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LSAC Researching Online LSAT Writing Sample

The LSAT is definitely a little behind the times—it is still on paper! However, that may be changing soon with an online LSAT Writing Sample.

Online LSAT Writing Sample

The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) appears to be considering a big change for the LSAT—moving from a paper to an online proctored LSAT Writing Sample. LSAC asked recent test takers to help with researching the feasibility of an online Writing Sample by completing a writing exercise online and a short, follow-up survey about the experience.

This online practice test will be available from Friday, August 20 until Tuesday, September 4, 2018, which is a pretty quick window. Maybe the LSAC is considering making this change soon if all goes well? We’ll have to wait and see.

The plan appears to be that the online Writing Sample would be administered separately from the paper-based exam and would be available for students to take on their own at home. The upside of this would be twofold: test day will be shorter and test takers who retest would only have to complete the Writing Sample once. Also, typing the essay would certainly make it easier to write quickly and edit.

Sounds pretty good, right? Let’s keep our fingers crossed for this potential change!

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 your 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

If the LSAC moves 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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