UPDATE: Coronavirus and the LSAT

Last Updated April 1, 2020

 

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. We are working with global, national, and local officials to comply with local health directives and guidance, while striving to address the needs of test takers and schools.

In response to the growing COVID-19 emergency and the guidance from public health authorities, LSAC announced March 16 that the March LSAT was canceled in all locations worldwide. Health officials are urging businesses, organizations, and individuals to limit travel or activities that could accelerate the spread of the disease and cause our health systems to become overwhelmed. Canceling the March test was a difficult step, but we believe it was the most responsible course of action to protect test takers, test center personnel, and the broader community.

LSAC is taking steps to try to ease the impact of this cancellation and the ongoing COVID-19 virus situation on the law school admission process:

  • All March registrants in the United States (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and Canada have been automatically registered for the April 25 test in the community where they were registered for the March test, unless they requested another action. All current March registrants in other regions have been automatically registered for the June test in their locations, unless they requested another action.
  • We are evaluating whether the late April 2020 LSAT administration can go forward. We will continue to monitor updates and guidance from national and local health officials and will communicate a final decision on the April test no later than Friday, April 10, so that April registrants have the ability to plan. Given the uncertainties around the outbreak, we are waiving the test date change fee for April registrants. Candidates who are currently registered for the April LSAT may use the April 2020 LSAT Test Date Change Request form to switch to the June 2020 or July 2020 test by April 13, 2020, 11:59 p.m. (ET), at no additional charge. LSAC will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional updates as necessary.
  • We are also aggressively exploring options to administer the LSAT in alternative ways that will best protect the health and well-being of test takers and the broader community. These alternatives could include secure remote-proctored tests, an additional spring/summer administration, and other options that would meet evolving public health guidelines.
  • We are working with our member law schools that are still accepting applications for fall 2020 enrollment to help expand flexibility on deadlines for their candidates. Our member law schools work hard to support candidates, and we are confident that our admission community will continue to respond to this extraordinary crisis with compassion and agility.

LSAC is committed to doing everything possible to provide candidates with the assessment and other services needed, while following public health guidance to ensure the safety of test takers and the broader community.

We will continue to provide regular updates as this situation unfolds. See below for more information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Test Dates, Changes, and Cancellations

What is the status of the April 25 LSAT in the United States and Canada?

We are evaluating whether the late April 2020 LSAT administration can go forward. We will continue to monitor updates and guidance from national and local health officials and will communicate a final decision on the April test no later than Friday, April 10, so that April registrants have the ability to plan.

If we need to cancel the April test, we will communicate directly with all affected candidates and work to reschedule them to another test center or another date.

Given the uncertainties around the outbreak, we are waiving the test date change fee for April registrants. Candidates who are currently registered for the April LSAT may use the April 2020 LSAT Test Date Change Request form to switch to the June 2020 or July 2020 test by April 13, 2020, 11:59 p.m. (ET), at no additional charge.

What is the status of the upcoming international LSAT administration, scheduled for June 27 or 28, depending on the region?

The June international LSAT administration is currently scheduled to proceed as planned. We will continue to monitor updates and guidance from national and local health officials and will provide additional information as soon as possible. Currently, based on direction from Chinese health officials, we have delayed the opening of registration for the June 28 LSAT in China until closer to the test date. Should it become necessary to close or move testing centers in certain countries related to the June test, we will communicate directly with all affected candidates and work to reschedule them to another test center or another date.

I was registered for the March 2020 or April 2020 LSAT, and I have a previously canceled LSAT score. Can I restore my previously canceled score?

Due to the cancelation of the March 2020 LSAT administration and the uncertainty about the April 2020 LSAT administration, LSAC is providing March 2020 and April 2020 registrants who had previously canceled an LSAT score the opportunity to review their previously canceled score and restore it if they choose.

March 2020 and April 2020 registrants who had previously canceled an LSAT score will receive an email informing them of their previously canceled score and the process for reviewing and restoring it if they choose. Candidates who choose to restore a previously canceled score may not re-cancel it in the future; it will be a permanent part of their candidate record. Once a candidate chooses to restore their score, it may take up to 3 business days for the change to occur in their candidate record. Once the candidate record has been updated, the system will generate a new report to any school to which they have applied during this cycle, usually within 48 hours.

Eligible candidates with questions should contact the Candidate Services team at 215.968.1001 or LSACinfo@LSAC.org.

Test Day Experience and Instructions

What steps are being taken to protect health and well-being at LSAT test sites in response to the Coronavirus outbreak?

In response to the growing COVID-19 emergency and the guidance from public health authorities, LSAC made the difficult decision to cancel the March LSAT in all locations worldwide. LSAC will continue to operate in accordance with the guidance provided by the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other public health agencies. Canceling the March test was a difficult step, but we believe it was the most responsible course of action to protect test takers, test center personnel, and the broader community.

