Law Students

Law School Admission Test (LSAT) Writing Section to Undergo Major Overhaul
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In a significant development set to reshape the assessment landscape for aspiring law students, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) has announced a comprehensive revamp of the writing section of the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The overhaul, scheduled to take effect this summer, places a greater emphasis on evaluating analytical skills.

Transformation Unveiled by LSAC

The announcement, made on Monday by the Law School Admission Council, disclosed the upcoming changes, revealing a plan to introduce scoring for the writing section starting after the testing cycle commencing in August and concluding in the summer of 2025. Currently unscored, the writing section is nonetheless provided to law schools for evaluation.

A Shift in Emphasis

Susan Krinsky, the executive vice president for operations at the council, highlighted the shift in focus, asserting that the new approach aims to “help prospective law students better prepare for the writing they will do in law school and beyond.”

  
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Implementation Timeline

The updated writing section is set to debut on July 31, just eight days before the inaugural LSAT administration without the inclusion of logic games. Notably, the writing section is taken separately from the rest of the test, allowing candidates to complete it at home.

Historic Changes in LSAT

The LSAC’s decision to eliminate the analytical reasoning section (commonly known as logic games) and replace it with an additional logical reasoning section in August adds another layer of historic change to the LSAT. Glen Stohr, an LSAT instructor with Kaplan test prep, remarked, “The LSAT rarely changes, so to have two changes of this magnitude hit at around the same time is pretty historic.”

The Evolution of LSAT Writing Section

Since its introduction in 1982, the LSAT has featured a writing section. The revised writing section will, however, remain unscored for at least the first year while officials assess its reliability and validity for assigning scores, according to a council spokesperson.

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Enhanced Writing Section Format

Under the updated design, LSAT takers will now have 15 minutes to read different perspectives on a debatable topic, followed by 35 minutes to write an argument take a position, and address the strengths and weaknesses of the various ideas presented. This shift allows examinees to have a more “authentic voice” in their writing, facilitating a better assessment of their ability to employ various rhetorical techniques, evidentiary strategies, and other crucial aspects of argumentative writing.

Sample Scenario

To exemplify the new format, the council provides an example in which examinees must take a position on the purpose of college, offering four short perspectives ranging from a career advice blog to a sociology of education textbook.



Streamlined Process for Repeat Examinees

In a bid to streamline the process, repeat examinees will only need to complete the writing sample once. Additionally, those who have already taken the current format will not be required to redo it once the new version is implemented, as confirmed by the council.

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