The short answer is yes, you should be able to touch your face on the LSAT.
The longer answer is your proctor may tell you not to. Taking the LSAT soon and want to know if they’ll ding you for this harmless habit? Read on.
The LSAT Candidate Agreement does not forbid you from touching your face
The LSAT Candidate Agreement is quite thorough. It does not mention touching your face. And touching your face is an incredibly natural thing to do. So much so that we hardly notice ourselves doing it. It is not reasonable to expect people to avoid touching their face for several hours while concentrating intensely.
The LSAT candidate agreement is quite specific and prohibits many behaviours. So clearly face touching is not a big concern for LSAC.
But, it is not LSAC who administers your exam: it is a proctor from Prometric. And in the telephone game they may have been given improper training which led them to think face touching is prohibited.
Reddit users report being warned for touching their face
Multiple reports on the Reddit LSAT forum mention that students were warned by their proctor for touching their face briefly. In this post titled “Uh….I can’t touch my face” a reddit user posted:
Just had a proctor tell me I can’t touch my face during the exam… I honestly never thought not being able to touch my face would completely throw me off… But it absolutely kept rolling through my peabrain.
Oh well, I’m just happy I finished!
Multiple other users reported this in August 2023 as well.
LSAC Commented Officially about face touching
Dave Killoran of Powerscore reached out to LSAC and got an official comment on the issue. Killoran says:
I checked with LSAC on this:
“The rule is as follows: If a remote LSAT taker covers their face for a significant period of time then they will be instructed not to do that, for security reasons.
Simply touching your face or rubbing your face or resting your temple on your hand should not cause this warning.”
Some of these proctors are being overzealous it seems.
This is, on the face of it, a reasonable rule. It is not normal to keep your face heavily covered while taking a test.
But there’s a big difference between covering your face, resting your head on your hand, and touching your face briefly. It sounds like the proctors need better training. Interrupting a student during the LSAT can really throw off their concentration.
Ongoing Reports that Proctors are Citing people for face touching
In the September 2023 administration of the LSAT, a reddit user reported that they were warned for touching their face:
I’m pissed. I was interrupted twice, by two different proctors, telling me I’m not allowed to touch my face. This wasn’t in the candidate agreement, or I would have practiced with that restriction. I was leaning the side of my jaw on one hand. I wasn’t blocking the camera or my eyes in any way. And the first time it happened was with less than a minute left in the section as I was trying to get through the last couple questions. Of course the proctor didn’t pause the timer when she interrupted me! I didn’t even have time to randomly pick an answer. I filed a formal complaint and am hoping for the Sept 19th retake. So. Pissed.
In my view this was not a reasonable warning on the part of the proctor, and it threw the student off. I personally took the LSAT during the pen and paper era and I’m sure I held my head on my hand for much of the test.
What’s your experience: did you touch your face during your LSAT, and did a proctor warn you?