Preparing for and taking the LSAT is a daunting prospect. You likely imagine hours upon hours of studying, and you aren’t wrong: the LSAT is hard, and putting yourself in a position to maximize your score is a big task.
With that being said, this test is beatable, and the first step to conquering it is dispelling some of the fears around LSAT test prep. You should make sure you have all of the necessary—but not sufficient!—information to make a knowledgeable decision about your LSAT prep plan, whether you are working independently or with one of our expert tutors.
To help get you started, this guide will give you an overview of LSAT testing options, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as some info on online LSAT resources.
LSAT Testing Options: What You Need To Know
First things first—you don’t really have a lot of testing options on the LSAT. The test has undergone a number of shifts over the past few years, as outlined below, but as of writing there is really only one way to take the LSAT (not including testing accommodations).
Traditionally, the LSAT was administered in LSAC-approved test centers as a pencil-and-paper exam. In 2019, the LSAT switched to a digital format, with the test being administered on tablets but still in person. Then, due to COVID-19 restrictions across the globe, the LSAC canceled the April 2020 in-person LSAT and rolled out the LSAT-Flex, a shortened version of the test administered remotely, shortly thereafter.
Finally, in mid-2021, the LSAC announced that the LSAT-Flex would drop the “Flex” designation and become the default version of the test until at least June 2022, pending developments with the COVID-19 pandemic. (For the purposes of this article, however, we’ll generally continue to refer to the remote, shortened LSAT as the LSAT-Flex in order to differentiate it from the “standard” version of the test.)
There remain some questions as to whether the current version of the test is here to stay as an alternative to the digital in-person LSAT or whether it’s purely a COVID-inspired stopgap; for now, though, the artist formerly known as the LSAT-Flex is your only testing option. To make sure you are best prepared, we highly recommend that you make use of the LSAC’s Prep Plus subscription plan to access real online LSAT and LSAT-Flex practice tests.
LSAT Testing Options: Digital LSAT vs. LSAT-Flex
Assuming that it returns as a testing option when we are one day allowed to leave our homes again, the digital LSAT has essentially the same structure as the old paper-and-pencil LSAT but is taken on a tablet. It still consists of two Logical Reasoning sections, one Logic Games section, and one Reading Comprehension section, along with one unscored experimental section and an unscored writing sample; the only real change, aside from the digital format, is that the writing section is completed by the tester at a separate time from the rest of the test.
It seems likely that this will be one, if not the only, LSAT testing option in a post-COVID world. The LSAT-Flex was implemented as a stopgap measure to allow students to test safely, but the LSAT has traditionally consisted of five multiple-choice sections and one essay, and it isn’t clear that the LSAC will have a reason to stay away from that structure once COVID is over.
The LSAT-Flex is a shortened, remotely-proctored version of the digital LSAT. In order to best optimize the test for a remote format and to mitigate security concerns, the LSAT-Flex omits one Logical Reasoning section. The unscored experimental section is still included, and there is one 10-minute break between Sections 2 and 3; the writing sample is also still required but is still taken at a separate time. Overall, these changes make for a slightly shorter test (2.5 hours vs. 3.5 hours).
While you may have more options post-COVID, you should prepare for the test you have in front of you—as of writing, that is the LSAT-Flex and only the LSAT-Flex. That’s why we tailor LSAT programs to the individual student; our test experts can help you prepare for whatever the LSAC throws your way.
If you’re looking for customized one-on-one prep that’s 100% tailored to your unique needs, Inspirica Pros has dozens of expert LSAT tutors with decades of combined experience; give us a call today. We can’t wait to get started.