Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

If you could change the LSAT, how would you do it?

1) Make it computer-adaptive to allow more flexible scheduling.
10
14%
2) Allow students to complete sections in personally preferred order, i.e., give students 4 hours and let them fire at-will.
17
24%
3) Drop a student's weakest of six sections from scoring.
3
4%
4) Keep the current LSAT for day one, and add the Berkeley exam for day two, scoring them equally.
0
No votes
5) Eliminate logic games or the analytical/argumentative writing.
3
4%
6) Give 1 RC, 1 LG and 1 LR sections, and allow students to pick their fourth.
3
4%
7) Eliminate the proctored "pregame warmup".
2
3%
8) Impose a "3 strikes rule" on test-takers for life.
11
15%
9) Score the test in 10-point "bands" instead of specific numbers. Ex. "Applicant A scored in the 155-165 band."
7
10%
10) Allow 40 min per section, eliminate the experimental section on test day, or make some other change.
16
22%
 
Total votes: 72

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PDaddy
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Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby PDaddy » Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:53 am

--LinkRemoved--

This is NOT meant to ignite an AA debate, but it would be worth discussing what universal flaws TLSers believe exist on the LSAT.

Are you intrigued by the prospect of a new test in which there are no groups that do inherently worse than others, i.e., people high and low scores are distributed more evenly throughout various genders, ethnicities, UG majors, and prior professions?

I personally feel that the LSAT should stay as is, but the new Berkeley test should also be required, and the exams should carry equal weight in admissions.

luthersloan
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby luthersloan » Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:41 am

I think it is decidedly to early to saying that these two tests should both be used. Just right off the bat, it seems entirely possible that the Berkeley results are simply the product of data mining, i.e. in any set of data you will have apparent relationships between some trait and some result, until you run a new test trying to see if that result reemergence one cannot tell if there is a real causal or correlative relationship between the two.

Additionally, some of the things that they are testing seem to be thing that change over time or can be learned (like situational judgement) and since they are testing people already out in the world who have been successful it might well have been that when they were law students they did not have that ability, but rather had some underlying trait (like intelligence) which enabled them to develop it.

Also, there seems to be a fairly serious restriction of range problem, that is the study was mostly done on Berkely folks, with some Hastings people. That is people who got highish LSAT scores. when you are only dealing with a range of people with high scores, it does seem that in that narrow context the LSAT would be less useful, because of the decreasing marginal utility of intelligence, but it still could be quite useful in limiting the range.

Lasting, it is not super clear that all those sorts of "other" skills are equally important to all lawyers in the way that a reasonable high level of logical reasoning and reading comprehension skills are, so even if the Berkeley test is useful for something, it is probably deserving of a less than 50% ranking.

Lastly, on the distributional point, it seems if it was more evenly distributed- particularly among things that are clearly relevant to some extent like prior profession or UG major, you would probably have a test with a great deal of randomness. I mean, the stability of the biases in LSAT results provides a pretty certain conformation that the test is measuring something that is real, rather than just a series of coin flips in which some people come out head and some behind.

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Nulli Secundus
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby Nulli Secundus » Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:57 am

LSAT is fine. Change yourself.

ETA: Retake.

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kwais
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby kwais » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:36 am

Hey guys, I know what result I want this test to have, so let's go find a test that produces that result!!!!!

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby JusticeHarlan » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:39 am

The best argument against the LSAT is that DF did so well on it.

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descartesb4thehorse
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:57 am

I'm hearing absolutely nothing but some herpderp about how law school doesn't prepare students very well for being a lawyer. Cool story, Berkbro. Take it up with the ABA; you gotta fix law schools for that. Not the LSAT.

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westinghouse60
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby westinghouse60 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:26 am

Lol school with the lowest scores in the T14 thinks something is wrong with the LSAT.

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soj
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby soj » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:31 am

westinghouse60 wrote:Lol school with the lowest scores in the T14 thinks something is wrong with the LSAT.

+1

None of the poll options seem any good. Didn't vote.

kahechsof
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby kahechsof » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:36 am

I checked to get rid of LG, since that was what I was bad at.
Otherwise, the LSAT is great. For me.
If it stunk for you- stinks for you.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:49 am

A high LSAT score does not guarantee success as an attorney; common sense, personality, real world experience & emotion recognition skills are important characteristics for lawyers in addition to analytical ability, according to this report/study. The study was largely funded by the LSAC.

LoyalRebel
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby LoyalRebel » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:00 am

The LSAT is supposed to measure cognitive ability. The other aspects of the law school application process are supposed to measure the other traits of successful lawyers (GPA, recommendations, personal statement, etc). There's no need to incorporate every aspect into one standardized test; the LSAT is there for 1 specific purpose, in my opinion.

