Are Cigarettes, Coffee, and Gum Allowed on LSAT Test Day?

LSAT Blog Cigarettes Coffee Gum Test DayI recently asked LSAC which of the following items are allowed in the test center on Test Day:

-Regular Gum
-Nicotine Gum
-Nicotine Patches

I expected to get a "no" on bringing all of these items, but I was pleasantly surprised to receive the following response:

Test takers may bring into the test room only a clear plastic zip lock bag, maximum size one gallon (3.79 liter), which must be stored under the chair and may be accessed only during the break. So, these items can be in your zip lock bag, but you would not have access to the items during the test. You can keep your coffee in plastic container (20 oz./591 ml maximum size) that you would also keep in your zip lock bag and would not have access to during the test.
The first sentence of the LSAC representative's response appears to be directly copy-pasted from LSAC's Day of the Test article (under "Items Allowed in the Test Room").

However, the rest of the LSAC rep's response above contradicts the remainder of the following paragraph on LSAC's website:
The ziplock bag may contain only the following items: LSAT Admission Ticket stub; valid ID; wallet; keys; analog (nondigital) wristwatch; medical or hygiene products; #2 or HB wooden pencils, highlighter, erasers, pencil sharpener (no mechanical pencils); tissues; and beverage in plastic container or juice box (20 oz./591 ml maximum size) and snack for break only.
This paragraph doesn't mention cigarettes, gum, nicotine patches, or coffee (assuming most people don't typically pour coffee into a plastic container or juice box).

Now, I suppose that cigarettes and coffee could be considered medical if you would suffer severe withdrawals without them, but good luck finding a doctor to write you a note.

Obviously, gum, coffee, and cigarettes won't do you much good if you can't actually use them at all during the exam or during the break. However, enforcement of the rules varies significantly.

The following is just my common-sense speculation, so don't hold me to it, but...

While you almost definitely won't be permitted to smoke during the exam, there's a decent chance you'll be able to smoke during the break (just be sure to ask the proctor before you leave the room).

In a separate email to me, LSAC said, "[Y[ou may not want to chew gum because it may be annoying to other test takers." However, you'll probably be able to chew gum during the exam unless another test-taker complains.

Nicotine Patch
In a separate email to me, LSAC said, "You can wear the nicotine patch." However, it's probably best to put on your nicotine patch before walking inside the test center.

You might even be able to drink coffee during the exam itself.

I doubt you really need to pour your coffee into a plastic container and keep it in a ziplock bag.

A regular coffee cup will probably be fine.

Also see Why Not To Use Adderall and NoDoz to Study for the LSAT.

Photo by sheehanpaul


  1. This may be a change since this post, but I took the LSAT on Monday (6/11) and the proctor specifically read from the rules that we couldn't chew gum.

    I was sad.

  2. This was really helpful. Question - do you think ergonomic pencil grip writing aids are allowed? 4 hours is a long time to grip a thin wooden stick.