Knowing what to expect the day of your official LSAT will help you:
- Get through test day with as little stress as possible for a high-stakes exam.
- Avoid common test day mistakes that could waste your time and hurt your score.
The road to your LSAT exam begins weeks or even months before the big day as you choose an LSAT test date, figure out your LSAT prep options, and register for the exam and your LSAC account. The day of the exam will be the culmination of all your study and practice, so honor that hard work by making sure you’re 100% ready for what the day will bring. Check out our ultimate guide to LSAT test day.
IMPORTANT: CHANGES TO LSAT TEST DAY IN 2021
Read more about the LSAT-Flex test, which is being administered into June of 2021. There, we discuss proctoring & check-in, equipment needed, special rules, and more. Or check in with our friends at Manhattan Prep to read about a first-hand experience with the LSAT-Flex.
Taking the LSAT: Prepare your testing space
When you register for your LSAT exam, you’re actually choosing a roughly week-long administration. You’ll select the specific day and time for your test about two weeks before the administration begins when the LSAC releases a schedule and allows you to select your slot. Once you’ve done that, your test day preparation kicks into high gear:
- Choose your testing area. You’ll want to have a quiet, well-lit, and distraction-free space with a comfortable place to use your laptop and room for scratch paper and a few pencils.
- Test your equipment. You’ll need a laptop or desktop computer, webcam and mic, stable internet, and either Chrome or Firefox browser. You can run an equipment check through ProctorU, the third-party vendor who oversees testing for LSAC. You’ll receive a link to create a ProctorU account once you register for the LSAT.
- If you’re concerned that you don’t have either an appropriate testing space or adequate equipment, contact LSAC for assistance. LSAC has made clear that it is committed to reducing barriers for all students looking to apply to law school.
- Inform others around you (your roommates, family, etc.) of your test date and time to make sure your testing environment will be quiet and undisturbed.
- Check that the government-issued ID you’ll be using on test day is up-to-date and that the name precisely matches the one you used on your LSAT registration.
- Make sure the photo you uploaded to your LSAT account meets all of the requirements outlined by LSAC.
If you’re a first-time test taker, decide if you want to sign up for Score Preview, the feature that allows you to see your score before deciding whether to cancel the test administration. Note: “First-time test taker” means you’ve never taken an official LSAT before, whether you kept or canceled your score.
The Night before and morning of your LSAT Test Day
By “exam eve” you’ll have prepared and practiced for every section and question on the test, so use the 24 hours before the test to center yourself, remove anything that cause anxiety, and focus on performance.
- Avoid last-minute study or testing. As a skills-based test, the LSAT isn’t something for which you can cram. Relaxation and focus will help you more than a frantic attempt to squeeze in one more logic game.
- The time of day when you’ll test really does matter, and you’ll want to practice going to sleep and waking up accordingly, as well as taking your practice tests at that time. If you know you’re not at your best early in the morning, plan to test during a noon administration.
- The evening before your test, pull together the items you’ll need during the test—your government-issued ID (required), five sheets of blank scratch paper, a few sharpened pencils, tissues, etc.
- Eat a healthy dinner the night before and a balanced breakfast the morning of your test. Don’t chug coffee or other beverages that you don’t normally consume.
- Dress comfortably in a way you won’t mind being seen on camera—remember, you’ll be observed the whole time—and keep in mind that you cannot wear a hat or hood (unless it’s a religious item), sunglasses, or electronics of any kind. (Plain foam ear plugs are allowed with the approval of your proctor.)
- Clear any forbidden items from your testing room. For a complete list, see the link to the LSAC Candidate Agreement in the next section.
- Check out our 6 tips for last-minute LSAT prep.
Taking the LSAT: Check-in and pre-test procedures
One of the great advantages of at-home testing is that you can avoid the hassle of getting to a test site, searching for a parking space, hustling to find the right building or room, and above all, sitting through a lengthy check-in process with dozens of nervous test takers. Knowing exactly what to expect when you log in on test day will put you in complete control of the process.
- Even before test day, you can and should get familiar with the full list of test day rules by reading LSAC’s Candidate Agreement. There, you’ll find up-to-the-minute information on what you must, can, and cannot have on your desk or in the room while you test.
- A few minutes prior to your scheduled test time, log into ProctorU (LSAC will provide instructions for making an account), and click “Start Session.” (By the way, if you log in too early—more than 10-15 minutes before your scheduled session—you won’t see the “Start Session” button yet.)
- Follow the setup process—there’s a tech check, photo ID verification, and installation of a test recovery app.
- The proctor will direct you to LSAC’s LawHub, where you will log in using your LSAC username and password and launch your LSAT test.
- The proctor will have you read the rules out loud and check a box to indicate your agreement.
- At this point, the proctor enters a password that activates a start button on your screen; click that, and your LSAT test begins.
Take the LSAT: During your test
Your official LSAT is underway. If you’ve taken LSAT prep seriously, you’ll have gained mastery of dozens of techniques and approaches that cover every question you’ll see. Here are some guidelines for staying calm, focused, and effective so you can focus on racking up the LSAT points.
- You’ll have one break on test day, between sections 2 and 3. If you’re used to taking random breaks during your practice, stop. Build your stamina.
- During the test, remember all of your training and practice, employ proven methods, strategies, and tactics for each section and question type.
- Kaplan’s LSAT experts have compiled some effective tips for section timing and management. Check them out.
- While everyone will see an experimental section on the LSAT, i.e. an unscored section, do not spend time trying to guess which section that is. You don’t want to be wrong.
- Stick to your timing and don’t shy away from flagging a question to come back to later. All LSAT questions are worth the same.
- If you find yourself anxious or distracted, take a moment to breathe. Remind yourself that you’ve seen every question type, every logic game type, and every reading comprehension passage type during your preparation. Nothing on test day will be a surprise for the well prepared test taker.
After you take the LSAT
You did it. You took the LSAT. You’ve just taken another step on your path to law school and becoming a lawyer—and your pride in that step is well earned. So, what happens next?
- First, take the day to appreciate what you’ve accomplished and responsibly celebrate.
- Resist the temptation to cancel your score just because you’re feeling uneasy. The LSAT is a long, grueling exam, and you’re more likely to remember a handful of frustrating questions than you are the dozens of questions you handled with ease. Sleep on it.
- Most test takers who have taken their prep seriously will find that their official test day score is pretty close to the most recent practice tests they’ve taken under timed, test-like conditions. If you’ve been practicing with older released tests that had four scored sections and you’re wondering if the recent 3-scored section format will alter your score, you can use Kaplan’s 3-section score estimator tool to find out. Use the sum of your correct answers from the Logic Games section, Reading Comprehension section, and one Logical Reasoning section to estimate your score on a 3-scored section test.
- If you are a first-time test taker, and you did not register for Score Preview, you still can for a limited time after test day (and for a slightly higher price). If you’re on the fence about keeping or canceling your score, take advantage of this “insurance policy” for first timers.
- If, after a day or so, you conclude that test day circumstances—e.g., you weren’t feeling well or something unforeseen was so distracting that you were unable to finish half a test section or more—likely resulted in a negative impact on your score, you have six calendar days to cancel your score with the LSAC. While this will show up as a cancelled score on your LSAC record, you can take the test again.
- You’ll receive your official score between two or three weeks after your test day. Instead of stressing, get to work on other elements of your law school application. Gather letters of recommendation, draft your personal statement, and research the schools to which you may want to apply.