Changes to the LSAT in 2019 and beyond

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Jan 22, 2019

Did you know beginning this summer that the LSAT will begin its transition from paper-based to digital? This is big news for all prospective students, indeed.

Many standardized tests as a whole are now given on computers or tablets and it was just a matter of time until the LSAT followed suit. Rest assured this change shouldn’t alter your score or the exam’s format; however, it’s important to stay abreast of these changes in order to show up on test day prepared.

Kellye Testy, President and CEO of LSAC, stated, “The LSAT will be fully digital in North America starting in September 2019. We’ve planned this transition carefully to ensure candidates have all the information they need to decide their preferred testing schedule.” However, it’s important to note that the transition technically begins in July, easing students into this new LSAT. As of July, some test takers will be administered pencil-and-paper tests while others will be assigned digital ones.

Unlike other standardized exams, this new means of testing won’t be delivered on a computer screen—but a tablet. Thankfully, the tablet version provides various type sizes and built-in screen readers, as well as other enhancements that offer the best testing experience for those with disabilities.

If you have some questions regarding this new change in the exam, you’re in luck! We have some answers. Let’s take a deep dive into specifics regarding the tablet-based exam that can provide insight and knowledge.

Format of LSAT Format: A Review

While it’s important to keep in mind that the format of the LSAT will not change with the digital version debuting this summer, it’s never a bad idea to review the structure of the LSAT. Again, this is the same structure for the paper-based, but valuable to review prior to talking about other changes. If you want to familiarize yourself with the types of questions, please check out these free LSAT practice questions that also come with detailed explanations of the correct answers.

Are you aware of all the sections in the LSAT, the number of questions, time constraints as well as overall skills assessed? Below you will find a breakdown of what to expect.

LSAT Section # of Questions Amount of Time Skills Assessed
Logical Reasoning 24-26 35 minutes Tests the ability to analyze, critically evaluate and complete arguments effectively.
Analytical Reasoning

(“Logic Games”)

24-26 35 minutes Tests the ability to assess a group of facts and rules, ultimately determining what is and is not true.
Reading Comprehension 24-26 35 minutes Tests the analysis of long and short passages as it relates to reading comprehension.
Variable Section 24-26 35 minutes Unscored
Writing One essay prompt 35 minutes Ungraded; assesses the ability to write coherently about the decision between two positions or courses of actions.

Digital LSAT: The Specifics

Again, the good news is there won’t be any format or content alterations to the exam, so there isn’t a need to worry about different material with which to study. Test takers will be permitted to make use of physical scratch paper during the analytical reasoning questions; furthermore, a stylus comes with each tablet, which aids in the underlining or highlighting of text.

Other questions have been asked about the Writing portion of the exam. In regards to this, LSAC claims, “The writing section will be separate from the LSAT and administered on a secure online platform. This change will result in greater convenience and flexibility for test takers as the testing date will be shorter, the essay will be typed rather than handwritten, and it can be completed at a time and place of the test takers’ choosing.” If you need detailed information about scoring and score distribution, please read this in-depth article about LSAT score percentiles.

Additionally—not to mention conveniently—a navigation bar appears at the bottom of every screen on the tablet test, meaning that if you flag a question, the flag will appear above that question’s number in the navigation bar, so you can easily take note of which questions you must return to.

The digital LSAT, it appears, is very similar to the paper-based LSAT with a primary difference—convenience.  

LSAT 2019-2020 Test Dates

While it’s imperative to remain alert on the alterations with the digital LSAT, it’s also equally as important to observe the testing dates and times for the 2019-2020 calendar year.

Good news on this front: The LSAC is providing nine test dates for this upcoming testing period as opposed to six in 2018-2019. Thankfully, you have more chances to sit for the exam. Naturally, more flexibility for students means more chances to obtain your perfect score. Take note of the following test dates and times and keep in mind which ones would work best for your testing schedule and goals.

Test Date Test Time
Saturday, January 26, 2019 8:30 AM
Saturday, March 30, 2019 8:30 AM
Monday, June 3, 2019 12:30 PM
Monday, July 15, 2019 12:30 PM
Saturday, September 21, 2019 8:30 AM
Monday, October 28, 2019 12:30 PM
Monday, November 25, 2019 8:30 AM
Monday, January 13, 2020 12:30 PM
Saturday, February 22, 2020 8:30 AM
Monday, March 30, 2020 12:30 PM
Saturday, April 25, 2020 8:30 AM


LSAT in The Philippines

The digital LSAT will begin its transition in July of this year; in September, the tablet-based exam will be given to all students in Region One, which includes the U.S. and Canada. At this time, there is no rollout date for the digital LSAT in the Philippines, so you can anticipate taking the paper-based version should you schedule a test time this year.

There is one place to take the LSAT in the Philippines and it’s at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City. Currently, it is being offered only two times a year: January and September/October.

In the end, only you can determine which course of study is right for you when it comes to the LSAT; however, starting early and allowing months of consistent preparation is a sure-fire recipe for a higher score. If you are able to practice on a tablet, even better—especially when it comes to LSAT mock exams and practice exercises.

About Manhattan Review:
Manhattan Review is an international test prep firm that mainly offers preparation for admissions tests needed to apply to US-based universities and schools, including the SAT, GMAT, LSAT, SAT, ACT, SSAT, ISEE, and TOEFL. Founded in 1999 by Dr. Joern Meissner, an internationally renowned business school professor, the company helps students gain entrance to their desired degree programs by working to improve their admission test scores. Headquartered in New York City, Manhattan Review offers SAT Prep in the Philippines and many cities in Southeast Asia, including Mumbai, Bangalore, Malleswaram, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Hong Kong. Please also check out our official website for Manhattan Review India.

Learn more about Manhattan Review


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