LSAC’s Late-May “LSAT-Flex” Exam

Many of you registered for the upcoming April 2020 LSAT received a letter from LSAC (copy printed below) stating that (1) the April 2020 LSAT is being cancelled, and (2) in its place, LSAC will be offering a new “LSAT-Flex” exam date “in the second half of May” (presumably only an option for those who were registered for the cancelled March and April 2020 LSATs).
It is notable that the format of the late-May “LSAT-Flex” exam will be a little different.  There will only be THREE 35-minute sections (one each of LR, AR and RC), instead of the usual FIVE 35-minute sections (two LR, one AR, one RC and one ungraded “experimental” section).  Other than that (and the fact that you will be monitored by camera while taking the exam at home), the basic format and structure of the exam will be just like other LSATs. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, but here is my quick take:
  • Do not waste your time trying to figure out if the “curve” will be easier or harder.  LSAC is very good at creating an accurate curve of their exams, and are likely to continue to be able to do so despite the different number of sections in the “LSAT-Flex” exam.  There may wind up being a slight difference in the “curve,” but it’s too hard to predict which way that will cut.
  • If you hate LR, or if you believe you tend to get more fatigued towards the end of a 5-section LSAT than most students, you might want to consider taking this LSAT-Flex format in late-May.  On the other hand, if the opposite is true, you might want to wait and take a standard, 5-section LSAT (whenever that may be).  But, since we don’t know exactly how they will be compensating for the missing LR section, all of it is a bit of guesswork.
  • If it were me, I’d take the late-May “LSAT-flex” if it worked with my schedule, and wouldn’t take it if it didn’t.  Those timing/scheduling considerations would be more important to me than trying desperately to outthink the LSAC and try to figure out whether a theoretically possible slight change in the curve might benefit or harm me.

Good luck to all, and I hope you are doing well – let’s hope we will be turning the corner of COVID-19 soon!

Law School Admission Council, Newtown, PA 18940

Dear [Student]

As promised, we are writing with an update on options for taking the LSAT this spring and summer while we all continue to navigate the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. We hope that you are staying safe and well and encourage you to continue your enrollment journey. We are working closely with our member schools and we are all eager to support you during this challenging time.

The continued devastating impact of the COVID-19 virus on communities throughout North America, and the growing restrictions on travel and public gatherings have led us to reluctantly conclude that we cannot administer the April 2020 LSAT, even in smaller groups with strict candidate separation and other health and safety measures. Given the intense candidate interest in testing this spring for the fall 2020 admission cycle, we had been working to preserve every possible opportunity to deliver the April test in at least some locations with appropriate health and safety measures. While the ongoing restrictions on travel and public gatherings make that impossible, we have been working hard to develop alternatives.

In light of the COVID-19 public health emergency, we will be offering an online, remotely proctored version of the LSAT – called the LSAT-Flex – in the second half of May for test takers who were registered for the April test. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic closely and will make other LSAT-Flex test dates available this spring and summer if the situation warrants. We plan to resume the in-person LSAT once conditions allow, in strict accordance with public health authorities and using all necessary health and safety measures. In the meantime, the remotely proctored LSAT-Flex will provide candidates with the opportunity to earn an LSAT score even if the COVID-19 crisis makes it impossible to deliver the test in-person.

Candidates currently registered for the April 2020 LSAT will be automatically registered to take the LSAT-Flex in the second half of May unless they choose another option (see below). If you wish to proceed, please take a moment to review the technical requirements, and fill out the online form to let us know whether or not you think you will need assistance. We are committed to broad access and will work with all test takers with disabilities to see that their accommodation needs are met under the circumstances. We will also work with any candidates who may need our assistance with access to computer equipment or other necessary hardware.

April registrants who do not wish to take the LSAT-Flex in May should use this online formto choose any one of the other published LSAT test dates without having to pay a test date change fee.

We will announce the exact date and instructions for the May LSAT-Flex no later than Friday, April 17. We are working hard amid this crisis to create new ways for you to take the LSAT and get your score in a timely manner because we know how important it is to you and to fairness and integrity in law school admission, which advances access and equity in legal education. We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we all work through this extraordinary situation together.

Here are some key facts about the LSAT-Flex test that will help you prepare should you decide to take it in May:

  • LSAT-Flex will provide the high levels of security, validity, reliability, accessibility, and fairness that candidates and schools rely upon from the LSAT.
  • LSAT-Flex will be composed of genuine LSAT questions that have been developed and tested in accordance with our rigorous standards and processes.
  • LSAT-Flex will be delivered in the same format as the free Official LSAT Prep practice tests available on LSAC’s LawHub, so you can familiarize yourself with the format now.
  • To ensure the highest levels of security and validity, all LSAT-Flex test takers will be monitored by live remote proctors via the camera and microphone in the test takers’ computer. The video and audio feed will be recorded, and further reviewed by human reviewers and Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques.
  • LSAT-Flex can be accessed by test takers with a laptop or desktop computer with a Windows or Mac operating system to provide wide access for test takers. You can learn more about the computer and testing environment requirements here.
  • To meet the anticipated demand and the needs of the remote testing solution, LSAT-Flex will be composed of three 35-minute scored sections (compared to the four 35-minute scored sections plus an unscored section in the traditional test).
  • LSAT-Flex will include one section each of Reading Comprehension, Analytical Reasoning, and Logical Reasoning. Test takers will continue to take LSAT Writing separate from the multiple-choice portion of the test.
  • LSAC is committed to working with LSAT-Flex test takers with disabilities to see that their accommodation needs are met under the circumstances. All test takers who have already been approved to receive accommodations for the April 2020 LSAT test date will receive the same or equivalent accommodations for the LSAT-Flex administration. Accommodated test takers who registered for the April LSAT can expect to receive additional details and information directly from LSAC regarding their approved accommodations in the context of LSAT-Flex.
  • Test takers will receive a score on the standard 120-180 LSAT range, as well as a percentile ranking. Because all LSAT-Flex questions are actual LSAT questions that have gone through a multi-year process of development and pre-testing, LSAT-Flex results enable LSAC to accurately predict standard LSAT scores. Scores for the LSAT-Flex will have an annotation that the test was administered in the online, remotely proctored format.
  • We anticipate LSAT-Flex scores will be released approximately two weeks after testing.

Even as we offer the LSAT-Flex during this unique COVID-19 period, LSAC will continue to explore additional options for candidates, including possible additional testing dates this spring and summer, and alternative locations and formats for in-person testing that would meet health and safety guidelines as this public health emergency evolves.

In addition, we continue to work with our member law schools and are pleased to see the steps that so many schools are taking to provide flexibility, extend deadlines, and support candidates.

The impact of this COVID-19 crisis on so many segments of our society underscore how important it is to build a strong legal profession devoted to advancing justice, equity and prosperity. We hope that you will continue to pursue your goal of legal education – the legal profession needs you, now more than ever!

Sincerely,

Kellye Y. Testy
President and CEO
Law School Admission Council

Please note: To ensure timely and consistent delivery of communications from the Law School Admission Council, please add testadmin@LSAC.org to your Safe Senders and contact lists.

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