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How Should I Study for the Digital LSAT?

J.Y. PingJ.Y. Ping Administrator Instructor
edited March 2019 in General 14095 karma

New lesson under "Resources for Taking Simulated LSATs"
Link here: https://7sage.com/lesson/how-should-i-study-for-the-digital-lsat/

Full text below. If you have questions ask away! I'll try to answer if I can.


The LSAT going digital is the biggest change to the test in decades. It’s natural to feel some amount of anxiety as we leave the comfort of our printers and pencils behind to meet our digital LSAT gods.

There is no need to make drastic changes to how you’ve been studying in order to be prepared for the new digital LSAT format. You’re doing fine. This is because the content and the structure of the LSAT will remain exactly the same. Far more than format, it’s the content of the LSAT that ought to determine how you study for this test. Since that's not changing, you shouldn't change how you study. Blind Review is still king for Logical Reasoning. You still need to Fool Proof your Logic Games. And you still need to do Low Resolution summaries for Reading Comprehension.

The only thing different is that you should practice taking digital PrepTests on your tablet with a stylus to simulate actual test day conditions. If you don’t have a tablet, do it on a computer. LSAC is providing PrepTest 73 (September 2014) for free here: https://familiar.lsac.org/. We have every reason to believe that what we’re seeing on that site will be largely the same as what testers will see on July 15, the first administration where roughly half of the students will be taking the digital version of the LSAT. Starting with the September 21 administration, the LSAT will be fully digital.

7Sage will be releasing our version of the digital tester in open beta test mode by May 1 so you’ll have an opportunity to take PrepTests in digital format. The point is simply to get used to the act of doing the test digitally because there are differences from the paper version. For example, one advantage for everyone is that bubbling and flipping back to flagged questions are instantaneous. This results in time savings of 2-3 minutes or 5%-8% of total section time (35 minutes). There will also be an on screen timer so you can see how much time you have remaining without having to consult a watch.

You’ll also have to get used to doing Logic Games on separate sheets of scratch paper with a pen. Yes, you read that right. A pen. The LSAC has lost its mind. Just kidding. But they are seriously claiming that a pen is their writing instrument of choice provided to you along with an unspecified number of sheets of scratch paper.

The tablet itself (Microsoft Surface Go tablet 8.3” x 5.5” screen) will come with a small built in stand so you can tilt the screen slightly. If you’re used to taking your pencil to the paper to point to each word as you read - what I call "tactile reading" - the stylus can be used in an analogous manner. As far as we can tell, you cannot freely write or draw with the stylus. It can only be used to highlight or underline text, flag questions, and select answer choices.

The writing sample will be administered separately beginning with the June 3 administration. Test takers will be doing the writing section on their own computers and it will be typed. The obvious advantage here is that you can do this on your time where you want, as long as you have an internet connection.

Please keep in mind that this information is simply what we know for the time being based on what the LSAC has revealed. Since the Digital LSAT is new for the LSAC as well, we anticipate that they will be tweaking their digital tester and the process throughout future administrations. Accordingly, we will be updating this page.

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Comments

  • J_ClarksonJ_Clarkson Alum Member
    585 karma

    Great post, JY. Will 7Sage's digital tester allow us to pull up any PT that we've purchased from 7Sage? Will there be other formats available, such as individual sections? Any plans to incorporate analytics? Would be great to see how much time was spent on individual LR questions, for example. Thanks!

  • J.Y. PingJ.Y. Ping Administrator Instructor
    14095 karma

    @Jay_Camp

    Will 7Sage's digital tester allow us to pull up any PT that we've purchased from 7Sage?

    Yes!

    Will there be other formats available, such as individual sections?

    Not during open beta, but this is something planned for later versions.

    Any plans to incorporate analytics?

    Yes, answers will feed straight into Analytics.

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly + Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
    27853 karma

    @"J.Y. Ping" said:
    @Jay_Camp

    Will 7Sage's digital tester allow us to pull up any PT that we've purchased from 7Sage?

    Yes!

    Will there be other formats available, such as individual sections?

