Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

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reasonabledoubt
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Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby reasonabledoubt » Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:32 am


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ravens20
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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby ravens20 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:14 am

Didn't the UC schools also threaten to ignore the SAT, which led to several changes in the test including the writing section?

ChaotiCait
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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby ChaotiCait » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:28 am

He never said he wanted to ban the LSAT, and if you notice he's a psychology professor, not a law prof. They're working with the LSAC about expanding the test to include more factors.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby pleasetryagain » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:31 am

ChaotiCait wrote:He never said he wanted to ban the LSAT, and if you notice he's a psychology professor, not a law prof. They're working with the LSAC about expanding the test to include more factors.


Meaning:Make it much easier so less qualified people aren't relegated to NOT attending law school. Because this is America and we cant have the qualified amongst us get anything that the unqualified can't. See also: new SAT.

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monkeyboy
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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby monkeyboy » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:51 am

DCD wrote:
ChaotiCait wrote:He never said he wanted to ban the LSAT, and if you notice he's a psychology professor, not a law prof. They're working with the LSAC about expanding the test to include more factors.


Meaning:Make it much easier so less qualified people aren't relegated to NOT attending law school. Because this is America and we cant have the qualified amongst us get anything that the unqualified can't. See also: new SAT.


I think I kind of agree with you, but what did they do with the SAT?

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pleasetryagain
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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby pleasetryagain » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:53 am

monkeyboy wrote:
DCD wrote:
ChaotiCait wrote:He never said he wanted to ban the LSAT, and if you notice he's a psychology professor, not a law prof. They're working with the LSAC about expanding the test to include more factors.


Meaning:Make it much easier so less qualified people aren't relegated to NOT attending law school. Because this is America and we cant have the qualified amongst us get anything that the unqualified can't. See also: new SAT.


I think I kind of agree with you, but what did they do with the SAT?


The 2400 system made it more subjective and easier (in my opinion) than the old 1600 system that most of us knew.

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straxen
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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby straxen » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:43 pm

Let me see how many problems there are with this:

1. How exactly is it possible to test interpersonal skiils, advocacy, negotiation, rainmaking, etc. For every law school applicant every year?

2. This is a "law school" admission test because it test skills necessary for law school, which should be the primary criteria for admissions. There is a place for the evaluation of lawyering skills, in the employment screening process, not
at the admissions level.

3. Since when is private practice the only avenue out of law school? Why should someone interested in PI, academia, etc. be subject to irrelevant tests?

4. A test as this would almost certainly be considered "easier" as has been suggested, and would result in many people who don't have what it takes for law school to be admitted, potentially at the exclusion of qualified applicants. While I agree, those with a 180 LSAT could be horrible lawyers, if you can't take law school, you're not getting anywhere.

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monkeyboy
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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby monkeyboy » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:44 pm

DCD wrote:
monkeyboy wrote:
DCD wrote:
ChaotiCait wrote:He never said he wanted to ban the LSAT, and if you notice he's a psychology professor, not a law prof. They're working with the LSAC about expanding the test to include more factors.


Meaning:Make it much easier so less qualified people aren't relegated to NOT attending law school. Because this is America and we cant have the qualified amongst us get anything that the unqualified can't. See also: new SAT.


I think I kind of agree with you, but what did they do with the SAT?


The 2400 system made it more subjective and easier (in my opinion) than the old 1600 system that most of us knew.


Oh yeah, I took the 1600 system version.

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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby jayn3 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:55 pm

DCD wrote:The 2400 system made it more subjective and easier (in my opinion) than the old 1600 system that most of us knew.


er, what? how did it make it easier? i agree that it's more subjective -- a professional test grader recently wrote a long article for NYT about just how subjective the writing section really is. for me, the subjectivity makes it much, much more terrifying, and thereby harder.

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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:04 pm

jayn3 wrote:
DCD wrote:The 2400 system made it more subjective and easier (in my opinion) than the old 1600 system that most of us knew.


er, what? how did it make it easier? i agree that it's more subjective -- a professional test grader recently wrote a long article for NYT about just how subjective the writing section really is. for me, the subjectivity makes it much, much more terrifying, and thereby harder.


