UPDATE: Coronavirus and the LSAT

Last Updated August 27, 2020

 

COVID-19 Resources Page
Visit our COVID-19 Resources page

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.

To enable candidates to earn an LSAT score and continue their law school journeys despite the COVID-19 emergency, we have developed the online, remotely proctored LSAT-Flex. Already, approximately 33,000 candidates have received scores via the May, June, and July LSAT-Flex exams. You can learn more about the LSAT-Flex, including technical requirements and answers to frequently asked questions on our LSAT-Flex page.

Given the continuing COVID-19 emergency, we are providing the online LSAT-Flex in August, October, and November. These LSAT-Flex exams are being offered in place of the in-person LSATs scheduled for August 29, October 3, and November 14 in the U.S. and Canada and the in-person international LSAT scheduled for October 4 and 10. All candidates who had previously registered for the August, October, and November in-person LSAT administrations will be automatically registered to take the corresponding LSAT-Flex exam, unless they choose to opt out and receive a coupon which can be applied to any future LSAT until April 2021. 

The August LSAT-Flex will be administered the week starting Saturday, August 29. Most test takers will test on either Saturday, August 29; Sunday, August 30; Monday, August 31; or Wednesday, September 2, with a small number of tests occurring later in the week based on specific remote proctoring requirements. Currently, we are targeting Friday, September 18, as the August LSAT-Flex score release date for all test takers, regardless of when they test during the week of August 29.

The October LSAT-Flex will be administered the week starting Saturday, October 3. Most test takers will test on either Saturday, October 3; Sunday, October 4; Tuesday, October 6; or Thursday, October 8, with a small number of tests occurring Wednesday, October 7, based on specific remote proctoring requirements. Currently, we are targeting Friday, October 23, as the October LSAT-Flex score release date for all test takers, regardless of when they test during the week of October 3.

The November LSAT-Flex will be administered the week starting Saturday, November 7. Most test takers will test on either Saturday, November 7; Sunday, November 8; Tuesday, November 10; or Wednesday, November 11, with a small number of tests occurring later in the week based on specific remote proctoring requirements. Currently, we are targeting Tuesday, November 24, as the November LSAT-Flex score release date for all test takers, regardless of when they test during the week of November 7.

We know how important the LSAT is to candidates and schools, and also to fairness and integrity in law school admission, which advances access and equity in legal education. 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 monitor the COVID-19 pandemic closely and will make other LSAT-Flex test dates available if the situation warrants. We plan to resume the in-person LSAT once conditions allow, in strict accordance with public health authorities and using all necessary health and safety measures. 

We will continue to provide regular updates as this situation unfolds. We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we all work through this extraordinary situation together. See below for more information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions. 

 

Test Dates, Changes, and Cancellations

What is the status of the August LSAT?

Given the continued uncertainty over how the COVID-19 emergency will evolve, we have made the decision to offer the online, remotely proctored LSAT-Flex in August, and cancel the in-person LSAT that was scheduled for August 29 in the U.S. and Canada. 

The August LSAT-Flex will be administered the week starting Saturday, August 29. Candidates registered for the August 29, 2020, LSAT will be automatically registered to take the August LSAT-Flex unless they choose to receive a coupon to use for a different LSAT date until April 2021.

We are committed to broad access and will work with all test takers with disabilities to see that their accommodation needs are met under the circumstances. We will also work with any candidates who may need our assistance with access to computer equipment, a reliable internet connection, or a quiet place to test. 

What is the status of the October LSAT?

Given the continued uncertainty over how the COVID-19 emergency will evolve, we have made the decision to offer the online, remotely proctored LSAT-Flex in October, and cancel both the in-person LSAT that was scheduled for October 3 in the U.S. and Canada and the in-person international LSAT scheduled for October 4 and October 10.

The October LSAT-Flex will be administered the week starting Saturday, October 3. All candidates registered for the October LSAT administration will be automatically registered to take the October LSAT-Flex unless they choose to opt out and receive a coupon which can be applied to any future test between November 2020 and April 2021.

We are committed to broad access and will work with all test takers with disabilities to see that their accommodation needs are met under the circumstances. We will also work with any candidates who may need our assistance with access to computer equipment, a reliable internet connection, or a quiet place to test.

What is the status of the November LSAT?

Given the continuing COVID-19 emergency, we will offer the online, remotely proctored LSAT-Flex instead of the in-person LSAT scheduled for November 14 in the U.S. and Canada.

Based on scheduling considerations related to remote education and remote testing at colleges and universities due to COVID-19, we are adjusting the date of the November test. We recognize that different schools have different class and testing schedules, but we are hopeful that this date change will make it easier and more convenient for most test takers, and we are sharing this date change as far in advance as possible so that affected test takers have the opportunity to plan.

The November LSAT-Flex will be administered the week starting Saturday, November 7. All candidates registered for the November LSAT administration will be automatically registered to take the November LSAT-Flex unless they choose to opt out and receive a coupon which can be applied to any future test between January 2020 and April 2021.

We are committed to broad access and will work with all test takers with disabilities to see that their accommodation needs are met under the circumstances. We will also work with any candidates who may need our assistance with access to computer equipment, a reliable internet connection, or a quiet place to test.

Will LSAC offer additional LSAT-Flex administrations if the COVID-19 emergency continues?

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 future in-person LSAT administrations must be canceled in some or all locations. We are making contingency plans so that no matter how the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, candidates will have the opportunity to test. If necessary, additional remotely proctored LSAT-Flex administrations could be a part of the solution.

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 public health crisis, LSAC has made the difficult decision to cancel several in-person LSATs. 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 these in-person tests 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.

To address the needs of candidates who need to earn a score to continue their law school journey, we are providing an online, remotely proctored version of the LSAT, called LSAT-FlexWe will only return to administering the standard LSAT when conditions allow, with rigorous adherence to the guidance and direction of public health authorities.

When we are able to resume in-person testing, be assured that all of LSAC’s testing equipment is sanitized prior to each administration. In addition, test takers are deliberately separated from one another while taking the test.

We have amended our test taker rules to allow in-person test takers to wear masks that cover their nose and mouth if they wish, and to allow test takers 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 in-person LSAT exam?

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.

Until further notice, any in-person LSAT 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 in-person LSAT exam?

Until further notice, in-person 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 has made the difficult decision to cancel a number of in-person LSAT administrations, and to replace these canceled in-person tests with the online LSAT-Flex 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 will only return to administering the standard LSAT when conditions allow, with rigorous adherence to the guidance and direction of public health authorities.

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

General Qs on the Admission Process

How will schools view Pass/Fail grades?

Law schools are fully aware of and understand that virtually all students enrolled during the spring 2020 COVID-19 pandemic experienced significant disruption in their living and learning arrangements. Law schools are also aware that many undergraduate and graduate schools changed their grading systems to allow or require Pass/Fail grades in lieu of their traditional grading systems and will not penalize any applicant for presenting Pass/Fail grades. LSAC will place a letter in the CAS report of every applicant enrolled during spring 2020, reminding law schools of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the population and on higher education.

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.