    Not during open beta, but this is something planned for later versions.

    Any plans to incorporate analytics?

    Yes, answers will feed straight into Analytics.

    This is why 7Sage is the best. This is outstanding.

  • Jonah Chadwick GriegoJonah Chadwick Griego Alum Member
    652 karma

    Dope post. Thanks for the info! I am taking the July 15 exam, so I will need to look into which I will be using there.

  • MissChanandlerMissChanandler Alum Member Sage
    3256 karma

    This is freaking awesome!

  • 109 karma

    AMAZING!!!!

  • NicolekhNicolekh Alum Member
    335 karma

    Thanks for all this information! Something I was wondering is if I am one of the people who gets the paper version of the exam, will I still get to see my score right after, or is that only for the people who did it on the tablet? LSAC doesn't specify that theres a difference but I would presume that this benefit would only be for people who did it on the tablet. Would anyone know the answer to this?

  • J.Y. PingJ.Y. Ping Administrator Instructor
    14095 karma

    @Nicolekh That's a good question. I'm not certain, but I think that for the July administration, no one will see their scores immediately after the exam is done. I think it'll take some number of days at minimum for the LSAC to release the scores. Then everyone can decide if they want to keep or cancel. You can see here that the LSAC has "TBD" for score release date: https://www.lsac.org/lsat/lsat-dates-deadlines/july-2019-lsat-deadlines-united-states-canada-and-caribbean

  • btownsqueebtownsquee Alum Member
    1207 karma

    A pen??!!! This has changed my entire world view!! jk :) But I'll be looking for a thread debating what the best pen is for Digital LG now.

  • PutABirdOnItPutABirdOnIt Member
    edited March 2019 115 karma

    Thank you JY and 7sage! So exciting that we’ll be able to PT digitally.

    I didn’t realize that the tablets would be Microsoft Surface Gos; I study on a Surface Pro so that’s a nice bit of peace of mind. For anyone who’s never used them before, they’re my personal favorite tablet/portable comp- there shouldn’t be touch responsive issues like some were worried about, and the kick stand is nice to have.

  • swarajagtap04swarajagtap04 Free Trial Member
    1 karma

    The article is awesome.

  • thecmancanthecmancan Alum Member
    161 karma

    Hi JY, I'm very nervous about not being able to freehand draw on the LR sections especially.

    I'm going through your CC and have adopted some of your really helpful tactics of ticking off keywords that make an AC wrong or circling logical indicators, drawing arrows from P to C within an argument, underlining quantifiers, etc.

    I think LSAC need to consider this freehand drawing feature because for a lot of people, it is a very helpful way to engage thoroughly with the test.

    What do you think?

  • J.Y. PingJ.Y. Ping Administrator Instructor
    14095 karma

    @thecmancan It is possible that in the future freehand writing with the stylus will become available. However, we shouldn’t bet on it and we should practice taking PrepTests without the ability to freehand write.

    All those techniques you mentioned are great for engaging with text. You should still employ them when studying.

  • _aisling__aisling_ Alum Member
    289 karma

    Thanks, JY! I feel better knowing that there are going to be digital tools here for us, so thank you for putting some of our anxieties to rest. I'm planning to purchase a tablet in June to work with during my last couple of months of studying!

    @btownsquee said:
    A pen??!!! This has changed my entire world view!! jk :) But I'll be looking for a thread debating what the best pen is for Digital LG now.

    I'm pretty sure I've read that the pen is on the opposite end of the stylus, so you don't get to bring your own. (Might be wrong, though!)

  • alyssamcc0593alyssamcc0593 Alum Member
    290 karma

    Do you know if we will have scratch paper for the whole digital test or just LG? Thank you so much for this :)

  • Lawster9Lawster9 Alum Member
    393 karma

    @alyssamcc0593 Scratch paper will be provided for the entire test.

  • theLSATdreamertheLSATdreamer Alum Member
    1287 karma

    has anyone taken a practice test digital and a paper one digital to see if there is a different feel to it, i know everyone says its the same test and it should basically be the same when taking it, however, i feel like the people who have been studying for months (or years) on paper and now have to switch are at a disadvantage, is the stylus like an actual pen you can write C for conclusion and P for Premise?

