What Does it Mean to "Go Grey" on LSAT Score Release Day?

One of the most common talking points you'll hear leading up to an LSAT score releaseand incessantly on the day scores become availableis the notion of "going grey." In fact a hysterical flurry of "I'M  GREY!!" announcements on twitter and elsewhere is one of the most reliable predictors that scores are imminent.

So what's all this grey business about, and how can you determine your own color status?

Two quick notes before we begin. First, the grey/gray debate is really one of pure preference. "Gray" tends to be the American-ized spelling, while "grey" is much more commonly used throughout the rest of the world. Seeing as the LSAT is a global exam, I'm using the broader spelling, "grey."

Second, as always, remember that score releases are singular events, in that scores (and indicators of their proximity) can go out at different times not only from person to person, but also from test to test. That is, a September release might kick off at 3 pm EST while the following December's scores might go live as late as 7 or 8 pm. There's really no telling, which adds either to the fun or the frustration, depending on your perspective. Simply put: be patient.

Alright, to the matter at hand.

In your LSAC account--the one you created at lsac.org when you signed up for your LSATyou'll see a number of green icons under the various form columns for your most recent test date. It looks like this for the three disclosed tests, June, September, and December*:


At some point on the day that LSAT scores are to be released those icons will change. They will, you guessed it, go grey:


When that change occurs is random (as noted above), but typically it happens in the early-to-mid afternoon, Eastern Standard Time. I've seen it happen as early as 1 or 2 pm, and as late as almost 8 pm, so clearly there's little predictability time-wise. What is predictable though is that as soon as you, or anyone else who can be trusted, notes grey icons, scores will be in your account and your Inbox within a few hours.

So just how many hours between grey and glory?

Well, surprise, surprise...it varies. Some people have scores within 20 or 30 minutes, while others may wait an entire afternoon before that fateful number arrives. There's no telling and, worse, no reliable way to predict it either: scores are released in random batches, entirely independent of your name (not alphabetical), where you took the test (not geographical), and--take heart here--how you did. Aaron Adams in Albany with a perfect score and a meticulously-bubbled Scantron may be in the first wave, last wave, or anywhere in between. Ditto for you. 

Rule of thumb then is that grey gives the day, but only fate knows the time.

Which leads to some concluding words of wisdom. Furiously refreshing your LSAC page for days on end seems, to me at least, like a miserable way to spend your pre-score time. You know (now, at least) that you'll get some advance warning before the score itself arrives, so let others keep the bleary-eyed grey watch while you enjoy your life in countless other, more fulfilling ways. A simple twitter alert for "#lsat" will very quickly let you know when icons have changed, at which point you can turn your attentions back to that 180 and monitor your status more attentively. 

Or, better yet, just wait for the email.

*The February LSAT is a nondisclosed exam, meaning you won't get a copy of the test like you do for the other three. You'll simply see your score and percentile. So your account icons still go from green to grey, but you won't have as many icons since the test content links aren't present. Same principle, slightly different presentation.