Advice on the LSAT Writing Sample

What do test takers need to know and do for the LSAT Writing Sample? The Law School Admissions Council offers the following Advice on LSAT Writing, outlining rules and instructions that test takers need to follow. 

Advice on LSAT Writing for Schools

INTRODUCTION

LSAT Writing is a proctored, on-demand writing exam that is administered online using secure proctoring software. Candidates will install the software on the computer from which they will take the exam.

We encourage LSAT test takers to complete LSAT Writing as soon as they can, since the sooner they complete LSAT Writing, the sooner they can complete the application process.

*The Law School Report is a compilation of a candidate’s undergraduate and graduate school records, admission test score(s), writing sample(s), letters of recommendation, and other relevant materials.

RELATED INFORMATION

WHAT TEST TAKERS NEED

  • A computer that meets system requirements
  • A nonmilitary, government-issued ID card, such as a passport book, passport card, driver’s license, or state-issued ID card.
  • A quiet, well-lit, and private workspace with no distractions
  • One piece of blank scratch paper and a pen/pencil (optional)

IMPORTANT EXAM RULES FOR TEST TAKERS

  • When prompted, you must display your ID to your webcam. The name on the ID must match the name under which you registered for the exam. Military IDs may not be used. Make sure the photograph is legible before continuing.
  • If anyone enters the room while you are testing you must ask them to leave immediately. You don’t need to stop the exam if this happens.
  • Do not use mobile phones or any other communication devices during the exam. All electronic devices not being used during the exam, including other computers that are not powered on, are prohibited and must not be in the room during testing.
  • Your face must be clearly visible throughout the exam. Once you begin the exam you are not permitted to move out of view of your webcam until the exam is over.

PROHIBITED ITEMS

  • Headphones, earplugs, and earbuds (unless otherwise specified in an accommodation approval letter, if applicable)
  • Sunglasses and head coverings, other than religious apparel.
  • Mobile phones and all other electronic devices (except the computer being used for the exam)

ALLOWED ITEMS

  • Writing implements, one sheet of blank scratch paper, and tissues are allowed. Both sides of the paper must be blank when the exam begins. Each of these items must be shown to the camera during the room scan portion of the security check-in procedure. Note: You must show both sides of the paper to the camera during the room scan
  • External programs you typically use to make web content accessible (for example, JAWS, ZoomText, or Kurzweil 3000).
  • Bags and printed materials may be in the room, but may not be accessed or used during the exam.

If you need help, please call us at 215.968.1001 (September through February, 8:30 a.m. ET to 6 p.m. ET; March through August, 8:30 a.m. ET to 4:45 p.m. ET) or email us.

HOW TO PREPARE TO TAKE LSAT WRITING

  • Find a quiet space free of distractions to complete LSAT Writing.
  • Check to make sure you only have allowable items in the room, including your blank scratch paper and pen or pencil.
  • Get your ID ready. The name on the ID must match the name under which you registered for the exam.
  • Close all prohibited applications on your computer.

HOW LSAT WRITING WORKS

  • You’ll start your exam by clicking the link provided at the bottom of this page (see LSAT Writing Status and Launch section). When you begin the exam, you will be prompted to either download the exam software or launch it if you have already installed it while testing your system with the Get Acquainted With LSAT Writing tool.
  • You’ll then complete the security check-in.
  • When prompted, perform the microphone and webcam check.
  • Agree to the terms and conditions.
  • When prompted, you must display your valid ID to your webcam. The name on the ID must match the name under which you registered for the exam. Military IDs may not be used. Make sure the photograph is legible before continuing. You will not be able to go back once you’ve submitted your ID and your essay may be held if your ID can’t be read.
  • Next, you’ll be prompted to “scan your room” with the webcam. Film your workspace, being sure to film your desktop, walls, the floor under your desk, and both sides of your sheet of scratch paper.
  • Finally, you’ll be prompted to take a photo of your face that will be compared to your ID. Make sure it’s clear before moving on.
  • Agree to LSAC’s Certifying Statement
  • Once you’ve completed the security check-in, you’re ready to write your essay! Read the directions carefully, write and submit your essay, and remember to click End Test to close out the secure browser software after submitting.
  • Proctors will review your video and, if you’ve followed the rules, you’ll typically have access to your essay in about a week. If anything in your video gets flagged as suspicious, it’ll get a closer look, so please plan for around three weeks of processing time.

Have technical questions? We want to help! You can find more information about LSAT Writing in our LSAT Writing FAQs. If you need technical help, please call us at 844.644.8248; we are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

By Mia Carpinello
Mia Carpinello Associate Director, Graduate School Advising Mia Carpinello