The LSAT is a traumatic experience

UTexas
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:20 pm

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby UTexas » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:24 pm

I love the LSAT.

Even loved preparing for it, in a way, despite the fact that it -- along with two jobs -- put my social life into a coma.

roger8219
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:54 pm

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby roger8219 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:28 pm

re the issue of reading comprehension... of interest to me was the fact that i scored a 750/800 (well into the 99% range) on the GRE verbal section, but consistently screwed up the reading comp section on the LSAT. of course, the GRE verbal includes a whole bunch of bull shit about vocabulary and it has been years since i took the test -- but there is enough of the reading comp passages on the GRE to make me think i should've performed similarly on the RC section of the LSAT. But even in my practice LSAT's, when i was averaging 174, i could always count on minus 3 or 4 on RC. if i were to extrapolate the -4 to each section, that would give me -16 which is like 92nd (?) percentile on the LSAT. (i know, this extrapolation probably isn't the best way of figuring a percentile performance on a single section, but still ... RC always gave me trouble).

This is not offered up as anecdotal evidence that the RC is a speed reading test or that it is not. just a point of interest. if anyone else has experienced the GRE and the LSAT recently and would like to suggest why this happened to me, i would be interested to hear. I've closed up shop on the LSAT-- but just for my information.

User avatar
KibblesAndVick
Posts: 541
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:29 am

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby KibblesAndVick » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:28 pm

For anyone who cares, I found the following study online. --LinkRemoved--

"Abstract:

Within the field of psychometrics, testing-taking speed and reasoning ability are separate abilities with little or no correlation to each other. The LSAT is a univariate test designed to measure reasoning ability; test-taking speed is assumed to be an ancillary variable with a negligible effect on candidate scores. This Article explores the possibility that test-taking speed is variable common to both the LSAT and actual law school exams. This commonality is important because it may serve to increase the predictive validity of the LSAT. The author obtained data from a national and a regional law school and followed the methodology of a typical LSAT validity study, with one important exception: student performance was disaggregated into three distinct testing methods with varying degrees of time pressure: (1) in-class exams, (2) take-home exams, and (3) papers. Consistent with the hypothesis, the data showed that the LSAT was a relatively robust predictor of in-class exams and a relatively weak predictor on take-home exams and papers. In contrast, undergraduate GPA was a relatively stable predictor on all three testing methods. The major implication of this study is that the current emphasis on time-pressured law school exams may significantly increase the relative importance of the LSAT as an admission criterion. As a result, significantly fewer minority students can be admitted through the regular admissions process. Moreover, the findings of this study suggest that when speed is used as a variable on law school exams, the type of testing method, independent of knowledge and preparation, can change the ordering (i.e., relative grades) of individual test-takers. Finally, this study found some preliminary evidence that the performance gap between white and minority students may be significantly smaller on less time-pressured testing methods, including blindgraded take-home exams. Definitive evidence on this issue will require a larger sample size."

I can't find the actual study on any of the journals my University grants access to. But, it would seem that I'm wrong and the time crunch predicts success on law school exams.

JasonR
Posts: 421
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:09 am

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby JasonR » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:34 pm

Shrimps wrote:This statement is perfectly meaningless. The LSAT is graded on a curve. There can be no increase in people who score 170+ without an overall increase in the number of test takers.


This is absolutely incorrect. The test is not "curved."

How are there people on this forum who still believe this crap?
Last edited by JasonR on Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

GermX
Posts: 562
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby GermX » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:38 pm

I didn't say that the LSAT was the MOST traumatic experience EVER. I'm just saying that it is pretty traumatic.

JasonR
Posts: 421
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:09 am

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby JasonR » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:39 pm

.
Last edited by JasonR on Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
dp73816
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:54 pm

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby dp73816 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:40 pm

GermX wrote:I didn't say that the LSAT was the MOST traumatic experience EVER. I'm just saying that it is pretty traumatic.



