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LSAC Moving to Online LSAT Writing Sample

The LSAT is definitely a little behind the times—it is still on paper! However, starting with the July 2019 exam, the LSAT will be offered digitally.

Online LSAT Writing Sample

As part of the move towards a digital exam, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) has decided to administer the Writing Sample online and apart from the rest of the LSAT. Starting in July 2019, test takers will take the Writing Sample through a secure online platform.

The advantages of this new online format are many. Among the pros of this new format, the LSAC includes greater flexibility for test takers who can choose when to take the Writing Sample and shortening the test day. Another bonus? Test takers who decide to retake the LSAT will only have to complete the Writing Sample one time!

online LSAT writing sample, fingers crossed - magoosh

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LSAT Writing Sample

Since we’re talking about the Writing Sample, we thought it’d be helpful to give a brief overview of this section and the best way to approach it. You have 35 minutes to complete the Writing Sample, and it’s always the last section of the test.

Although the Writing Sample is unscored, it’s still an important component of your LSAT score. Law schools can review your writing on this section, so it’s critical to practice responding to the prompts in the time allotted. Let’s take a quick look at how best to do that.

    1. Analyze the prompt. Take the first five minutes to analyze the two choices looking specifically for the pros and cons of each choice. Use scratch paper to take notes on the content. The Writing Sample topics range vary, but the overall structure is the always the same.

    2. Choose a side. The two choices will be pretty evenly matched, and some students are tempted to say either choice will work equally. That’s not going to work in court—or on the Writing Sample. You must pick one of the choices. There’s no right answer, so just pick one and move on.

    3. Make an outline. Admissions committees look for a writing sample that is well organized, so be sure to set up a loose outline before you start writing.

    4. Write. Start with a simple statement outlining your choice, and then follow your outline. After pointing out why your side is the best, briefly acknowledge the weaknesses of your choice and why they’re are not a big deal. Likewise, you should recognize that the other side is not all bad, but be sure to downplay their strengths.

With this simple four step approach and a little practice, you’ll be all set to write a well-organized Writing Sample on the day of the LSAT.

Takeaway

With the move to an online Writing Sample, test day will be shorter and thus a little easier. That sounds pretty fantastic to us!

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