LSAT last graduate school entrance exam to go digital


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Audrey Harper | @CAudreyHarper, Contributing Writer

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is completely digital as of Sept. 21. While the test is no longer pencil and paper, the content has stayed the same.

The LSAT is the last graduate school entrance exam to go digital. However, it is the only one to not have changed the content after its digitization like the MCAT and the GMAT. 

“LSAT kept all of the same question types, the same number of questions, the same timing protection, and it scored in exactly the same way as it was before,” said Glen Stohr, Kaplan senior manager for instructional design and LSAT instructor. “And to me, it speaks to the fact that LSAT was a test that was really well designed to test law school skills.”

In July, half of the LSAT test-takers took it digitally, and half of the takers took it on paper and pencil. The test is administered on a Microsoft Touch Pro, and students are encouraged to practice taking the test on a tablet. The question of accessibility has arisen since the LSAT announced its plan to go digital.

“The average student has a tablet or a laptop that they can access, but there are computers that accessible all around campus,” said Hannah Berman, the director of UA pre-law advising. “It’s more accessible in that they’re not having to purchase books. They’re not having to necessarily take a course because it’s free on LSAC and Khan Academy, but there is that drawback if they don’t have access to technology, which I would say is getting kind of rare these days… I would definitely say digital would be the way to go.”

Currently, Berman has 30 tablets for students to use for practice LSATs so students can get experience in using a tablet for the test. 

According to UA pre-law student outcome data, the UA Class of 2018 graduates were accepted to each of the “T14,” or top 14, law schools in the country, and at least one graduate matriculated to 13 of the T14 institutions. For most, success on the LSAT is key to admittance. 

The digital version of the LSAT has the ability to highlight certain words, flag questions, and gray-out and eliminate answers. That, along with time reminders and the overall seamlessness of marking an answer on a tablet versus bubbling on a scantron have been some of the benefits Berman and Stohr have seen from students. 

Sarah Comino, a senior studying economics and the vice president of administration for the Pre-Law Student Association, has taken the physical LSAT, but will take the digital LSAT for the first time in November. 

“It’s been weird to make the adjustment between taking it on paper versus the tablet, but I do think it saves you a lot of time and having to not look through the book or filling out the scantrons allows you to spend more time actually looking at the questions,” Comino said.