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The Digital LSAT Is Here; How'd It Do?

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on July 25, 2019

When I, an old person, took the California bar, the airplane hangar-sized tent at the fairgrounds contained a mix of those taking the test on laptops and those writing their answers by hand. And when I realized I had mis-analyzed a question and my entire response needed rewriting, I thanked several deities that I was one of those on a computer, and could delete, cut, and move my words around rather than cross off page after paper page of wrongheadedness.

And it appears as though those taking the LSAT in a digital format for the first time were equally pleased. According to test-prep company Kaplan, more than half the digital test-takers rated the experience as "good" or "very good." That's good for now, but let's wait until their results come back, shall we?

Put to the Test

About half of the 24,000 test-takers took the digital version of the LSAT on July 15. Kaplan surveyed 118 of its students who did, and got some favorable reviews when they asked about the technological aspects of the exam: "Seventeen percent rate this experience as 'very good'; 36 percent describe it as 'good'; 30 percent call it 'fair'; 14 percent, 'poor'; and 3 percent say it is 'very poor.'"

According to Law School Admission Council chief information officer Troy Lowry, despite a few tech issues the rollout was a success. "We are pleased that 99.3 percent of the test-takers who were registered at digital test centers were able to complete the test," Lowry said in a statement, "but we won't be satisfied until that number is 100 percent." Digital LSAT takers found the format easier on their nerves, LSAC reported, and tablets made it easier to read passages, attack the logic section, and keep track of time.


Kaplan students were a little more mixed on the difficulty of the LSAT from a question answering standpoint. Thirty-seven percent said the digital exam was easier than they anticipated, while 32 percent said it was harder than they expected, and 31 percent said the overall difficulty was about what they thought it would be.

The actual scores from this month's test won't be released until August 28, so it will be interesting to see if the digital test-takers fared any better than their paper-and-pencil counterparts.

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