  • jmarmaduke96jmarmaduke96 Member Sage
    2891 karma

    @theLSATdreamer I don't believe so, J.Y. seemed to indicate that the stylus does not include the ability to write freehand on the test. However the interface will allow you to highlight certain sections and color code them. So while it might take slightly longer, you could highlight the premise in yellow and the conclusion in pink for example

  • Asif MahmudAsif Mahmud Alum Member
    80 karma

    @J.Y. Ping Will the digital tester eventually be able to be used on tablets so as to imitate test-day conditions to the greatest extent? Also, would you be willing to eventually upload live commentary of you or another 7Sager taking a test on a tablet in the near future? The exact settings, movements, use of the scrap paper, and use of the stylus on the tablet would be incredibly informative!

  • theLSATdreamertheLSATdreamer Alum Member
    1287 karma

    @jmarmaduke96 said:
    @theLSATdreamer I don't believe so, J.Y. seemed to indicate that the stylus does not include the ability to write freehand on the test. However the interface will allow you to highlight certain sections and color code them. So while it might take slightly longer, you could highlight the premise in yellow and the conclusion in pink for example

    I like that, I guess its all about practice I need to actually try this out

  • theLSATdreamertheLSATdreamer Alum Member
    1287 karma

    @"Asif Mahmud" said:
    @J.Y. Ping Will the digital tester eventually be able to be used on tablets so as to imitate test-day conditions to the greatest extent? Also, would you be willing to eventually upload live commentary of you or another 7Sager taking a test on a tablet in the near future? The exact settings, movements, use of the scrap paper, and use of the stylus on the tablet would be incredibly informative!

    That sounds like a good idea!

  • thecmancanthecmancan Alum Member
    161 karma

    @theLSATdreamer said:

    @jmarmaduke96 said:
    @theLSATdreamer I don't believe so, J.Y. seemed to indicate that the stylus does not include the ability to write freehand on the test. However the interface will allow you to highlight certain sections and color code them. So while it might take slightly longer, you could highlight the premise in yellow and the conclusion in pink for example

    I like that, I guess its all about practice I need to actually try this out

    I've tweeted @LSAC and they've said the stylus, for July at least, will ONLY be able to underline, select stuff, highlights and flag. So no freehand writing.

    I believe during our learning of the LSAT, we should write out everything JY does on his videos. By the time we are under real test conditions however, much of these markings and diagrams should be internalized as much as possible. So while I'm going through the Core, I'll be putting as much text as possible onto the text to make sure I fully understand everything; at latter stages of PT practice, I'd be trying to eliminate having to write out P and C.

  • J.Y. PingJ.Y. Ping Administrator Instructor
    14095 karma

    @"Asif Mahmud" Yes, our digital tester can be used on a tablet. And good idea about new live commentary videos!

  • TexAgAaronTexAgAaron Alum Member
    1723 karma

    @J.Y. For those who do not own a tablet (and can't afford one at the moment haha), could we still use the beta digital version on our laptop? I have a wireless mouse so close enough to a stylus right? haha

  • J.Y. PingJ.Y. Ping Administrator Instructor
    14095 karma

    @akeegs92 Yes, you definitely can!

  • TexAgAaronTexAgAaron Alum Member
    1723 karma

    Great! That helps a lot! Thank you @J.Y.

  • studentservicestudentservice Alum Member Administrator Moderator Student Services
    1421 karma

    Now you can choose to get early access to our digital tester (Beta version) so you can practice taking PrepTests digitally. Please note that the digital tester is still in beta mode so there might be issues with it: https://7sage.com/discussion/#/discussion/19772/digital-lsat-tester-opt-in-beta

  • Linda1205Linda1205 Member
    215 karma

    @J.Y.Ping JY I am wondering if international tests are going digital this year? (Europe and Asia) Thanks!

