What You Should Know About Taking Graduate and Professional Program Entrance Exams at Home

What You Should Know About Taking Graduate and Professional Program Entrance Exams at Home

This past July, I was one of the lucky (or unlucky) takers of the LSAT-Flex: a digital version of the Law School Admissions Test that specifically caters to the unique circumstances created by the coronavirus. The test is taken at home, as in-person test-taking poses too much of a risk for all parties involved. To adapt the test the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) has reduced the test from its usual five sections to only three—logic games, logic reasoning, and reading comprehension. Though, even with the reduced sections, test takers still receive a score out of a possible 180 as an equivalent to the traditional five-section exam.

In addition to being at-home and online, the LSAT-Flex is a proctored test. It is administered by an actual person (the proctor) who monitors both the student and the test. Like the LSAC, other graduate and professional programs have adopted similar at-home testing due to the coronavirus. Anyone who is taking one of these entrance exams will already know the tedious process required of them prior to testing—I am here to tell you what the step-by-step instructions will not.

If you currently don’t have a place where you can quietly test for (at least) three hours without being disturbed AND you will have a place to do this at a later date, don’t take the test yet.

I know all too well the strain put on students and their families due to moving back home because of the coronavirus. When I first moved home, my “bedroom” was nothing more than a converted storage room, there was no designated area for me to study for the LSAT. My stepdad, the saint that he is, cleared out the room and bought a desk and chair where I could spend the next two months studying for the test. Not studying for this test is not an option and studying ineffectively is just as bad. I understand that there may be students who don’t live an environment conducive to studying or test-taking (LSAC takes this into account and exceptions are made where they can be), which is why I recommend waiting IF, at a later time, you’ll live in a place where you have access to quiet study space.

Make sure your internet is working on the day of the test. Test it again and again until it is time for the test to begin. Have a backup source (hotspot) if your internet is unreliable; if don’t have access to one, be prepared to reschedule your test.

On the day of my test, my internet stopped working five minutes before it was time to begin. There weren’t just connectivity issues, there was an entire internet and cable outage for the company that my family uses. Again, my stepdad (actual angel) came to the rescue; his job requires him to have an internet hotspot on his work phone, which I was able to connect to my laptop to take the test. Without this backup, all the preparation and studying I had done to take this test on this date would have been for naught.

As I said earlier, in advance to taking any of these at-home tests you will receive step-by-step instructions on what to do and what not to do when taking the test—follows these instructions TO A TEE.

There will be someone watching you the entire time you are taking your test, do not give them ANY reason to report you to the program whose test you are taking.

Finally, just relax.

If you’re taking the LSAT or any other graduate/professional program’s entrance exam, you’ve likely been preparing for a while now. You’ve familiarized yourself with practice tests and you’ve spent countless hours preparing for this moment, so don’t overthink it. On the day of your test, do one or two practice problems (for each section) at the most. Be sure to take a breather and, again, relax—you got this.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Your story is inspiring.

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