It was the first time I ever "failed" at anything...so to me, it was the most traumatic ever. I get that some people loved studying for it - at first, I too enjoyed the challenge. Its when you start putting too much pressure on yourself that shit goes to hell...

Shrimps
Posts: 271
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:04 pm

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby Shrimps » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:47 pm

WD Henderson, the author of the study mentioned above, has a very explicit social and ideological agenda (minimizing the role of the LSAT in admissions and increasing the role of the UGPA in admissions), which would make me personally wary of using his study before thoroughly examining his methodology.

I am disgusted by attempts to decrease the role of standardized testing and increase the role of UGPA in graduate school admissions, for this could have devastating effects on the quality of undergraduate education in the country (prospective law school applicants would be well advised to avoid any and all difficult classes, avoid classes that would help them eliminate certain intellectual weaknesses at the expense of their GPA, avoid picking interesting but tough professors, force them to choose the flakiest majors possible; colleges would be pressured into runaway grade inflation, etc.), so obviously I also have an ideological prejudice against those who advocate for it.

For the time being I will dismiss WD Henderson's study, sight unseen, as manipulative and methodologically flawed. If I can get my hands on it without paying for it, I might take a closer look.

User avatar
typ3
Posts: 1362
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:04 am

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby typ3 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:18 pm

From my own experience of having a major in the humanities and one within the hard sciences, I would've never stuck with my hard sciences of UGPA was weighted more heavily. I have no problem keeping a 3.9-4.0 in the humanities.. but crap like Ochem, PChem and microbio all seemed to go south for me.

User avatar
PDaddy
Posts: 2073
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:40 am

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby PDaddy » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:18 pm

Shrimps wrote:
This statement is perfectly meaningless. The LSAT is graded on a curve. There can be no increase in people who score 170+ without an overall increase in the number of test takers. The curve will simply get a lot harsher with more generous time limits.


But the meaning of the curve would diminish because it would be artificial. That is, the curve as it now stands has some validity in terms of test takers' influence over it. If the test makers stiffened the curve in accordance with having lowered the time requirements, that would just reinforce the maxim that the test is manipulated to say what test makers want it to say. That would undermine the test...not that it hasn't already been undermined. The test is only "curved" in a way that allows a bell-curve effect to take place so schools can distingush applicants.

If the test was truly curved, you could theoretically have a situation where everyone answered 85% or more of the questions correct, but some people received 121. That would be ridiculous. Can you imagine getting 85 questions correct and scoring a 121? The only "curve" is the one the LSAC sets after the fact.

I agree with you on the distinction between comprehension and speed, but you have to accept that one constraint (speed) would affects the other (comprehension), so that the question becomes, "What is the test designed to measure?" Aside from that, my dfiatribe on RC has been taken too literally; RC occurs in all aspects of the test: RC, LR and LG.

The fact that someone is able to read at a slower pace and still do well doesn't diminish the validity of the argument that, for most people, the time constraint necessarily intorduces artificial, and somewhat pointless, measures and exercises.

Shrimps
Posts: 271
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:04 pm

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby Shrimps » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:49 pm

The thing is, it's the curve, and not the score, that has any meaning for law schools. The only purpose of the LSAT is to rank all the law school applicants, not give some abstract number to each one of them. LSAC considers it unacceptable for a variety of reasons to eliminate the cutesy "120-180" scale altogether and simply report to each test taker (and law school) the applicant's percentile rank: it's not the number 173 that top law schools are interested in but the fact that people who score 173+ score in the top 1% of all test takers. Replacing the abstract score with a cold percentile rank is considered too ego-bruising, apparently.

But if the test loses its ability to rank, say, the top 10% of all test takers (something that's happened to numerous standardized test already: Math SAT-II awards the perfect 800 to 10% of all who take it), either top law schools will pressure LSAC to find other ways to rank those at the top or the LSAT will lose its influence with top law schools, something LSAC is clearly not interested in.

So if the time limit is made more generous, LSAC will compensate by significantly increasing the number of difficult questions, among other things.

