Is the LSAT-Flex Easier Than the Normal LSAT?
- Mar 31, 2021
- LSAC, LSAT, LSAT Analysis
When LSAC introduced the LSAT-Flex in 2020, they assured us test-takers were going to experience the same test as before, albeit shorter and taken at home. They weren’t lying. LSAT-Flex questions come from previous LSAT administrations, so yes, the material is the same. There’s no reason to believe the LSAT-Flex is inherently easier than the regular LSAT.
Fast forward to one year later. The data is in and it’s rather…encouraging.
Nearly 50,000 people took the LSAT last year and about 34% of applicants received an LSAT score of 160 or above on their highest LSAT. This year, there have been 57,538 test takers and 39% of applicants scored a 160 or higher.
The real eye-opening numbers, however, are found in the 97th+ percentiles. Between last year and this year, LSAC has seen a 54.7% increase in law school applicants scoring in the 170-174 range. Test takers receiving a 175-180 LSAT score also rose 100.3% (which actually translates to about 721 more students).
Does this mean the LSAT-Flex is easier?
Is it easier to get a higher score on the LSAT-Flex than it is on the normal LSAT? Not necessarily, especially considering the number of people who received less than a 140 on their highest LSAT this year increased by 10% compared to last year. Remember, LSAC maintains that the score distribution has more or less stayed the same. Flex wasn’t meant to be easier.
Still, it does open a conversation about how the pandemic affected student’s performance and how it ultimately created an ultra-competitive admissions season.
Why are so many people getting higher LSAT scores on the LSAT-Flex?
The LSAT-Flex is the same as the LSAT, except it’s not.
The LSAT-Flex is comprised of questions from past exams. The material is the same. These questions aren’t easier or harder. However, there’s an entire section missing.
The LSAT-Flex has one less Logical Reasoning section than the normal LSAT. This makes the test considerably shorter. Rather than forcing yourself to stay focused for four hours, you only have to stay awake for about half of that. It’s less arduous and there’s less pressure. You might not even think of the LSAT-Flex as the largest obstacle blocking your law school acceptance.
You can choose what time and day you want to take the LSAT-Flex.
Previously, taking the LSAT was an entire ordeal. You woke up early to make it to your test center by 8 AM. If your test day fell on the rare weekday, then you probably had to take a vacation day from work or school. It wasn’t ideal for most people or their circadian rhythms.
The LSAT-Flex provides much more flexibility. It’s taken over a few days and you can choose the day and time slot you want to take a test. If you’re an early bird, you can still take it in the morning. If you can’t force yourself out of bed until noon, there are afternoon times. Either way, you have the opportunity to take the LSAT when you know you will be at your best.
There could have been more time to prep for the LSAT-Flex.
With lockdowns and stay-at-home orders in full effect for nearly the entirety of 2020 and early 2021, people found themselves with a lot more time on their hands. School and [certain] jobs became remote, eliminating the need to commute and sit in traffic. Plus, there was nothing to do on weekends. On the flip side, some non-trad students, unfortunately, were furloughed or laid off.
There are so many things on Netflix to watch (or rewatch). Eventually, test takers probably found a good use for all that extra time by prepping for the LSAT. Admittedly, it was a perfect storm. There were fewer external distractions and FOMO didn’t really exist. They didn’t have to squeeze in time to prep, because they had the time—well, when they weren’t baking bread.
Blueprint LSAT courses were already primed for online learning, so our students didn’t need to wait or adjust. Our Live Online instructors were already skilled at teaching on Zoom and our self-paced LSAT course was already considered one of the best online LSAT courses.
The LSAT-Flex is an at-home test.
Think back to when you were in school and how you dreaded taking an exam. You probably didn’t even want to be there.
Now think about any test or assignment you had to take at home. Your mood and the way you approached the exam likely changed drastically. You’re likely far more comfortable working on a desk in your room than in a dingy classroom and sitting in an uncomfortable seat for four hours.
It sounds like a stretch, but it’s possible the level of control over your testing environment that the remote LSAT-Flex affords you does affect your performance. If so, then it would be in your best interest to create a harmonious and encouraging surrounding to motivate you while prepping for the LSAT and taking your test. After all, the at-home LSAT is here to stay.
Will the future at-home LSAT be as easy as the LSAT-Flex or easier than the normal LSAT?
Again, the LSAT-Flex wasn’t easier. The situation surrounding the Flex administrations was just advantageous for test-takers. LSAC didn’t plan for this to happen.
The LSAT will stay remote for the next two years or so, though it will get longer beginning in August 2021 with the addition (i.e. the return) of the Experimental Section. The format of the LSAT will remain the same and you can still choose when you want to take it; however, it will be 45 minutes longer because of the new 35-minute section and a 10-minute break. You will be asked to stay focused longer and that could affect your performance. Keep that in mind.
So, should you take the June LSAT-Flex?
The June LSAT-Flex will be the final three-section LSAT. If you want to take the LSAT while it’s shorter, then take the June 2021 LSAT. Will your performance drastically change if you take the August LSAT instead? Probably not, but remember the golden rule of choosing an LSAT date: the best LSAT is the one that gives you enough time to prep and allows you to apply early to law school.
Given that it’s the end of March—at the time of publication—you only have two months to prep for the June LSAT. Retakers might not have a problem with this but it might not be enough time for LSAT newbies. If you’re in college, your final exams are coming up; balancing LSAT prep with finals is always difficult. Be honest with yourself about how much time you have to dedicate to LSAT prep.
Blueprint still has seats in their June LSAT Live Online classes, but make sure you have enough free time outside of class to complete your homework.
Otherwise, there’s nothing wrong with taking the August LSAT. We can prepare you and give you the confidence you need on test day! Not sure where to start? Schedule a free consultation with an LSAT Advisor to discuss your LSAT goals and unique to find the best LSAT course for you!
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