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What You Can and Cannot Bring on Test Day

Come test day, you and thousands of others will roll out of bed, chug a couple shots of espresso, and gather to collectively face the LSAT. To give yourself the best chance at scoring well (surpassing even your best PEs), it’s essential that you show up informed and properly prepared. Read on to learn what you can and cannot bring with you on the day of the LSAT. This way you can arrive calmer, slip into the zone, and allow your training to take over.

What to Bring on Test Day:

Yourself. Be at the test center by 8:30 a.m. If you decide you’re not ready, go to LSAC’s website and withdraw your LSAT registration before midnight EDT Friday night.

Your LSAT admission ticket, with photo attached. LSAC now requires that you attach a recent, passport-style photo to your admission ticket. Once you take the photo, don’t make any major changes to your appearance. This isn’t the week to go in for plastic surgery, or to start dyeing your beard purple. Be careful that your photo not be overexposed, show your head too large or small, or suffer from any of the other myriad of faults LSAC might find with your photo.

Identification. It needs to be government-issued, and it needs to have your photo. A driver’s license or passport will do the trick. Your student ID will not.

Pencils and a sharpener. Bring a few pencils. They must be of the wooden, non-mechanical variety. Sharpen them in advance, though you may want to bring one that’s less than super sharp for bubbling that LSAT answer sheet. And the pencils must, of course, be #2 pencils.

An analog wristwatch. It’s the only thing you’re allowed to use to keep track of time on the LSAT. Don’t count on your proctors being prompt with the five-minute warning. Practice using your wristwatch to keep your place in the section.

A snack and a refreshing beverage. Your snack should be something that won’t make a mess and that will fit easily in your Ziploc bag. In other words, that leftover soup probably isn’t the best idea. Bring something that you can eat at the break for a pick-me-up on the last two LSAT sections. Energy bars are a convenient if somewhat unpalatable option. Your beverage must be in a plastic container or a juice box, maximum capacity 20 oz. I’m partial to water but bring whatever does the trick for you. Remember though: alcohol is for later in the day, not for during the LSAT writing sample.

A Ziploc bag, maximum size 1 gallon. It’s what you get to use to hold all of the above on LSAT test day.

What Not to Bring on October LSAT Test Day:

Your phone. I know, I know; you feel naked without it. Worse than naked, actually, because usually when you’re naked you at least have your phone. I understand what you’re thinking: Without your phone, how are you going to do a Foursquare check-in at the LSAT test center? How are you going to tweet to your friends about how ill prepared some of your fellow LSAT test-takers seem? How will you Facebook-stalk your proctors, and perhaps ‘poke’ them? Alas, all of these things will have to wait. LSAC is very strict about phones, and if you’re found with one in your possession on the day of the LSAT, it won’t be pretty. Seriously. Do. Not. Bring. Your. Phone.

A stopwatch, a watch, or a digital timer. It would be easy if you could just set a timer for 35 min on each LSAT section, wouldn’t it? Banish that thought, as LSAC will allow no such thing.

Pens or mechanical pencils. They’re simply not allowed on the LSAT. Strangely, highlighters are allowed, so if you want to make abstract art by bleeding highlighter ink through the pages of your test booklet, be my guest.

This isn’t an exhaustive list. Check LSAC’s full guidelines and make sure you’re in compliance before October LSAT test day. And good luck!