I constantly run out of time on the logic games. But if the time limit to answer the 23 questions is increased from 35 to, say, 45 minutes but the difficulty of questions is increased to compensate, I'm not really sure it'll benefit me. Going through 5 hypotheticals to answer one question is by far the biggest time killer for me, and I will still be running out of time on a test where every other question has 5 if..then answer choices.

Oblomov
Posts: 241
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:16 am

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby Oblomov » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:53 pm

vanwinkle wrote:If you think the LSAT is traumatic you should probably avoid law school and its exams.


Never mind OCI and callbacks. Actually, if you find it traumatic you should probably avoid the practice of law generally.

hugoboss
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:34 am

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby hugoboss » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:57 pm

yes, but it gives you so much confidence when you improve on it, especially when your retake is 7 marks higher:)
i know that i have the intelligence and dedication needed to master any sort of test. Since taking the lsat, i can now say to myself i did good on the lsat, i can do good on test x also.

User avatar
typ3
Posts: 1362
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:04 am

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby typ3 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:21 pm

Oblomov wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:If you think the LSAT is traumatic you should probably avoid law school and its exams.


Never mind OCI and callbacks. Actually, if you find it traumatic you should probably avoid the practice of law generally.


Lol @ the william james sidis avatar -_-

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:57 pm

I love how people keep escalating their hate of the LSAT like it'll accomplish anything. We've gone from "The LSAT is horrible/unfair/etc." to "Abolish the LSAT" to now say "The LSAT traumatizes people". Pretty soon folks will be posting "The LSAT gave me PTSD" and "The LSAT kills people".

Anyone who can't handle the LSAT stress-wise should not go to law school, period.

User avatar
Unemployed
Posts: 699
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:35 am

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby Unemployed » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:15 pm

vanwinkle wrote:I love how people keep escalating their hate of the LSAT like it'll accomplish anything. We've gone from "The LSAT is horrible/unfair/etc." to "Abolish the LSAT" to now say "The LSAT traumatizes people". Pretty soon folks will be posting "The LSAT gave me PTSD" and "The LSAT kills people".

Anyone who can't handle the LSAT stress-wise should not go to law school, period.


+1

Plus, I am still flabbergasted by 0L's authoritatively claiming that there is no similarity between LSAT and law school exams. :roll:

User avatar
basicgrey7
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 10:29 pm

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby basicgrey7 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:41 pm

UTexas wrote:I love the LSAT.

Even loved preparing for it, in a way, despite the fact that it -- along with two jobs -- put my social life into a coma.

Can I have your brain?

User avatar
theZeigs
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:26 pm

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby theZeigs » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:05 pm

+ 1

TITCR

(This Thread Is The Credited Read)

User avatar
Ragged
Posts: 1509
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby Ragged » Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:27 am

Here's a lolcat to relieve your stress/help heal your trauma:

--ImageRemoved--

User avatar
basicgrey7
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 10:29 pm

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby basicgrey7 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:38 am

Ragged wrote:Here's a lolcat to relieve your stress/help heal your trauma:

--ImageRemoved--

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

User avatar
theZeigs
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:26 pm

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby theZeigs » Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:51 am

Shrimps wrote:WD Henderson, the author of the study mentioned above, has a very explicit social and ideological agenda (minimizing the role of the LSAT in admissions and increasing the role of the UGPA in admissions), which would make me personally wary of using his study before thoroughly examining his methodology.

For the time being I will dismiss WD Henderson's study, sight unseen, as manipulative and methodologically flawed. If I can get my hands on it without paying for it, I might take a closer look.


Ad hominem. Fail. :lol:

Shrimps wrote:I am disgusted by attempts to decrease the role of standardized testing and increase the role of UGPA in graduate school admissions, for this could have devastating effects on the quality of undergraduate education in the country (prospective law school applicants would be well advised to avoid any and all difficult classes, avoid classes that would help them eliminate certain intellectual weaknesses at the expense of their GPA, avoid picking interesting but tough professors, force them to choose the flakiest majors possible; colleges would be pressured into runaway grade inflation, etc.), so obviously I also have an ideological prejudice against those who advocate for it.


