I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

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PigBodine
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I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby PigBodine » Mon May 14, 2012 4:22 pm

Surprise, surprise: it's not very good. Actually, it's very bad.

Source (the original link is dead, so I dredged it up through archive.org): http://web.archive.org/web/200911140239 ... t_yourself

1) In a neighborhood meeting called to address an urgent problem, I have important ideas to share, but a lot of people are trying to talk at once and nothing much is getting done. Listening to what I consider trivial points being made by others, I find my temper rising. What I would do next is:
a. Get up and make notes on a chart pad about my ideas and others that seem helpful.
b. Keep gradually increasing the volume of my voice until people pay attention to what I have to say.
c. Wait until someone asks my opinion before I talk.
d. Knock sharply on the table and say, "We have to take turns. Would you, Joe, go first?"
e. Start a more productive subconversation with several people sitting close to me.
f. Suggest breaking into small groups so more people can share ideas quickly and then report back to the general group to seek consensus.


2) You learn that a co-worker, Angela, who you helped train for the job, copied some confidential and proprietary information from the company's files. What would you do?
a. Tell Angela what I learned and that she should destroy the information before she gets caught.
b. Anonymously report Angela to management.
c. Report Angela to management and after disciplinary action has been taken, tell Angela that I'm the one that did so.
d. Threaten to report Angela unless she destroys the information.
e. Do nothing.


The underlying idea here is fairly simple: the LSAT, especially when it's the main factor driving law school admissions, defines "ability" in too narrow a context. Schools should have the ability to take into account a "broader array of performance factors." This test, which supposedly identifies 26 competency factors involved with successful lawyering, could be one of those measures. If you've been following the news, you've probably heard of this test, which is being championed by two professors at Berkeley. It all seems fairly reasonable.

Well, there are a couple of problems here. For one thing, you might have noticed that the question seem a little patronizing, or even ridiculous. There's a reason for that. If you take a look at the research proposal, Shultz and Zedeck come out and tell you that the whole thing is largely based on two tests developed by a psychometrician named Robert Hogan. Specifically, Hogan’s tests are categorized "Employment Integrity Tests" (EITs), which sprouted up, Little Shop of Horrors-like, in the 1980s, when polygraph tests (!) were made illegal by the -- really -- Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988.

If the purpose of the IQ test is to measure intelligence*, the purpose of the EIT is to measure thoughtcrime. More specifically, it's designed to measure "undesirable" traits with regard to your behavior -- past, present, and future. This is typically couched in the bland, inoffensive language of "dependability" and "conscientiousness," but what it's actually measuring, when you cut through the psychometric jargon, is your ability to conflate the needs of the larger corporation with your own, even though, in reality, they’re diametrically opposed. “Hostility towards authority” reflects particularly poorly on a taker of an EIT test, which means, presumably, that Wal-Mart might find them particularly useful with regard to screening out employees who might try to, say, organize a union (they will fire you for this), or to report violations of safety regulations, abuse of unpaid overtime, etc. This is scary. If you’ve ever applied for a job at a big-box store and had to answer a 25 page questionnaire asking you whether your use of crack cocaine over the course of the previous year could best be described as zero, almost zero, minimal, moderate, or “heavy, but controlled,” then you’ve already experienced firsthand the heady pleasure of the EIT.

Another problem with this test, in addition to it being a terrifying, Orwellian attempt by corporate America to scan your feeble human brain for the slightest glint or glimmer of subversive behavior in an attempt to secure the future for a docile workforce confidently strutting around the workplace to no place in particular with a nightmare Enzyte Bob rictus grin permanently affixed (possibly via corrective hooks, like in that one episode of The Simpsons), is that it’s hard for me how it’s going to be scored on a captive population.

In other words, these tests work reasonably well on 16 year olds applying to sell extended warranties on MacBook Pros for twelve dollars an hour (believe it or not, there are actually people who answer “heavy, but controlled”), or people who offered to take the test as anonymous research participants, but with advance warning, these tests aren’t hard to solve. The literature is out there. In publishing their proposal, they had to tell us what it is, and, as it turns out, it’s really, really easy to grade out perfectly on these kinds of tests with a little preparation. Mostly it involves role-playing as a Mormon. On question number 2, for example, I think any reasonable person is almost certainly going to, in reality, do (e), unless it’s really, really serious (the question doesn’t specify). Apply the Mormon heuristic, though, and the answer is clearly (b) or (c), although (c) probably scores you slightly more points.

