Technology changes in the blink of an eye. In keeping with this rapid change, Accepted has new information to add to what we first reported about the digital LSAT several weeks ago.
Major features of the digital LSAT
The digital LSAT, which will debut in July 2019, will be taken on Microsoft Surface Go tablets. Some of the features of the new digital system include:
- Fast availability of scores – in days instead of weeks.
- The ability for each test-taker to customize type size and screen brightness as well as highlight and underline text.
- Special security technology that will protect the LSAT’s reliability.
- The 35-minute writing section of the LSAT will not be part of the test taken on the tablet. Test-takers will be able to do this part of the test on their own computer at their own convenience.
Microsoft has partnered with the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) (the creators of the LSAT) to be sure that the test-taking experience is as seamless as possible. The tablets have been designed with kickstands that allow users to choose the angle of the tablet as well as special styluses just for this use.
Despite these advances, some students may still be wary about taking a digital test and have questions about it. LSAC will soon be releasing a Digital LSAT familiarization tutorial and is developing digital test-prep materials.
The change to digital testing evens the playing field between the LSAT and the GRE, which many law schools are already accepting along with LSAT scores.
More on the writing section
One of the biggest changes is separating the writing section from the multiple-choice sections of the LSAT. According to Lily Knezevich, the council’s senior vice president for learning and assessment, this change was made after hearing from test takers. “We’re responding to feedback from test takers that having to complete a written essay in a large-group setting at the end of a rigorous examination is not conductive to doing their best writing,” says Knezevich. This part of the test does not count toward the overall LSAT score, but is given to the law schools. Future test-takers will take the writing section on their own computers at their convenience. They will not have to redo the written section if they choose to take the LSAT again. Not only is this better for the test-takers, but also for the admissions officers, who will no longer have to interpret handwritten essays.
The digital LSAT and Surface Go are only the beginning of Microsoft’s entre into law education. LSAC and Microsoft are working on series of enterprises to make applying to law school easier and more efficient. According to Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, “There are clear and profound opportunities for the legal profession to use data and digital technology to support its timeless and important role in society. Microsoft is excited to partner with the LSAC on its digital transformation.”
Is the new digital LSAT in the cards for you? Do you need help prepping for this exam or working on other elements of the law school admissions process? We can help! Check out our Law School Application Services and work one-on-one with an expert consultant who will help you GET ACCEPTED.