LSAT Transitioning to Digital Format

The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is going digital.

On Dec. 10, the test’s governing body announced the 70-year-old entrance exam will transition to a digital format beginning in July 2019.

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) said the Digital LSAT will be administered exclusively through Microsoft’s Surface Go tablets. Test takers will complete the five multiple-choice sections on the tablet on test day, while the LSAT’s writing portion will be submitted separately from the test taker’s device of choice.

Thanks to the new digital format, test takers will receive results within days rather than weeks, according to LSAC.

LSAC also touted the digital format’s ability to adjust for test takers who require accommodations. The tablet will allow them to highlight and underline text, adjust text size, and increase the screen’s brightness.

“[M]any of the things people now have to ask for accommodations for will just be built into the system,” said Troy Lowry, LSAC’s chief information officer.

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is already digitally administered. Law speculated that its own change to digital will help the LSAT compete with the GRE, as many law schools now accept GRE scores alongside LSAT scores.

LSAC is purchasing roughly 30,000 tablets as part of its digitization. Kellye Testy, president and CEO of LSAC, declined to comment to Law on the price of the tablets, just noting that their purchase was “a considerable investment.” A Surface Go retails at Microsoft for $399.

The current application fee for the pen-and-paper LSAT is $190. According to The Verge, LSAC has not indicated whether the change to a digital format will affect prices.

We evaluate the fees annually, because we’re working to help candidates be able to apply and not be pushed out due to raised fees,” Testy told The Verge. “The cost is still in flux because we’re reevaluating the number of students applying to law school every year.”

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