Capriciousness = difficulty

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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:09 pm

Putting a personality test on the LSAT is a horrible idea. Personality and emotional tests may be good predictors of good lawyering when taken honestly, but who in their right mind wouldn't purposely answer the questions in order to boost ones score? You'll just have a Powerscore Personality Bible.

The part about judging a person's past experiences is even worse. That is what the application process is about. The LSAT is supposed to be an objective piece of the application. Judging experience is what the personal statement and resume are for.

Trying to put all the factors into admissions into one single metric is unbelievably small thinking.

/176 trolling

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monkeyboy
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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby monkeyboy » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:17 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Putting a personality test on the LSAT is a horrible idea. Personality and emotional tests may be good predictors of good lawyering when taken honestly, but who in their right mind wouldn't purposely answer the questions in order to boost ones score? You'll just have a Powerscore Personality Bible.

The part about judging a person's past experiences is even worse. That is what the application process is about. The LSAT is supposed to be an objective piece of the application. Judging experience is what the personal statement and resume are for.

Trying to put all the factors into admissions into one single metric is unbelievably small thinking.

/176 trolling


Yeah, I'm not an academic by any means and there is a lot involved here that I don't know a lot about, but I agree with what you're saying. Personality tests are very beatable. I've taken them after interviewing for sales jobs, etc, and it's not hard to figure out what they are looking for.

And you're right regarding past experiences as well. How can a quantative value be put on past experiences? That is asinine. I can understand that past experiences are valid to consider and that they might make somebody an attractive candidate, but dinging somebody because they potentially haven't been exposed to certain experiences is lame.

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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby Aeroplane » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:19 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
jayn3 wrote:
DCD wrote:The 2400 system made it more subjective and easier (in my opinion) than the old 1600 system that most of us knew.


er, what? how did it make it easier? i agree that it's more subjective -- a professional test grader recently wrote a long article for NYT about just how subjective the writing section really is. for me, the subjectivity makes it much, much more terrifying, and thereby harder.


Capriciousness = difficulty

IIRC they also got rid of analogies, which a lot of people found especially difficult.

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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby tumbleweed664 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:20 pm

It seems like before they change the LSAT they should deal with other factors that are currently making it less standardized (expensive prep courses, etc.). Once it is actually measuring just logical reasoning/reading comprehension instead of those plus ability to pay for classes and books and to spend a large amount of time studying, then they should consider changing or supplementing what it measures.

09042014
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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:24 pm

tumbleweed664 wrote:It seems like before they change the LSAT they should deal with other factors that are currently making it less standardized (expensive prep courses, etc.). Once it is actually measuring just logical reasoning/reading comprehension instead of those plus ability to pay for classes and books and to spend a large amount of time studying, then they should consider changing or supplementing what it measures.


IMO, charging for PT's for a supposedly standardized test is bullshit. PT's 1-58 should be available in paperback for 20 bucks, and should be available online for free from LSAC.

That still won't correct study time and paid test prep, but come on.

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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby tumbleweed664 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:27 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Putting a personality test on the LSAT is a horrible idea. Personality and emotional tests may be good predictors of good lawyering when taken honestly, but who in their right mind wouldn't purposely answer the questions in order to boost ones score? You'll just have a Powerscore Personality Bible.

The part about judging a person's past experiences is even worse. That is what the application process is about. The LSAT is supposed to be an objective piece of the application. Judging experience is what the personal statement and resume are for.

Trying to put all the factors into admissions into one single metric is unbelievably small thinking.

/176 trolling


I agree, though given how much the rankings have become the tail that wags the dog, I can see why people might be tempted to contrive a way to make this into something easily quantifiable and thus worthy for US News to measure.

I worked in a nuclear reactor, and we had to take a personality/attitude test that we could "pass" and "fail." Someone found out that there were prep books for sale that taught you how to take that test. So there is indeed a sort of Powerscore Personality Bible out there...

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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:29 pm

Aeroplane wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
jayn3 wrote:
DCD wrote:The 2400 system made it more subjective and easier (in my opinion) than the old 1600 system that most of us knew.


er, what? how did it make it easier? i agree that it's more subjective -- a professional test grader recently wrote a long article for NYT about just how subjective the writing section really is. for me, the subjectivity makes it much, much more terrifying, and thereby harder.


Capriciousness = difficulty

IIRC they also got rid of analogies, which a lot of people found especially difficult.