Given the uncertainty of this evolving crisis, we are also aggressively exploring options to administer the LSAT in alternative ways that will best protect the health and well-being of test takers and the broader community. These alternatives could include secure remote-proctored tests, an additional spring/summer administration, and other options that would meet evolving public health guidelines.

Please know that prior to each administration, all of LSAC’s testing equipment is sanitized. In addition, test takers are deliberately separated from one another while taking the test.

We have amended our test taker rules to allow students to wear masks that cover their nose and mouth if they wish, and to allow students to bring an appropriate-sized container of hand sanitizer to the test.

We will continue to work with public health authorities to explore additional recommendations on test administration.

Can I wear a face mask at my LSAT test?

We recognize that in the current Coronavirus situation, some test takers may feel more comfortable wearing a mask while taking the LSAT in a public setting with other people.

Beginning with the April LSAT and until further notice, test takers who wish to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth to the test center are permitted to do so, with the following provisions:

  1. Test takers may be asked to briefly remove their masks during the checking of government-issued photo IDs. This is necessary for testing staff to make a positive identification. 
  2. Test takers will be allowed to wear their masks while testing. 
  3. Test takers may also be asked to briefly remove their masks when their identification is checked following the break after test section 3 or after any restroom break. 

Please note that test centers will not be responsible for providing masks or disposing of them for test takers.

Can I bring hand sanitizer to my LSAT test?

Beginning with the April LSAT and until further notice, test takers will be allowed to have a small container of hand sanitizer (preferably travel size, but no larger than an 8 oz. container) on their desktops or in their ziplock bags (subject to inspection).

Is it safe to take a standardized test in a large group setting, given concerns over the spread of the Coronavirus?

We are monitoring the COVID-19 virus situation carefully and paying close attention to the guidance of public health authorities. Throughout this process, our highest priority will be the health and well-being of test takers, test center personnel, and the public.

In response to the growing COVID-19 emergency, health officials are urging businesses, organizations, and individuals to limit travel or activities that could accelerate the spread of the disease and cause our health systems to become overwhelmed. Because of this, LSAC made the difficult decision to cancel the March test to assist with the social distancing that public health authorities are urging in order to slow the spread of this disease; we believe this is the most responsible course of action to protect test takers, test center personnel, and the broader community.

We are evaluating whether the late April 2020 LSAT administration can go forward. We will continue to monitor updates and guidance from national and local health officials and will communicate a final decision on the April test no later than Friday, April 10, so that April registrants have the ability to plan.

Given the uncertainty of this evolving crisis, we are also actively exploring options to administer the LSAT in alternative ways that will best protect the health and well-being of test takers and the broader community. These alternatives could include secure remote-proctored tests, an additional spring/summer administration, and other options that would meet evolving public health guidelines.

We will continuously monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary.  

General Qs on the Admission Process

Will schools extend their application/commitment deadlines?

This is up to each school, and you should check schools’ websites to see if they have announced any global extensions. You can also email the admissions offices to ask this question. An informal survey conducted in mid-March found that more than 60% of law schools who responded had extended deadlines or were planning to, either for all applicants or on a case-by-case basis, and that percentage has probably increased since the time the survey was conducted. 

How will schools view Pass/Fail grades?

Law schools are fully aware of and understand that many undergraduate schools are going to some version of a pass/fail grading system for Spring 2020. In fact, many law schools are making the same decision for their current students. Law schools will be understanding of the situation and will not penalize any applicant for having Pass/Fail grades. LSAC will place a letter in the CAS report of every applicant enrolled during Spring 2020, to remind law schools going forward that the semester was one in which many schools changed their grading systems in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 

What’s going to happen with the April test?

We are evaluating whether the late April 2020 LSAT administration can go forward. We will continue to monitor updates and guidance from national and local health officials and will communicate a final decision on the April test no later than Friday, April 10, so that April registrants have the ability to plan.

If we need to cancel the April test, we will communicate directly with all affected candidates and work to reschedule them to another test center or another date.

Given the uncertainties around the outbreak, we are waiving the test date change fee for April registrants. Candidates who are currently registered for the April LSAT may use the April 2020 LSAT Test Date Change Request form to switch to the June 2020 or July 2020 test by April 13, 2020, 11:59 p.m. (ET), at no additional charge.

How will schools look at the fact that my summer internship was canceled?

Again, law schools understand that COVID-19 pandemic forced many changes that affect students’ summer plans. If your summer internship has been canceled, you should explain that when you apply to law school, and you should also discuss how you adjusted to the unexpected developments resulting from the pandemic.