When tens of thousands of aspiring law school students sit down next summer to take the Law School Admissions Test — the high-stakes exam better known as the LSAT — they’ll be doing so on Microsoft Surface Go tablets for the first time.
Microsoft is supplying the Law School Admission Council with thousands of Surface Go devices that will be locked down from a security standpoint and loaded custom software for the LSAT as part a move to transition the test from paper and pencil to digital. Microsoft and LSAC wouldn’t say how many Surface Go devices are included in the deal, but LSAC CEO Kellye Testy said upwards of 30,000 students take the test on each available date, so there would need to be at least that many plus backups.
LSAC announced its plan to digitize the LSAT earlier this year. Next July will mark the first time students take a digital test, though some paper and pencil tests will remain. By next September the LSAT will be administered entirely on Surface Go tablets.
“The Law School Admissions Test has been administered for almost 70 years now thru the paper and pencil methodology, and what really held us back in going with an electronic format, was that our test is so important in terms of security and quality that we needed to make sure we had the right hardware and the right design and the right applications so that we could keep the integrity of this gold standard test,” Testy said.