  • Gee-dawgGee-dawg Member
    319 karma

    Hi,

    So if I plan to take the September exam, will I receive my score right away?

  • ExcludedMiddleExcludedMiddle Alum Member
    edited April 2019 737 karma

    @"I dont know" said:
    Hi,

    So if I plan to take the September exam, will I receive my score right away?

    Unfortunately you won't. Even with the digital version, LSAC has said that scores will be released on a similar timeline (around three weeks after test day). There will be an option to preview your score for July's test, but you won't see it on test day most likely, in my understanding.

  • Gee-dawgGee-dawg Member
    319 karma

    @ExcludedMiddle Thank you, this helps!

  • studyingandrestudyingstudyingandrestudying Core Member
    5254 karma

    Are pencils allowed for the scratch paper work?

  • J.Y. PingJ.Y. Ping Administrator Instructor
    14095 karma

    @lsatplaylist Proctors will provide you with a pen.

  • studyingandrestudyingstudyingandrestudying Core Member
    5254 karma

    Thanks for the reply.

  • jennw065jennw065 Member
    72 karma

    @J.Y.Ping, thank you for the post! I worried about how to study with the digital format, it's crazy how going from paper to computer can put so much stress on an already stressful situation.

  • Mike_RossMike_Ross Alum Member Sage
    3106 karma

    Thanks JY for eking us which version of the tablet they will use!

    Sucks to hear you can’t write on screens.. so I guess all
    The circling, bracketing practice I’ve been doing goes out the window...

    Does the type of stylus pen matter? I just went to Microsoft’s site. The GO PEN is $100. May not need that if all we need is something that highlights rather than write on screen

  • studyingandrestudyingstudyingandrestudying Core Member
    5254 karma

    @Mike_Ross, Agreeing with you. I went to some surface pen store sites too. Saw price ranges of like $70-200 or so. The thing about highlighting is it seems quite different from pencil notations.

  • tomdesablatomdesabla Core Member
    54 karma

    I think it's a terrible needless decision to force people to write on an entirely separate piece of paper instead of right next to the questions. Yeah, I get it, everything is going digital, but this was a mindless decision. Going digital purely for the sake of going digital. Can't even write on the tablet? Can't diagram next to the question? That sucks.

  • jmarmaduke96jmarmaduke96 Member Sage
    2891 karma

    @tomdesabla I think that it will have its ups and downs. I agree that all of my practice with bracketing and writing notations next to the test question will no longer be useful and that sucks. However, I am a terrible and slow bubbler. So the fact that I don't believe I will have to worry about incorrectly bubbling a question that I correctly answered is relieving, as is the fact that myself and most test takers will have an extra minute or two per section now that we no longer have to bubble. I think that it certainly is a trade off and a double edged sword, I am incredibly curious to hear the overall opinion of all the test takers come this July

  • jasminesadejasminesade Alum Member
    249 karma

    @Nicolekh said:
    Thanks for all this information! Something I was wondering is if I am one of the people who gets the paper version of the exam, will I still get to see my score right after, or is that only for the people who did it on the tablet? LSAC doesn't specify that theres a difference but I would presume that this benefit would only be for people who did it on the tablet. Would anyone know the answer to this?

    Hey Nicolekh! I was wondering the same and not sure if you already know but this is what LSAC has on their website:

    "Although the Digital LSAT is intuitive and easy to use, we wanted to provide some additional reassurance to candidates who register for our July 15 test, to help ensure a smooth transition.
    So, all July 15, 2019, test takers will have the opportunity to see their score and will have five days to decide whether they wish to cancel it. Those who decide to cancel will have the option of retaking the test one time free of charge in the 2019–2020 testing cycle, which extends through April 2020. More information about score release timing for the July test will be available as soon as possible."

  • 4 karma

    If we do decide to cancel our July LSAT score after seeing it, will it show up to law schools that we took the test in July regardless?

  • jasminesadejasminesade Alum Member
    249 karma

    @"chamberlin.lauren" said:
    If we do decide to cancel our July LSAT score after seeing it, will it show up to law schools that we took the test in July regardless?

