What will it be like to take the LSAT on a tablet?

Here's a rundown of the tablet's functionality and other test day elements:

  • When you arrive you are assigned a 10" touch-screen tablet that is matched to your LSAC account number (it even shows your uploaded LSAC pic on the screen at the start, the break, and briefly between sections), and you're given a sealed booklet of scratch paper about 14-16 pages (front/back) long. You're also given an ink pen with a stylus on the "eraser" end. The pen is to write on the scratch paper, and the stylus lets you control the tablet screen if you prefer that over touch.
  • The tablet can either be kept flat on the desk, or you can use the attached kickstand to prop it up at an angle. You're not allowed to hold the tablet while you work though; it must remain on the desk at all times.
  • Test proctoring is fully automated once the test begins, so the tablet controls when sections start and stop and what you're allowed to see. The real life proctor at your testing center can only initiate the test at section 1, and then restart the test at section 4 following the break.
  • A countdown timer is displayed in the top right corner (I don't believe you can hide it, but that may change), and a large, manually-dismissed pop up occurs for the five-minute warning. This timer can be set to different times as needed for accommodated students.
  • There is a Directions button in the top left that will display that section's directions, but there is absolutely no reason for a student to ever use it.
  • Along the bottom of the screen is a view of the full question count for the section (divided accordingly in LG and RC to show the number of questions in each game and passage), showing what you've answered and left blank, and also showing any questions you've flagged (more on that shortly). This allows you to jump to an individual question instantly. Alternatively you can use the left and right arrows at the bottom to move one at a time.
  • Adjustments can be made to a number of settings: brightness, text size, line spacing, colors (invert, grayscale, etc.), and so on. Text size, line spacing/separation, and brightness are always available on the main screen in the top menu.
  • Each question is displayed individually on the tablet in a split-screen (left/right) format as follows:
    • LR: Stimulus on the left; question and answers on the right
    • LG: Scenario and rules on the left; question and answers on the right
    • RC: Passage text on the left; question and answers on the right
  • Both columns are scrollable if the text runs beyond the bottom of the screen, and RC has a toggle mode to change between a whole-passage view and a passage and question view (you can see this in the attached Accessibility picture). So students can read an RC passage in full screen mode (Passage Only) and save some scrolling, then revert to passage-on-the-left view to answer questions, if they choose.
  •  The tools available within each question are as follows:
    •  Underlining. Select the U icon up top and drag over text (with finger or stylus) to underline it in black. This can be performed on any text on the screen, whether prompt, or question, or answers.
    • Highlighters. Same as underlining. Three colored highlighters—yellow, pink, orange—can be used to mark any text on the screen by selecting the desired color up top and the dragging over the text you wish to mark. I believe these may also work in reverse, where you can drag along the text to select it and then click the highlighter or underline icon, but I'm not certain about that.
    • All of these marks remain in place even when you click to other screens, and must be manually removed if you wish them to disappear. To remove them there is an eraser tool up top, so you click it and then click the highlight/underline you wish to erase. (Again this process may change in the final software version next month; stay tuned)
    • Inside the answers you can obviously select the letter you wish to submit by just tapping it, but you can also cross answers out by tapping the slashed-through letter to the right of each answer, or collapse the text of an answer with the ^ icon to the right of each answer. The collapse is particularly useful as it reduces answers to a single line and minimizes scrolling. I found myself using these in a hierarchy of confidence, so to speak: if I knew an answer was wrong I collapsed it, if I thought an answer was wrong I slashed it, if I thought it might be right I left it alone as a contender until the end when I'd then select it as my choice.
    •  Finally, next to each question stem is a flag icon to mark a question for later review. If you click it it turns blue on the question screen and also places a small flag symbol above that question number at the bottom of the screen.
  • At the conclusion of the test tablets and scratch paper booklets are collected.