I took the SAT in 8th grade to qualify for some gifted program (why would they use this to qualify? Hell if I know). And I thought the SAT was a pretty poor test. It was vocab and math skills. Is that really the best objective measurement of college ability?

I took the ACT in junior year, and figured it was a more well rounded test, but it really just testing knowledge you learned in high school.

Lsat seems like a more fair test because its really only testing basic skills and not things you may or may not have learned.

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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby WhyBother? » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:40 pm

Does anyone else think this might have the potential to separate high and low scorers even more and change the overall grade distribution? Another poster mentioned that it would be easy to discern what the correct answer was, but I suspect that it would be easier for high scorers to figure this out. In the absence of some sort of serious problem interpreting emotional cues (ie, psychopathy), this would essentially be another logic test. It might give a slight boost to poor scorers who happen to fit some sort of ideal psychological profile, but not as much as those who can out-reason the test makers.

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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby im_blue » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:28 pm

DCD wrote:
monkeyboy wrote:
DCD wrote:
ChaotiCait wrote:He never said he wanted to ban the LSAT, and if you notice he's a psychology professor, not a law prof. They're working with the LSAC about expanding the test to include more factors.


Meaning:Make it much easier so less qualified people aren't relegated to NOT attending law school. Because this is America and we cant have the qualified amongst us get anything that the unqualified can't. See also: new SAT.


I think I kind of agree with you, but what did they do with the SAT?


The 2400 system made it more subjective and easier (in my opinion) than the old 1600 system that most of us knew.


The point of making the 2400 SAT worth 2/3 English/writing was to give girls a chance to catch up to boys, who tend to score higher on math and slightly lower on verbal. I believe another intended consequence was that the minority gap decreased on a percentage basis, because writing scores are generally inflated compared to the other 2.

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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby goingoingone » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:23 pm

im_blue wrote:
DCD wrote:
monkeyboy wrote:
DCD wrote:
Meaning:Make it much easier so less qualified people aren't relegated to NOT attending law school. Because this is America and we cant have the qualified amongst us get anything that the unqualified can't. See also: new SAT.


I think I kind of agree with you, but what did they do with the SAT?


The 2400 system made it more subjective and easier (in my opinion) than the old 1600 system that most of us knew.


The point of making the 2400 SAT worth 2/3 English/writing was to give girls a chance to catch up to boys, who tend to score higher on math and slightly lower on verbal. I believe another intended consequence was that the minority gap decreased on a percentage basis, because writing scores are generally inflated compared to the other 2.


I don't know where you got this information. I was a member of the first class to take the 3-section SAT, and I was told that the new SAT was created after years of professors complaining that students were coming to college unprepared to write. I don't think the new SAT fixes this problem, but as far as I know, that was its intention.

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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby BenJ » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:36 pm

ravens20 wrote:Didn't the UC schools also threaten to ignore the SAT, which led to several changes in the test including the writing section?


Yup. Which promptly got the Writing SAT ignored by everyone except the UCs. Most colleges still only report their incoming class's Math/Reading Comp medians.

Also, Writing is not inflated compared to other SAT sections. The median scores are all within a very tight range of one another, and Writing actually has the lowest median of the three. (In 2008, the medians were 515 on Math, 503 on Reading Comp and 498 on Writing.)

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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby UFMatt » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:52 pm

goingoingone wrote:I don't know where you got this information. I was a member of the first class to take the 3-section SAT, and I was told that the new SAT was created after years of professors complaining that students were coming to college unprepared to write. I don't think the new SAT fixes this problem, but as far as I know, that was its intention.


Thank god I took the 1600 point SAT back in the 90s. The writing section is nothing more than subjective nonsense intended to diminish the gap of underperforming groups. I can't consider it to be a standardized test anymore. Not when you have hundreds, if not thousands, of different people grading the writing portion. Per Wikipedia:

"In 2005, MIT Writing Director Les Perelman plotted essay length versus essay score on the new SAT from released essays and found a high correlation between them. After studying over 50 graded essays, he found that longer essays consistently produced higher scores. In fact, he argues that by simply gauging the length of an essay without reading it, the given score of an essay could likely be determined correctly over 90% of the time. He also discovered that several of these essays were full of factual errors, although the College Board does not claim to grade for factual accuracy.

