NOTE: shortly after we published this letter, LSAC agreed to our request and thereafter fixed LSAT score release times to a specific date and time that is announced well in advance. Thank you LSAC!
I hope everyone there is doing well! We just went through the June LSAT score release and I wanted to share some of my thoughts and the thoughts of many students I spoke to. Let me start by saying that we appreciate you moving up the score release timeline a bit and then (sort of) sticking to the announced release date. That definitely helped ease concerns! However, you also made a decision this past round that I think will have many adverse effects going forward. Because of that, I’d like to suggest you make a change for future release dates.
First, more or less sticking to the announced date was awesome! Everyone who took the test was able to delay their rising anxiety a little later than usual! For that, we thank you. One suggestion though. Do you think maybe your Twitter account could reaffirm the release date in the days prior to the official date? You have a lengthy history of releasing scores early. While everyone hopes this new change is permanent, many people are slow to believe you’ve changed. Putting out an official announcement on each of the several days before the official date would really help people believe scores will come out when you say they will come out.
Second, let’s talk about the time you chose for the release. 12:04 AM Eastern time. Hey, I get it. It was just barely Friday in Newtown, PA where your headquarters are. You probably thought it was fair to release them as soon as possible on the date you selected! Even though it was Thursday in the Central, Mountain, and Pacific time zones. You might have even had a chuckle about surprising people with such an early release because you’ve never done it at that hour before. This one time, you get a free pass because very few expected scores at that hour.
But now you’ve set a precedent, and that’s a very bad thing for a lot of people. Why? Because now everyone who takes an LSAT will expect scores then. This means they’ll stay up until then to see what they got. Unfortunately, score releases don’t work in a way where every score comes out at the exact same time. Instead, it can take over 12 hours for all the scores to come out, meaning you’ve inadvertently relegated a lot of people to stay up all night desperately waiting for their score. I know this will happen because I had a message from a student in the middle of the night crying because her score hadn’t arrived yet and she was exhausted from waiting. To avoid that (and the even worse scenario where the release doesn’t start right at midnight, but is pushed back a few hours later for some reason), here’s the solution we suggest:
- Release scores as close to noon Eastern on the official date as possible. That way, the majority of test takers, who are in the US and Canada, will be up and ready for their results.
- Use your official channels to tell everyone beforehand the time you hope to release scores. A quick tweet the day before that says, “We hope to release scores tomorrow as close to noon as possible. Good luck everyone!” would go a long way toward creating goodwill for you. As a bonus, it will also ease the fear and anxiety around the appearance of these life-changing results.
So, that’s it! We love the direction you are taking with the attempt to be more open and clear about the release, but you can do even better. And, you can also save thousands of people from frantically hitting F5 throughout the night as they wait for their results.
Thanks for listening and good luck!