, non-corded/banded, generic foam ear plugs. They must be individually shown to the camera during the security check-in procedure. 

Please note: Unless a specified accommodation has been granted, test takers cannot wear headphones, earbuds, or anything similar that is not a soft, non-electronic, non-corded/banded, generic foam ear plug. Additionally, electronic noise-canceling devices and/or other noise-canceling devices other than generic foam ear plugs approved by LSAC and/or LSAT Writing personnel are expressly prohibited. These types of items are unable to be monitored and inhibit LSAC’s ability to ensure a fair and equal testing environment. LSAC’s goal is to safeguard your test and score by putting this policy in place to mitigate testing irregularities that could result in the cancellation of your LSAT Writing sample.

What if someone else enters the room while I am taking the exam?

If someone else enters the room, you must ask them to leave immediately. You may continue testing once the person leaves the room. It is not necessary to restart the exam if a brief interruption occurs.

What if my pet enters the room while I’m taking the exam?

If a pet wanders into the room while you are testing, you may continue testing. Your face must be clearly visible throughout the exam, and once you begin, you cannot move out of view of the webcam until the exam is over.

When can I take LSAT Writing?

Candidates are eligible to take LSAT Writing starting eight (8) days prior to their LSAT administration. For your LSAT to be considered complete, you will need to take the LSAT Writing section of the test if you do not already have a writing sample on file from a previous LSAT administration. Most law schools require a writing sample as an integral part of their admission decision, and therefore, you should take the writing sample immediately to meet schools’ application deadlines. Once completed, reviewed, and approved, your writing sample will be shared with you and the law schools to which you have applied. Candidates will be required to have a completed writing sample in their file in order to see their test score or have their score released to law schools.
 

How long do I have to complete LSAT Writing?

Candidates will be given 35 minutes to write an essay in response to the prompt that is presented to them.

If you do not have a writing sample on file, we encourage you to complete LSAT Writing as soon as you can. LSAT Writing opens eight (8) days prior to every test administration. Candidates must have a complete writing sample in their file in order to see their score or have their score released to schools. Most law schools require a writing sample as an integral part of their admission decision, and therefore, you should take the writing sample immediately to meet schools’ application deadlines.

In case you are not applying in the current cycle, please note you have a maximum of a year to take LSAT Writing. For questions, please contact LSAC’s Candidate Services team at LSACinfo@LSAC.org or 215.968.1001.

Does it matter which web browser I use to launch the exam?

Yes. LSAT Writing can only be launched from Chrome or Firefox. The three most recent versions of these browsers are supported. Safari and Edge are not supported at this time.

What items can I use during LSAT Writing?

During the LSAT Writing exam, you are allowed to use tissues and soft, non-electronic, non-corded/banded, generic foam ear plugs.

You may wear an analog (nondigital) wristwatch. The watch may not have a dedicated start/stop functionality independent of telling time, but it may have an altered faceplate and a rotating “diver’s” bezel. Timing devices of any other kind are not permitted.

If you have a medical need for one or more of the following personal medical items during your test, you may have the item(s) with you: non-tinted eyeglasses, hearing aids, medication (e.g., pills, inhaler, insulin/glucose tablets, eye drops), heart monitor, arm or shoulder sling, cast, brace, cane, crutches, walker, wheelchair, insulin pump/glucometer/diabetic supplies, TENS unit, service animal (not comfort animal). No prior authorization is required.

Each of these items must be shown to the camera during the security check-in procedure.

How is LSAT Writing proctored?

LSAT Writing sessions are recorded and reviewed by a proctor after submission. The proctor will audit the recording for any testing irregularities or violations that may have occurred during the session, such as an illegible ID or possession of a prohibited item. If such an irregularity is discovered, the session will be flagged for LSAC to conduct an additional review and/or investigation.

Will a proctor be available to assist me?

Generally, a live proctor will not be available to guide you through the onscreen instructions. We strongly encourage you to carefully read all of the online prompts and to familiarize yourself with the FAQs on this page. Skipping any steps may result in additional reviews and could cause your LSAT Writing sample to be canceled.

If you experience technical difficulties while taking LSAT Writing, please contact the 24/7 technical support line at 1.855.772.8678Technical support is available through your entire LSAT Writing session.

How do I identify myself before the exam?

When prompted, you must clearly display a physical, valid international passport or a physical, valid government-issued photo ID issued by the United States of America, U.S. Territories, Canada, or Australia to be photographed by the system. The first and last name on your ID must exactly match the legal first and last name associated with your LSAC online account.

Please ensure that the photo of your ID is clear and recognizable before capturing it. You will only have one chance to photograph your ID. If the image of your ID is blurry, out of focus, or unrecognizable, a proctor will flag your ID as invalid when they review your session, your writing sample will be canceled, and you will need to submit a new writing sample. This may delay the release of your LSAT score to you and to law schools.

Can I use other computer programs while I take LSAT Writing?

All LSAT Writing test takers (with or without test accommodations) are permitted to use external computer programs to make web content accessible, such as screen magnification or keyboard-controlled screen reader software. LSAC strives to satisfy the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”) 2.1 Level AA, so most software used to interact with the internet will be compatible. Note that, in order to protect the security of test content, selectable text functionality (i.e., the ability to select text or place the cursor on the screen) is not available on any of LSAC’s products. Therefore, the computer-based LSAT Writing is accessible with screen reader software programs that can be controlled and navigated using keystrokes and keyboard commands rather than the mouse and cursor.

