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Everything You Need to Know About the Digital LSAT Exam

  • by Ross Rinehart
  • Jun 17, 2019
  • LSAT

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We’ve talked about the digital LSAT a lot … it’s a big change for this test! But I, for one, still get a ton of questions about the digital LSAT test format. So let’s address these questions, one at a time, one more time. Here are all the answers to the questions you may have about the digital LSAT.

Wait, the LSAT exam went digital?

Yeah! Under which boulder-sized rock have you been living? Starting with the July 2019 exam, LSAT has started to administer the test on LSAT tablets, with proprietary testing software, to some test takers. Following the September 2019 exam, and all exams thereafter, in perpetuity (lawyer-speak for “forever”), the exam will be given in its digital format, to all LSAT test takers.

What does the digital LSAT test look like?

Check it out for yourself! LSAC provided a digital familiarization page for prospective test takers to get some first-hand experience with the new digital format. There were some issues with the initial roll out of this page, but now it’s a solid resource to learn about the new software and to try out some actual LSAT practice exams.

Wait, aren’t you supposed to write stuff down on the LSAT? How am I going to do that on this digital exam?

They give you scratch paper! They’ll also give you pens, or you can bring your own pencil if you have a lucky pencil that you cannot do without. About 12-14 pages of scratch paper is handed out, but we’re pretty confident they’ll give you enough to make notes for Logical Reasoning or Reading Comp, and to make your set-ups and scenarios and all else for Logic Games.

I’m an Amish/Luddite/tech-fearing person and I really don’t want to take the test on the LSAT tablet. What are my options?

You don’t have many, I’m afraid. Following the July 2019 test, all future LSAT exams will be given in its digital format.

LSAC has switched to the digital LSAT permanently, so if you’re taking any LSAT from now on, you should be prepared to take the digital test. And really, the digital LSAT is nothing to be feared. It’s the same test as it’s ever been. And most of the new features made possible by the digital software should make the testing experience a little bit easier.

How so?

Well, there are a few major advantages of the digital format for the LSAT test taker. One, you don’t have to bubble in an answer sheet as you would with a traditional standardized test format. You just use the LSAC-provided stylus to click the answer choice you think is correct. You don’t have to take the (admittedly small amount of) time to thoroughly color in a little bubble. You don’t have to worry if your coloring was thorough enough to be read, or so sloppy as to be maybe read incorrectly. This new format saves (again, a little) time. And time is the most precious resource on the LSAT.

Two, the digital testing software will display, prominently, and clearly, the amount of time remaining in your section. On the traditional test, you had to keep track of your own time, using a (not digital) analog wristwatch … like a freakin’ old person. That was harder to do, and you never knew the exact amount of time remaining. That’s not the case anymore, which is a pretty big boon to test takers.

There are a few more marginal benefits, too. The scratch paper they provide gives a test taker more room to make notes than the test booklets of the traditional test did. You can also flag questions on the digital test, and quickly return to that question at the press of a button, without flipping through a bunch of pages of your test booklet. The lack of page-flipping could make test centers quieter. Embrace the digital!

OK, but how am I going to study to take the digital LSAT?

Good question! LSAC is offering a limited amount of practice exams on its digital familiarization page, but that’s not enough. Our advice: to prepare for the digital LSAT you should … I don’t know … practice LSAT questions in a digital format? Shocking, I know.

Any LSAT test prep service worth its salt will have some digital component that will give you some experience answering LSAT question in a digital format. For Blueprint specifically, our students have been doing their homework through a digital interface for years. We recently switched up the format of the LSAT practice exams students can take with us. Our students can now take any practice exam online, in a digital format that looks exactly like the testing software the real test will use. So our students will be able to get a lot of experience with the digital LSAT. You can check this out, gratis, with our free LSAT prep bundle.

If you want to go all-in in your LSAT prep studies, considering acquiring a tablet. The digital LSAT will be administered on a Microsoft Surface Go, so if you want to really replicate grab that one. But, really, all tablets on the market are fairly similar, so any tablet will get close enough to the actual LSAT test experience.

Sounds good, but I have a few more hyper-specific questions!

OK! But let’s make this quick. We’re running out of space for this blog. Let’s do this lightning round-style.

It’s a digital version of the test, so will the tablet’s computer-brain spit my score out as soon as I finish the test?

Nope! It’ll still take about three weeks to get your score back.

Will the actual LSAT exam be adaptive like the GMAT or GRE, in that the difficulty of the questions will change based on your performance?

Nope! In fact we could save a lot of time if I could just say …

Will I still have the same kinds of Logical Reasoning questions?

… that …

And logic games?

… all aspects of the test …

And those godforsaken Reading Comp passages?

… other than the fact that it’s on a tablet …

Will there still be an experimental section?

… will remain the same. You’ll still get two scored LR sections, one scored Logic Games section, one scored Reading Comp section, and one unscored “experimental” section. The test will be scored in the same way. The strategies and concepts that worked for the old test will continue to work for the digital test. One minor/major difference, though, is you now get to complete the LSAT Writing section from home within one year of your LSAT test date.

And what’s this I hear about an LSAT-Flex?

Ah! Good question. The LSAT-Flex is a shorter LSAT implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. It only has three sections, plus LSAT Writing, and must be taken at home on the test-takers computer through the ProctorU website.

OK, those are all my questions!

Great! This blog is over.

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