Perelman, along with the National Council of Teachers of English also criticized the 25-minute writing section of the test for damaging standards writing teaching in the classroom. They say that writing teachers training their students for the SAT will not focus on revision, depth, accuracy, but will instead produce long, formulaic, and wordy pieces.[32] "You're getting teachers to train students to be bad writers," concluded Perelman."


In other words, the writing portion is total nonsense. It is not a measure of writing ability. It's an indicator of how bubbly (i.e. spaced out) your penmanship is.

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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby TTTennis » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:31 pm

Maybe I'm wrong here, but the proposed changes seem to be designed to test how effective you'll be as a lawyer? Thats great and all, but isn't the point of the LSAT supposed to be designed to test an applicant's potential as a law school student? That would be like making the SAT or ACT include sections that were designed to measure how well you will do after college...it seems irrelevant.

I understand that law schools want to produce good lawyers, but the measures tested by the new test are skills you can learn (at least partly) in law school and is in large part the responsibility of the student; however, it's much harder to "learn" cognitive ability and reasoning skills, which is why the current test is actually useful. I know plenty of highly intelligent individuals that have little life experience or social skills (some of the parameters the new test is trying to measure) and that are performing beyond average in their careers (which require the same skills that make for good lawyers).

Like everyone else is saying, the new test seems like it would do little more than simply make it easier for those who cannot manage to score decently on the current test...to"level the playing field" so to speak.

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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby englawyer » Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:27 pm

cdd_04 wrote:Maybe I'm wrong here, but the proposed changes seem to be designed to test how effective you'll be as a lawyer? Thats great and all, but isn't the point of the LSAT supposed to be designed to test an applicant's potential as a law school student?.


yes, this is the stated purpose of the test. but the rank of your law school greatly affects job prospects, so the "chain" effect of the LSAT is that it determines your work opportunities for the early stage of your career (which in turn determines your opportunities for later stages of your career). so whether its intended or not, the LSAT has a drastic effect on your career as a future attorney. it is probably the highest of high stake tests.

I understand that law schools want to produce good lawyers, but the measures tested by the new test are skills you can learn (at least partly) in law school and is in large part the responsibility of the student;


agreed. it would be silly to try to incorporate those other things in a standardized test. most of them are learnable, and even if they weren't very easily gamed. the only realistic way to add this to the admissions process would be an interviewing component similar to mba programs.

every competitive law school applicant would interview with either an adcom member or an alumni, to evaluate personality and ability to work with clients etc. the result would probably be that someone with a 170 but great interviewing skills/charm would be more competitive than a 175 that is totally awkward or something along those lines.

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Re: Berkeley Prof wants to ban LSAT?

Postby TTTennis » Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:56 pm

englawyer wrote:
cdd_04 wrote:Maybe I'm wrong here, but the proposed changes seem to be designed to test how effective you'll be as a lawyer? Thats great and all, but isn't the point of the LSAT supposed to be designed to test an applicant's potential as a law school student?.


cdd_04 wrote:
englawyer wrote:yes, this is the stated purpose of the test. but the rank of your law school greatly affects job prospects, so the "chain" effect of the LSAT is that it determines your work opportunities for the early stage of your career (which in turn determines your opportunities for later stages of your career). so whether its intended or not, the LSAT has a drastic effect on your career as a future attorney. it is probably the highest of high stake tests.



I completely agree with the rank of your school affecting your job prospects and so forth, but...the new test fails to measure anything that couldn't be manipulated by people who already score well on the current test. Essentially, you'll still have the extremely bright (or hard working, since the LSAT is learnable) scoring well on the new test and being accepted into the top schools (leaving their career prospects unchanged), but you will also have applicants that might not have scored as well on the current test scoring higher on the new test, creating more competition by applicants that wouldn't have necessarily posed a threat under the previous test. This just creates more competition (which hurts career prospects for many) and basically provides no further information about the suitability of a law school applicant for the demands of law school; and since it has been agreed that social skills are very learnable (probably more so than cog. abilities), no real new information about the probable success of that applicant as a future lawyer.

Yes, I realize that this argument hinges on the assumption that the new parameters tested under the "new" test will, in reality, actually make the test easier. Since many people in this thread have taken this assumption, and for purposes of this argument, I have also.




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