Which is another thing. If you managed to get the original page to load, the preface to the sample tests states, charmingly, “The questions do not have right answers -- they are scored based on answers that were selected by lawyers rated as most effective on the particular factor by their peers and supervisors in our study," which is pretty impressive in that, if I’m parsing it right, she managed to directly contradict the first thing she says by means of the thing she said immediately after it. No answers are right, but some of them are less not right than others. Joking aside, what that means in practical terms is that you’re just assigned a score (or possibly a couple scores, based on multiple axes – this isn’t entirely clear) reflecting your lawyering ability, and some answers give you more points than others. Also, I’m not sure what a “chart pad” is. The face of testing in a new century.




*As a brief aside, it might be worthwhile to point out here that Robert Hogan himself managed to stir up a modest amount of controversy by his signing a public letter, published in The Wall Street Journal, in support of the racist, pseudoscientific, altogether delightfully, comprehensively insane 1994 book The Bell Curve which suggested that, among other things, white people naturally performed better on IQ tests than blacks because their race was more intrinsically intelligent, a claim which was systematically (and elegantly) refuted by a number of high-profile scientists like Stephen Jay Gould and Noam Chomsky, in addition to anybody else who was around at the time and possessed the, erm, intrinsic intelligence of potato salad. Not that that has anything to do with the validity of EITs in general, mind you.

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dowu
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Re: I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby dowu » Mon May 14, 2012 4:29 pm

:shock: :shock:
Last edited by dowu on Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:33 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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20130312
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Re: I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby 20130312 » Mon May 14, 2012 4:37 pm

wut

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dowu
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Re: I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby dowu » Mon May 14, 2012 4:41 pm

flem wrote:Can someone tl;dr this for me


I can't read.

But from what I can smell, this guy is talking about the merit of LSAT.

tl;dr: who cares.

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R86
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Re: I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby R86 » Mon May 14, 2012 4:47 pm

LSAT alternative, written by racist guy, follows model of employment assessments used by Walmart to weed out free thinking applicants (who would suck at working at Walmart anyway)

PigBodine
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Re: I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby PigBodine » Mon May 14, 2012 4:48 pm

nmop_apisdn wrote:
flem wrote:Can someone tl;dr this for me


I can't read.

But from what I can smell, this guy is talking about the merit of LSAT.

tl;dr: who cares.


The LSAT is not perfect. Some people are proposing law school applicants take a test which is not the LSAT. One of those tests, which has been in development for a few years, was proposed by some professors from Berkeley. I found some sample questions from that proposed test. The sample questions are kind of goofy, and as a result, I don't think the test looks very promising. The thing that's in the quotation block are sample questions from the proposed alternate test. No part of that is in any way difficult to understand.

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R86
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Re: I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby R86 » Mon May 14, 2012 4:50 pm

PigBodine wrote:No part of that is in any way difficult to understand.


Right... the questions aren't, but it's pretty difficult to understand why you would tack 925 words of really odd analysis on there...

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LSAT Blog
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Re: I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby LSAT Blog » Mon May 14, 2012 4:57 pm

Context: http://www.abajournal.com/legalrebels/a ... _yourself/

There was some buzz about the Looking Beyond the LSAT (LinkRemoved) project a few years ago (it's headed by Shultz and Zedeck).

It doesn't seem to have gone anywhere.

If these are the types of questions they're coming up with, I have a hard time seeing how their LSAT alternative will serve as a better predictor of 1L grades than the LSAT does.


That makes 1,000.

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kwais
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Re: I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby kwais » Mon May 14, 2012 5:02 pm

R86 wrote:
PigBodine wrote:No part of that is in any way difficult to understand.


Right... the questions aren't, but it's pretty difficult to understand why you would tack 925 words of really odd analysis on there...


+1 You have a very pretentious, showy writing style. Hope you don't talk that way in real life.

