LSAT staying remote; Indiana Bar Exam still deciding

Individuals thinking about pursuing a J.D. degree will still be able to log on and take the Law School Admission Test from their homes well into next spring.

Citing the “continuing uncertainty and disruption of the COVID-19 emergency,” the Law School Admission Council has announced that all the remaining LSAT administrations will be delivered remotely instead of in-person through April 2021.

The public health crisis also forced the Indiana Bar Exam to be given remotely in August but the Indiana Supreme Court has not made any decisions as whether the February exam will be remote or in-person.

Typically, half as many candidates take the bar in February as in July. The number of potential applicants sitting for the exam, which is scheduled to be given Feb. 23 and 24, 2021, is one factor being considered in determining how the test will be administered.

“As with all COVID-19 related scenarios, the Indiana Supreme Court is considering safety and fairness as the guiding factors of the discussion,” said Kathryn Dolan, spokeswoman for the Supreme Court. “Both the Board (of Law Examiners) and Indiana Supreme Court are reviewing options related to the test. No decision has been made at this point regarding whether the test will be remote or in-person.”

Jeff Thomas, executive director of legal programs at Kaplan Test Prep, applauded LSAC’s decision. He said the announcement that LSAT-Flex will continue to be given will have a “calming effect” on the test takers because they will know what to expect.

In addition, Kaplan has found the applicants taking the remote version will not be at an admissions disadvantage.

“Giving the current trajectory of COVID-19 cases, it seems more than likely that the pandemic will continue to impact our lives for the foreseeable future,” Thomas said in a statement. “The Law School Admission Council’s decision to extend administrations of the LSAT-Flex through April 2021 adds a degree of certainty to an unprecedented admissions cycle and that’s good news for pre-law students who were wondering about which version of the test they would have to take.”

LSAT-Flex, the online and remotely proctored version of the LSAT, was developed and first offered in May after the COVID-19 outbreak forced the cancelations of the March and April dates for the in-person exam. The Flex version was first administered in May 2020, and, like the traditional LSAT, tests analytical reasoning, logical reasoning and reading comprehension.

LSAC data show an uptick in applicants taking the remote version of the admission test with the number of individuals registered to take the October and November entrance exam significantly higher than last year. For the October and November 2020 test dates, 61,004 people are registered while 40,463 were registered to take the exam during the same two months in 2019.

Also, to date, 125,389 individuals have registered for the 2020-2021 testing year compared to 142,047 who had registered for the entire 2019-2020 testing year.

The next LSAT-Flex test will be administered during the week starting Saturday, Nov. 7. Results are hoped to be released Nov. 24.

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