    Yes LSAC states on their website "A canceled score will be reported to the law schools the same way it is reported today, as a “candidate cancel.”

  • studyingandrestudyingstudyingandrestudying Core Member
    5254 karma

    @aisling said:
    Thanks, JY! I feel better knowing that there are going to be digital tools here for us, so thank you for putting some of our anxieties to rest. I'm planning to purchase a tablet in June to work with during my last couple of months of studying!

    @btownsquee said:
    A pen??!!! This has changed my entire world view!! jk :) But I'll be looking for a thread debating what the best pen is for Digital LG now.

    I'm pretty sure I've read that the pen is on the opposite end of the stylus, so you don't get to bring your own. (Might be wrong, though!)

    So you're using the same stylus for the scratch paper work as you are for recording your answers on the screen?

  • Lawster9Lawster9 Alum Member
    393 karma

    I'm a little worried about doing LG on scrap paper instead of directly on the page. I've tried this before when I didn't have a hard copy of a game handy and it definitely slows me down looking back and forth from the screen to my paper :(

  • jasminesadejasminesade Alum Member
    249 karma

    Does anyone know if they will provide paper during LR/RC? Obviously for LG they are but what if we need to diagram or wanna just take some notes during LR?

  • Lawster9Lawster9 Alum Member
    edited April 2019 393 karma

    @jasminesade Yes, you will. It says so clearly on the LSAC website.

  • studyingandrestudyingstudyingandrestudying Core Member
    5254 karma

    Yes, there's going to be scratch paper for all the sections, @jasminesade.

  • Mike_RossMike_Ross Alum Member Sage
    3106 karma

    Hi all,

    I’ve heard so many rumors about this new digital version of the test and the pens they provide

    Called LSAC today to clarify

    If anyone cares to know:

    the pens they provide will be a separate implement from the stylus pen itself (someone told me that there would be a stylus on one end and the pen on the other). That means you have to practice physically switching between pen and stylus during practice test conditions

    Seems to me that the total time we spend bubbling may be equal to or less than the time we may be spending with all the extra motions, eye tracking on separate pieces of paper and LG, RC LR sections. Hope LSAC decides to add the feature to draw on the tablets in the future!

  • studyingandrestudyingstudyingandrestudying Core Member
    5254 karma

    @Mike_Ross, Thanks for finding this out.

  • BigshootsBigshoots Alum Member
    84 karma

    @thecmancan said:

    @theLSATdreamer said:

    @jmarmaduke96 said:
    @theLSATdreamer I don't believe so, J.Y. seemed to indicate that the stylus does not include the ability to write freehand on the test. However the interface will allow you to highlight certain sections and color code them. So while it might take slightly longer, you could highlight the premise in yellow and the conclusion in pink for example

    I like that, I guess its all about practice I need to actually try this out

    I've tweeted @LSAC and they've said the stylus, for July at least, will ONLY be able to underline, select stuff, highlights and flag. So no freehand writing.

    I believe during our learning of the LSAT, we should write out everything JY does on his videos. By the time we are under real test conditions however, much of these markings and diagrams should be internalized as much as possible. So while I'm going through the Core, I'll be putting as much text as possible onto the text to make sure I fully understand everything; at latter stages of PT practice, I'd be trying to eliminate having to write out P and C.

    @Mike_Ross said:
    Hi all,

    I’ve heard so many rumors about this new digital version of the test and the pens they provide

    Called LSAC today to clarify

    If anyone cares to know:

    the pens they provide will be a separate implement from the stylus pen itself (someone told me that there would be a stylus on one end and the pen on the other). That means you have to practice physically switching between pen and stylus during practice test conditions

    Seems to me that the total time we spend bubbling may be equal to or less than the time we may be spending with all the extra motions, eye tracking on separate pieces of paper and LG, RC LR sections. Hope LSAC decides to add the feature to draw on the tablets in the future!

    Did LSAC happen to mention the specific stylus tip they're using? The Surface Go pen has multiple and they each seem to have different pros and cons

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