Tips for adjusting to the new digital LSAT

By Hillary Mantis

This September, summer will end, and with it the old paper and pencil version of the LSAT. As of September, 2019, the test will be fully digital in North America.

This has caused a surprising amount of concern for my pre-law advisees. “But, you all know how to use tablets…wouldn’t you prefer the digital version, anyway?” I asked them. Change is hard, though, even for a tech-savvy generation.

So here are some good things to know about the digital LSAT:

- It is the same test, just in a digital format. The actual test is not changing. Whatever methods you are utilizing to studying for it, the test remains the same. So, content-wise, you are good, and there is nothing new to worry about.

- The test will be on a Microsoft Surface Go tablet, with what appears to be state of the art technology. It will have some cool features, like the ability to highlight and underline text, adjust the font size, tilt the tablet, and view a timer indicating how much time you have left.

- There will be scratch paper handed out. Worried about diagramming logic games? You will still have access to paper and a pen, and can still write out your thoughts or make notes, before recording the answers on the tablet.

- The test day is actually shorter because the writing section is now separate from the rest of the test. As of June, the writing section is now administered at a different time. You can take it from a secure laptop or home computer at your convenience.

- The LSAT will be offered nine times during this testing year. It has traditionally been given four times a year until recently — and now, it’s up to nine. So you don’t have to worry as much about the test conflicting with your finals, or other inconvenient times of year.

- There are tutorials and practice tests on the LSAC website. If you go to www.lsac.org, you will see both tutorials and free practice tests online to help you visualize and adjust to the digital format. There is also a good FAQ section explaining the changes. In addition, the Khan Academy, which you can link to from the LSAC site, offers free LSAT study resources.


Hillary Mantis advises pre-law students, law students and lawyers. She is the author of career books, including "Alternative Careers for Lawyers" and director of the pre-law program at Fordham University. You can reach her at altcareer@aol.com.


 

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