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cmckid
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby cmckid » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:12 am

My problem with the study is that you cannot accurately judge charism, etc from a test. The LSAT tests what IS measurable- logic and cognitive skills. Furthermore, your career as a lawyer obviously has an impact on what skills you need. Someone doing transactional work as cpa type attorney doesn't need many social skills, while a litigator obviously needs much higher social skills. A law professor needs to be able to do research, but we can't really test for research skills.

I think the LSAT does what it can- expanding the test or adding these other factors is much more difficult, and I think only mildly effective. And probably not worth the change.

Plus, nothing about the admissions process is going to change unless the UNSWR rankings metrics changes. Schools that are more holistic, like Michigan, etc. tend to do worse in the rankings because of their holistic process, even when it seems like long term career prospects are better there.

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Kabuo
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby Kabuo » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:14 am

cmckid wrote:My problem with the study is that you cannot accurately judge charism, etc from a test. The LSAT tests what IS measurable- logic and cognitive skills. Furthermore, your career as a lawyer obviously has an impact on what skills you need. Someone doing transactional work as cpa type attorney doesn't need many social skills, while a litigator obviously needs much higher social skills. A law professor needs to be able to do research, but we can't really test for research skills.

I think the LSAT does what it can- expanding the test or adding these other factors is much more difficult, and I think only mildly effective. And probably not worth the change.

Plus, nothing about the admissions process is going to change unless the UNSWR rankings metrics changes. Schools that are more holistic, like Michigan, etc. tend to do worse in the rankings because of their holistic process, even when it seems like long term career prospects are better there.


Comparing M to VP here does not seem to bear this out.

Curious1
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby Curious1 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:30 am

All of these are dumb. How does making the test easier help anybody? The LSAT is fine.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:45 am

soj wrote:
westinghouse60 wrote:Lol school with the lowest scores in the T14 thinks something is wrong with the LSAT.

+1

None of the poll options seem any good. Didn't vote.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:15 pm

E) None of the above

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SarahKerrigan
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby SarahKerrigan » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:25 pm

More test dates COULD be nice.

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Rheastoria
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby Rheastoria » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:07 pm

I hate the LSAT as much as the next applicant, but it's just something you have to face. Most test-takers actually take the time to know what they're up against - it's hard, but it's not a mystery. Of course I wish they would just throw us in a room and say the building closes at midnight and we have all day to take the test, but that's just not the case.

It's never going to be easy to get into a top school - if the LSAT is eliminated or made easier, there will be some other obstacle. That being said, I have to go take yet another practice test. Good luck to everyone this Saturday!

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Kronk
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby Kronk » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:15 pm

westinghouse60 wrote:Lol school with the lowest scores in the T14 thinks something is wrong with the LSAT.


trollolol dude doesn't even have a berkeley median score.

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Opie
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby Opie » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:25 pm

I say score the writing sample like GMAT does. I think they're considering that already though.

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justonemoregame
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby justonemoregame » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:36 pm

Make a minimum of three LSAT scores mandatory. (obv. increase test admin. freq.) Scrap the lowest, average the rest. Also, free snacks/coffee at break. That would just be nice.

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Hawkeye Pierce
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby Hawkeye Pierce » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:37 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
soj wrote:
westinghouse60 wrote:Lol school with the lowest scores in the T14 thinks something is wrong with the LSAT.

+1

None of the poll options seem any good. Didn't vote.

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tryingtowin
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby tryingtowin » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:00 am

LOL.. LSAT is fine. Its simply not for everybody, and neither is Law School :-D


.....
wellllll actually what they can do to make it a little better is administer the same exact test (section orders included) to everyone and require everyone to display a sign showing their average practice test scores. then allow everyone to group together with those who scored 170+ and theeeeeen require that all the proctors leave the room while the test is in session :-)... then and only then will it be a PERFECT test.

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Icculus
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby Icculus » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:11 am

CanadianWolf wrote:A high LSAT score does not guarantee success as an attorney; common sense, personality, real world experience & emotion recognition skills are important characteristics for lawyers in addition to analytical ability, according to this report/study. The study was largely funded by the LSAC.


So the same skills necessary for succeeding in almost any career, or really succeeding at life in general. Wow, who knew?

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: Why the LSAT is an "Incomplete" Test

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:16 am

now that I'm a 1L, I can honestly say I don't give a fuck what they do. Make them draw unicorns. Ask them to do advanced physics. Could give a fuck.




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