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Good news for test-takers: the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) recently increased access to testing accommodations. If you’ve previously qualified for extended time (XT) on the SAT, SAT II, ACT, GED, GRE, GMAT, DAT, or MCAT, you now automatically qualify for extended time on the LSAT. (This post will focus on XT, but you can check out a full list of accommodations here.) Moreover, LSAC will not annotate your score report, so schools cannot discriminate against students with accommodations.
One of the most difficult aspects of the LSAT is having to finish each section in only 35 minutes. Particularly on the Logic Games section, many students run out of time without completing the final game. So if you qualify for extended time on the LSAT, this will likely give your score a hefty boost. Most XT students receive one and a half times (52:30 per section), but you can be granted up to twice the standard amount of time per section (1:10). The vast majority of students will benefit from an extra 50%; however, if you are considering requesting double time, first you need to verify that it will actually help you.
The LSAT is already a slog—remember that with the experimental 5th section on test day, the regular LSAT lasts over 3 hours. An extra 50% brings it up to 4.5 hours; this is long, but still manageable, and almost always worthwhile. Doubling the test time, on the other hand, turns the LSAT into a 6-hour mental marathon. Many students will feel fatigued by section 5 and see a drop in performance. So before you apply for double time, take a full 5-section test with 52:30 per section and another test with 1:10 per section, and see if you have the stamina to make it through the 6 hours at a high level. I have personally worked with XT students who can finish each section in 35 minutes and some who struggle to finish 3 Reading Comprehension passages with 1.5XT. Investigate what works for you and proceed accordingly.
If you do decide to apply for extended time on the LSAT, you must first register for the LSAT just as any other student would. Make sure that you register and send in your documents with your request for accommodations well in advance. The LSAC says they’ll respond within 14 business days, but I’ve had students who waited almost a month before hearing back. In one case I had a student who dragged her feet, applied late, got denied because some of the paperwork wasn’t in order, and then had to postpone her test date because she couldn’t get her appeal (which she eventually won) evaluated in time.
If you are approved for extended time on the LSAT, please note: LSAC cannot guarantee that you will test at the center for which you hold an admission ticket. Additionally, your test may be scheduled for an alternative, later date. We’ve heard multiple recent stories of students having their test centers and/or test dates moved in the week leading up to the test. Call early to confirm your date and location, and try to avoid booking any travel for the weekend following your scheduled test date, just in case. And if you’re a Sabbath observer taking the June test with accommodations, make sure to communicate that to LSAC, as some students have had their June test moved from Monday to Saturday.
Hopefully that answered all your questions about extended time on the LSAT, but for more information you can check out the LSAC’s policy on accommodated testing here. ?
Daniel Fogel is a Manhattan Prep LSAT instructor based in Miami, Florida. He has a degree in government and legal studies from Claremont McKenna College. Daniel scored a 179 on the LSAT and a 770 on the GMAT, which he also teaches. Fun fact: he’s a former top-ranked competitive Scrabble player. Intrigued? Check out Daniel’s upcoming LSAT courses here!