Candidates who require the use of special equipment to access the test are encouraged to use your programs and equipment to explore the Writing Sample Practice Prompt available through LSAC LawHub. This practice prompt is designed to enable candidates to become familiar with the LSAT Writing interface and experience.

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If you have any questions about the accessibility of LSAC’s products, please contact accessibility@LSAC.org.

This is important. In the event that candidates with disabilities require additional accommodation to access LSAT Writing, they are encouraged to contact an LSAC Disability Customer Service Representative at accom@LSAC.org or 215.966.6625 (toll-free: 855.384.2253) for assistance. Any request for testing accommodations must be submitted by the applicable registration deadline. LSAC is committed to working with candidates to facilitate accessibility to LSAT Writing.

Where should I take the exam?

Choose a quiet, well-lit, and private work area where you can complete the exam without interruption. You may not take the test in a location with glass walls, in a cubicle, or in a hotel lobby. Your face must be clearly visible throughout the exam, and once you begin, you cannot move out of view of the webcam until the exam is over.

Will every candidate receive the same writing prompt?

No. Candidates will be presented with a randomly selected prompt that they have not seen during a previous administration of the LSAT or LSAT Writing.

I’m ready to take my exam, but the link to launch the exam isn’t on the LSAT Writing page in my account. What do I do?

The link to launch LSAT Writing will not be available in your account until eight (8) days prior to the start of your LSAT administration.

If you’re checking after your available date and you still don’t see the link, please call LSAC at 215.968.1001 and press 0 or send an email to LSATwriting@LSAC.org for assistance.

I accidentally closed my browser before submitting my writing sample. What should I do?

If you accidentally close out of your exam during testing, you should immediately attempt to relaunch LSAT Writing. To do this, return to your LSAC online account and select the “Launch LSAT Writing” link. 

If you are unable to relaunch LSAT Writing, you will need to contact LSAC to reset your eligibility and start the exam over with a new writing prompt. Please call LSAC at 215.968.1001 and press 0 or send an email to LSATwriting@LSAC.org for assistance.

What if I have technical difficulties during LSAT Writing?

If you experience technical difficulties, please contact the 24/7 technical support line at 1.855.772.8678. Please note that candidates who experience technical problems that prevent them from completing their writing sample will be given the opportunity to test again with a different writing prompt.

Is LSAT Writing required for applying to law schools?

For your LSAT to be considered complete, you must have at least one writing sample on file — either from an earlier paper-and-pencil administration of the LSAT or from LSAT Writing.

If you do not have a writing sample on file, we encourage you to complete LSAT Writing as soon as you can. Candidates are required to have a completed writing sample in their file in order to see their test score or have their score released to law schools. Most law schools require a writing sample as an integral part of their admission decision, and therefore, you should take the writing sample immediately to meet schools’ application deadlines. Once completed, reviewed, and approved, your writing sample will be shared with you and the law schools to which you have applied.

To help candidates complete their writing sample, LSAT Writing opens eight (8) days prior to each test administration.   

If you already have a writing sample on file, you do not need to complete LSAT Writing.

When will my writing sample from LSAT Writing be available for inclusion in my Law School Report?

Once completed, reviewed, and approved, your writing sample will be shared with you and the law schools to which you have applied. In many cases, LSAT Writing samples will be processed within a week of completion. However, candidates are advised to allow three weeks for processing before their writing sample can be included in a Law School Report.

Are the writing samples from LSAT Writing scored?

No. There are currently no plans to score the writing samples from LSAT Writing.

Do schools read my writing sample?

Most law schools require an LSAT writing sample as an integral part of their admission decision, and many admission professionals have reported that the new approach to LSAT Writing has made the writing sample more useful in their candidate evaluation processes. However, each school uses writing samples in their own way.

Do all writing samples get reported to the law schools?

No. LSAC will include up to the three most recent reportable writing samples with your law school report. Writing samples are only reportable for five years. Writing samples that are more than five years old will not get reported to law schools.

Note that candidates only need to have one reportable writing sample on file for their LSAT to be considered complete.

Once completed, reviewed, and approved, your LSAT Writing sample will be shared with you and the law schools to which you have applied.

Can I review my writing sample after I have completed LSAT Writing?

Yes. Each candidate will have an opportunity to read their writing sample immediately after completing the exam. It is strictly prohibited to take any pictures or screenshots of your completed writing sample, including the “Test Completion” screen. Violation of this policy may result in an LSAT Writing cancellation and a referral to the Subcommittee on Misconduct and Irregularities in the Admission Process, as it is strictly prohibited, and you are still in the testing session. Candidates will also have the opportunity to view their writing sample after it has been processed by LSAC for inclusion in Law School Reports.

My LSAT Writing sample was canceled for a security violation. Does that cancellation get reported to law schools, and what happens next?

In most cases, a canceled writing sample is not reported to any law schools. When your LSAT Writing is canceled for certain rules violations (such as an unacceptable ID or an incomplete room scan), your eligibility will be reset, and you will have the opportunity to retake LSAT Writing. However, if the cancellation is due to a violation of test security policies (e.g., use of a prohibited electronic device), you may be referred to the Misconduct and Irregularities Subcommittee for further investigation. If the subcommittee representative determines that a preponderance of the evidence shows misconduct or irregularity, then a report of the determination is sent to all law schools to which the individual has applied, subsequently applies, or has matriculated. See Misconduct & Irregularities for further information.