Massive understatement incoming: the LSAT is hard. Like, “the LSAC has released more than 90 previous official tests because they don’t care how much you prep because they don’t think it matters” hard. You need every edge you can get on this test, and with that in mind, the last thing you want is to be eligible for testing accommodations but miss out on taking advantage of them because you don’t know the process. Fortunately, we’re here to help.
As with most standardized tests, the LSAC provides testing accommodations for students with documented disabilities. LSAT testing accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis, meaning there is no ‘standard’ set of accommodations. Regardless of whether you are preparing on your own or working with a tutor, you should know how to navigate the accommodations process.
If you’ve received accommodations, including extended time, on previous post-secondary admissions exams (SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, etc.), you are likely eligible for equivalent ones on the LSAT. Even if you haven’t received accommodations in the past, if you think you may qualify for them, it’s in your best interest to apply. We’ll walk you through the basics of applying for LSAT accommodations in this guide.
What LSAT Accommodations are available?
The LSAC considers accommodations on an individual basis, but they do make note of some of the more common accommodation options. Their list is non-exhaustive, however, and if you think you need an accommodation not listed, you will have the opportunity to request it specifically when you apply.
Here are some of the types of accommodations adapted from the LSAC website:
Extended Time Accommodations
- Extended test time (up to double time)
- Additional rest time during breaks
- Stop-the-clock breaks
Test Format Accommodations
- Unified English Braille (UEB) version of the LSAT
- Large print (18 pt.) paper-and-pencil test
- Screen-readable HTML test (including, where applicable, use of screen reader software)
- Use of a reader
- Voice recognition software
- Bring and eat food
- Permission to bring insulin, check blood sugar
- Permission to bring and take medications
- Use of magnification devices
- Ability to pace (walk around)
It’s also good to note that the LSAT’s shift to a digital format may render accommodations that you’ve received in the past no longer necessary. The LSAC makes the following statement to that effect on their website:
“Some accommodations… may not be needed as accommodations on the LSAT/LSAT-Flex given built-in software tools (e.g., text zoom button, line spacing) and permitted items (e.g., earplugs, writing implements, medication, etc.). Candidates are encouraged to review the LSAT-Flex specifications and information to determine their accommodation needs for that test format.”
How to Apply for LSAT Accommodations
Applying for accommodations on standardized tests can be a daunting process, and the LSAT is no different. The LSAC recently shifted to an entirely-online request process for most accommodations, however, which does streamline the procedure somewhat.
The first step is to register for your LSAT administration; you won’t be able to begin the accommodations request process until you’re signed up for a test date. Once you’ve done that, you’ll simply open the ‘Request Accommodations’ tab in your LSAC account menu and follow the instructions therein.
Most accommodations requests will require some supporting documentation, which you’ll be prompted to upload during the online request process. There are several different categories that your accommodation request may fall into with regards to this requirement:
1) Previously Approved Accommodations on the LSAT
First, the easy one: in certain circumstances, you may not need to apply for LSAT accommodations at all, let alone submit documentation.
If you’ve taken the LSAT with accommodations within the last five years, you’re golden for your next LSAT administration—unless you want to modify your existing accommodations, in which case you’ll need to submit additional supporting documentation.
2) Previously Approved Accommodations on Other Post-Secondary Standardized Tests
Most applicants who have previously received accommodations on the SAT/ACT, GED, GRE, GMAT, DAT, and/or MCAT will automatically receive the same or equivalent accommodations on the LSAT, provided they have the following documentation:
- Candidate Form (this will typically be filled out as part of the online ‘Request Accommodations’ process)
- Verification of Prior Accommodation
There are some accommodations that do not receive automatic approval, such as extended time in excess of double time or testing over several days. In these situations, you will have to apply for LSAT accommodations under the LSAC’s current policies. Make sure to check whether your accommodation will be automatically approved as part of your LSAT prep process.
If you’re requesting accommodations in addition to those you’ve received on previous tests, you’ll also be asked to provide a completed version of the Qualified Professional Form.
3) Other Accommodations
All other accommodation requests require the following items:
- Candidate Form
- Qualified Professional Form
- Statement of Need for Accommodation (this requirement will often be satisfied by part of the ‘Qualified Professional Form’)
Once you’ve finalized and submitted your request, you can expect to get a decision within 14 business days of submission and registration.
One final, important note: if you think you may need accommodations, it is in your best interest to apply before your first test. If you score decently (150+) without accommodations and then apply for them for a future test date, the LSAC may consider your previous score as evidence that weighs against your request.
Once you receive the decision on your accommodations, it’s time to start preparing for your LSAT! That’s where our test prep experts come in.
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