Let’s say you planned on taking the LSAT this year … or, rather, you had a nebulous and ill-defined notion that you should take the LSAT this year … but you missed out on the January, March, and June exams. Then you’re either looking at the rapidly approaching July exam, or if you missed that registration deadline, then the exam in September, if not an even later exam. If that describes you, here’s the reality you’re facing: You’re probably going to have to prepare for the digital LSAT.
In July, rather than continuing with the traditional paper-and-pencil format it has used for years, the LSAT will go digital. Instead of reading all the questions in a test booklet and bubbling your answers in a Scantron, you’ll do the entire exam on a tablet with proprietary digital software.
If you take the test in July, you have about a 50-50 shot of getting the digital exam. If you take the test on a later date — like September 21st, October 28th, or November 25th — you have a 100% shot of getting the digital LSAT. And this means that the study materials you thought you’d use — which are likely based on the current paper-and-pencil exam — may not be the best prep for the digital test you’ll face.
But this isn’t a reason to fret or panic or decide to jettison your law school ambitions and not to take the LSAT. With a good plan in place, you can get prepared, becoming comfortable with the digital LSAT — even if you’re one of the intrepid souls who will take the first digital LSAT in July. So to get prepared, here’s what we recommend:
1. Do Your LSAT Studying Online
This seems a little obvious writing it out, but — no duh — the LSAT questions you practice should look like the LSAT questions you’ll see on test date. The LSAT is a hard enough exam that you want to avoid adjusting to a completely foreign format on test day. So, the questions and practice exams you use should look like test you’re about to take.
Which means a plan to just borrow your friend’s old LSAT prep books and download some old practice exams isn’t the best move to prep for the digital LSAT. Instead, look into courses that actually allow you to do real LSAT through a digital platform. Any LSAT prep worth its salt will have some digital component these days, but here are a few good good ones. (full disclosure: those are our courses).
Whichever Blueprint LSAT course you use, you’ll be able to do every single published LSAT question, game, or passage through an online interface that resembles the format the digital LSAT will use. You’ll even be able to take full exams online, with our brand-new exam interface that resembles — to the T (and also to the L and the S and the A) — the actual digital exam software LSAC will employ in July and beyond.
Image from Blueprint LSAT Student Account
2. Check Out LSAC’s Digital Prep Tools
Even if you don’t acquire practice exam software that let’s you take practice exams in the format of the digital LSAT, you still have some options. LSAC has provided, in its beneficence, a website that allows you to familiarize yourself with the digital LSAT. Through this site, you can play around with the digital exam software that will be debuted in July. You can even take three full practice exams online. We have the full rundown of tutorials here, and a review of the digital exam experience here. These limited tools may not be enough to help you get prepared for the LSAT on their own, but they’re definitely a valuable resource you should check out, especially as your test date nears.
3. Get a Tablet
If you have $500 or so burning a hole in your pocket and you want to get really prepared for this exam, consider grabbing a Microsoft Surface Go tablet. Those are the tablets the digital LSAT will be administered on, so getting one before the test will allow you to be acquainted with the hardware you’ll be using on test day. It’s a hefty price, but maybe they’ll come in handy in law school or something too. Don’t feel obligated to get that tablet specifically, though. Most tablets on the market are similar enough that you’ll be able to get adequate practice with any old tablet you have lying around. But don’t forget adding the stylus, because you’ll have one for the digital LSAT as well.