The Legal Beat
LSAT Test Platform Crashes Mid-Exam, Leaving Would-Be Law Students Scrambling
Posted on Wednesday October 13, 2021
Many things about law school admissions have changed since the onset of the pandemic, including the LSAT. The law school
hazing ritual entry exam moved to an online format — referred to as the LSAT Flex — eliminating one scored section as well as the traditional unscored section, for three 35-minute sections, overall. This past August, the LSAT dropped the Flex from its name, and moved to a four-section model after bringing back the unscored section. Through it all, would-be lawyers have been remotely proctored through their webcams and microphones, and despite some initial hiccups, things seem to have worked out smashingly. Thousands of students have signed up to take the exam in its easily accessible online format, and scores are stronger than ever.
As yet another ultra-competitive law school admissions cycle begins, test-takers experienced their worst nightmares when, to their horror, the LSAC website crashed during Saturday’s administration of the LSAT. Some students were mere questions away from completing the exam when the platform stopped functioning, and others weren’t able to log in to take the exam at all. This is the screen that students saw for about two hours:
LSAC tried to do its best by updating people through its Twitter account:
So, what was the resolution for those who were midway through the exam when it crashed? As it turns out, they’re going to have to take the whole thing over again, which really leaves some in the lurch as they’re unavailable on the new dates.
Tammi Rice, vice president of legal programs at Kaplan, had this to say about the suboptimal testing experience aspiring attorneys had this weekend:
“Experiencing technical difficulties when taking the LSAT is probably the biggest fear test takers have, second only to bombing the LSAT itself, so we deeply sympathize with students who had their testing experience interrupted this past weekend when the LSAC platform malfunctioned. From what we understand though, these sorts of negative experiences have been relatively rare since the LSAT went to a digital, at-home format last year. We wish all those affected much luck on their rescheduled exams and hope they were able to get the date most convenient for them. With a competitive admissions cycle on the horizon, they have a lot riding on this.”
Good luck to all those who need to reschedule their exams. We wish you the very best of luck — and hopefully things will run smoothly next time!
UPDATE (10/14): We’ve been made aware that for the rest of the day on Saturday, more than 5,000 people successfully completed the LSAT. No other system outages or crashes occurred on Sunday or Tuesday.
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.