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dowu
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Re: I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby dowu » Mon May 14, 2012 5:08 pm

PigBodine wrote:
nmop_apisdn wrote:
flem wrote:Can someone tl;dr this for me


I can't read.

But from what I can smell, this guy is talking about the merit of LSAT.

tl;dr: who cares.


The LSAT is not perfect. Some people are proposing law school applicants take a test which is not the LSAT. One of those tests, which has been in development for a few years, was proposed by some professors from Berkeley. I found some sample questions from that proposed test. The sample questions are kind of goofy, and as a result, I don't think the test looks very promising. The thing that's in the quotation block are sample questions from the proposed alternate test. No part of that is in any way difficult to understand.



Yeah dude. Your rant underneath it is very flowery. I'm not sure what you were trying to accomplish, but it just seemed pointless.

Also, those questions you gave as an example seem to me like more of a personality test than anything, which has little to do with law school.

PigBodine
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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:59 pm

Re: I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby PigBodine » Mon May 14, 2012 5:11 pm

LSAT Blog wrote:Context: http://www.abajournal.com/legalrebels/a ... _yourself/

There was some buzz about the Looking Beyond the LSAT (LinkRemoved) project a few years ago (it's headed by Shultz and Zedeck).

It doesn't seem to have gone anywhere.

If these are the types of questions they're coming up with, I have a hard time seeing how their LSAT alternative will serve as a better predictor of 1L grades than the LSAT does.


That makes 1,000.


Well, they're still working on it and trying to get it installed, however that process works. Who knows whether or not anything will come of it, but it still makes news pretty regularly. I think usnwr highlighted them as a "trend to follow" or something the other day. The law school scam stuff in the nytimes and elsewhere raises issues about LSAT scores (by way of usnwr rankings) controlling everything, which sort of gives rise to a lot of coverage on LSAT alternatives, of which this one is the only concrete example. So it continues to be discussed a lot in that context.

PigBodine
Posts: 121
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:59 pm

Re: I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby PigBodine » Mon May 14, 2012 5:13 pm

nmop_apisdn wrote:Also, those questions you gave as an example seem to me like more of a personality test than anything, which has little to do with law school.


That's literally the point I made. It's a bad test because it's just a personality test that's been installed in place of a critical reasoning one. Those are sample questions the makers of the test gave to a magazine, or a blog, or something. I'm not arguing in favor of the new test. I'm against it. I'm not in favor of it.

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dowu
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Re: I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby dowu » Mon May 14, 2012 5:15 pm

PigBodine wrote:
LSAT Blog wrote:Context: http://www.abajournal.com/legalrebels/a ... _yourself/

There was some buzz about the Looking Beyond the LSAT (LinkRemoved) project a few years ago (it's headed by Shultz and Zedeck).

It doesn't seem to have gone anywhere.

If these are the types of questions they're coming up with, I have a hard time seeing how their LSAT alternative will serve as a better predictor of 1L grades than the LSAT does.


That makes 1,000.


Well, they're still working on it and trying to get it installed, however that process works. Who knows whether or not anything will come of it, but it still makes news pretty regularly. I think usnwr highlighted them as a "trend to follow" or something the other day. The law school scam stuff in the nytimes and elsewhere raises issues about LSAT scores (by way of usnwr rankings) controlling everything, which sort of gives rise to a lot of coverage on LSAT alternatives, of which this one is the only concrete example. So it continues to be discussed a lot in that context.



Someone please lock this thread.

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banjo
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Re: I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby banjo » Mon May 14, 2012 5:20 pm

Why do we need this? GPA already measures mindless conformity.

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Bronck
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Re: I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby Bronck » Mon May 14, 2012 6:45 pm

nmop_apisdn wrote:cool


story

el William
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Re: I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby el William » Mon May 14, 2012 8:47 pm

Bronck wrote:
nmop_apisdn wrote:cool


story


bro

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dowu
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Re: I found some sample questions from the "Alternative LSAT"

Postby dowu » Mon May 14, 2012 8:52 pm

el William wrote:
Bronck wrote:
nmop_apisdn wrote:cool


story


bro




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