LSAC Statement on LSAT-Flex

Please note this comes directly from LSAC, not our firm.

"As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the LSAT test center-based administrations for March and April 2020 were canceled, and the first LSAT-Flex administration was held in May 2020. Existing March and April 2020 registrants were automatically moved to the May 2020 LSAT-Flex administration. Subsequently, the June, July, and August in-person administrations were canceled, and test registrants were offered the opportunity to take LSAT-Flex administrations instead. The data captured in this preliminary guide apply to only May, June, July, and August 2020 LSAT-Flex administrations.

Most of these LSAT-Flex administrations have seen an increase in the average scores that test takers as a whole have achieved as compared to prior LSAT data. Although shorter tests may appear to be the simple explanation for increased scores, the equating process allows us to reduce the impact of varying test difficulty, which means the explanation is more complex than simply test duration. There are several hypotheses for these findings, beyond the shorter test design and testing time. Firstly, test takers may have differing levels of testing anxiety during test administrations, and some test takers are likely to be less anxious testing at home. Secondly, test takers may have had more preparation time than usual for the LSAT-Flex administrations, since the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of many activities. Supporting this hypothesis is recent evidence pointing to notable score improvements for students using Official LSAT Prep through Khan Academy to improve their skills. Thirdly, candidates’ perceptions of application timing may have shifted, so the customary patterns for first-time and repeat test taking may also be shifting. Timing matters because the most highly skilled test takers may be testing throughout the summer and fall instead of primarily in the fall. The high availability of testing times may also be causing shifts in test patterns. LSAC will continue to closely monitor these score comparisons between LSAT-Flex and prior LSAT data as they become available.

Interpreting LSAT-Flex Scores

Like the traditional LSAT, scores on the LSAT-Flex are reported on a scale from 120 to 180. The LSAT-Flex scores have the same meaning from one administration to the next as a result of a statistical process called equating. Historically, the overall average scores of some LSAT administrations are higher or lower than other administrations; there is a seasonality pattern of average scores. When scores are equated, a given score, such as a score of 160, represents the same proficiency regardless of the test administration. For any individual test taker, a given score represents the same level of ability regardless of when the score is earned. For example, an applicant with an LSAT score of 160 might have a higher relative standing among February test takers than among June test takers, but the ability level represented by a score of 160 is the same regardless of when that score is earned."