LSAT Proctors, Test Center Reviews, and Test-Taking Strategies

What will you do if the LSAT proctor at your test center doesn't give you enough time on test day? How will you deal with the guy who sniffles every 30 seconds? While this isn't as tough as trying to do a Rubik's Cube in the middle of a war zone, it can feel that way. When I took the LSAT, the proctors circled us like vultures. I wanted to reach into my clear plastic bag and toss them a sandwich so they'd leave me alone.

You're about to find out how to deal with less-than-ideal LSAT proctors and test centers, how to avoid them, and how to prepare for worst-case test day scenarios.

The LSAT Proctor:

If your LSAT proctor cuts you short on time, notify him or her immediately. It can't hurt to complain - it can only help. Getting back even 40-45 seconds to which you are entitled is significant because it can net you another question or two. LSAC's policy is to allow you to work on relevant sections after you complete section 5 for the amount of time you were shorted. Don't be shy - be assertive. You DO want to be a lawyer, right?

However, even if your proctor doesn't follow this procedure and will not listen to your complaints, obey all instructions anyway. Don't become overly argumentative, and don't cause a scene. Complete the writing section and follow all instructions - otherwise, your score may be invalidated and a mark might be placed in your file. Notify LSAC immediately after the exam of what happened. Once you're outside the test center, ask the other test-takers to do the same. Filing a report can't hurt you, so do what you can.

LSAT Test Center Reviews and LSAT Registration:

Of course, you probably want to avoid test centers like the ones mentioned above. Fortunately, other students have posted their LSAT test center reviews, so keep them in mind when you register for the LSAT, if you haven't done so already. If you know you'll be taking it on a certain date, register now. The best test centers get filled up quickly.

Test-Taking Strategies:

-Mark your answer sheet and bubble at the 5-minute warning.

The 1st page of each section lists the # of questions in the section. Make a tiny line on your answer sheet under that number. This will help you save time and prevent you from mis-bubbling. Tie up loose ends on your answer sheet when the proctor announces there are only 5 minutes left. This is especially important in case the LSAT proctor cuts your time short, which occasionally happens. You also won't have to watch the clock every few seconds at the end of the section.

-Take some practice exams under actual LSAT conditions.


Especially in winter months, some of the other test-takers might be sick. Bring tissues and cough drops to keep them quiet. However, you don't know if this will be enough, and there might be other noises around you. For this reason, take practice LSAT exams in various public places like coffee shops or libraries. If you can take the LSAT with people around you, you can take it anywhere. Remember, earplugs are not permitted on test day.


The proctors may walk around the room throughout the course of the exam and keep a close eye on you. The other test-takers might highlight, underline, and erase excessively. Again, this means you should take the LSAT in places you would expect to be much worse than your test center.


Many students flip out when they see others turn the page before they do. They think, "I'm falling behind already. I'd better skip these questions and move on." Remember the other test-takers may have a completely different pacing strategy than you do, or maybe they just don't know what they're doing.

Stay focused on your pacing strategy, and remain confident in your techniques. Do some practice exams with a friend. This will help you get used to being around people who write or turn pages faster than you. Have a friend proctor a practice LSAT so you'll get used to having someone else keep time.


  1. Just found this blog. Looks like a great resource. I'm studying for the June LSAT and shooting for 175+, so I'll be checking back often...

  2. Interesting question for you-- what if the proctor gives ttoo much- time?

    Sat today for the LSAT, and on section 1, the proctor didnt set her alarm, and didn't notice until 4 additional minutes had passed. Immediately called stop, then, after complaints, gave AN ADDITIONAL 2 MINUTES for "bubbling in answers, only."

    I was already done well before time... any thoughts on how this will affect reporting?

    Will it invalidate my score? Can I sit on Tuesday if so? Does LSAC allow retakes, or will I have to pay for a new one even if the fault lies with the proctor?

    Ugh. And I think I did really well, too.

  3. Okay, I'm partially deaf and wear hearing aids... think the proctors will have a fit if I were to take my hearing aids out mid exam?