As a TA, I already see some of this. People drop out of the more difficult Chem class because they want an easy A. Many of these are people who already had an A in the more difficult class. Students gripe like crazy over a few points, all but forcing you to give them points when clearly they're not warranted. "What happens when you slam a bell curve against a wall?" I ask. I have found that there's no such thing as "the Gentleman's C" anymore; the GPA system is a joke (B is average?!? WTF). Not to mention people who take minimum requirements for e.g. med school and then switch to a "softer" major to ensure that they keep up their GPA while studying for the MCAT for a year straight. Also, standardized testing is made to ensure that widely different educations are normalized; I have seen some classes at one school be incredibly difficult and delve deep into the subject matter while the same class at another school be much more superficial.

ali & ali
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:47 pm

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby ali & ali » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:18 pm

The LSAT, along with the whole law school application process, is one of the most humbling experiences most of us have ever faced. Admittedly, I think that the vast majority of law school applicants are type-A, hard-working, very intelligent and capable people, and the fact that we are actually judged (as students and as people) by a couple of numbers and a few lines on our personal statements is extremely disconcerting. Personally, I literally had to come to peace with the idea that maybe I wasn't meant to go to law school, or that I should change my whole view about how to approach the rest of my life. The law school application process is something over which we type-A's unfortunately have very little control, and that drove me crazy.

Don't get me wrong, I did very well on the LSAT, but even now, I think that having the events of one morning literally determine the trajectory of your life is a most traumatic and humbling experience. The hardest part of the whole experience is keeping calm and focused. Oh, and trying to live in the meantime is slightly important, as well.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:42 pm

ali & ali wrote:The LSAT, along with the whole law school application process, is one of the most humbling experiences most of us have ever faced. Admittedly, I think that the vast majority of law school applicants are type-A, hard-working, very intelligent and capable people, and the fact that we are actually judged (as students and as people) by a couple of numbers and a few lines on our personal statements is extremely disconcerting. Personally, I literally had to come to peace with the idea that maybe I wasn't meant to go to law school, or that I should change my whole view about how to approach the rest of my life. The law school application process is something over which we type-A's unfortunately have very little control, and that drove me crazy.

I'll agree with all of this.

I think the problem with the LSAT complaints is that people are arguing that they have a right to maintain control, and they don't. If you want to go to law school you'll have to face some realities you've never faced before. You're going to have to face a really hard and enduring screening process, you're going to have to face not being the best applicant under the current system and not getting into the very best school, and once you're in law school you're going to have to face, for the first time, not being at the top of your class.

This is true for almost everyone. I'm at a T10 law school, a school ranked highly enough and with enough prestige that it can attract a class full of people who have always been the best at what they did. The problem is that in a room full of people who've all done their best, they can't all be the best among the people in that room. Most of them won't be, and law school will make most of them face not being the best for the first time in their lives.

People have natural reactions. They get angry, they get upset, they get frustrated. They call the system unfair because they know they're capable of being the best and if the system were "more fair" then they would've achieved to that level. Of course, what they mean by "more fair" is "more suited to their particular strengths", because the test is fair (it targets everyone equally and has no inherent biases against any particular class of people), it just has a methodology that plays to other individuals' strengths just a little more and gives those others an edge that is resented or otherwise unliked.

All of this occurs for the first time with the LSAT itself, but it continues through the application process and into law school itself. Law school exams are like the LSAT in this way, that they demand a high degree of preparation to do well, and that there is an element that someone who has otherwise done well their entire lives might prepare for months and still not get the best score on test day. They require a huge amount of logical reasoning applied in an extremely limited timeframe. In this way the LSAT very much does represent the law school exam experience, and like the LSAT itself, it does cause people who have formerly done well their entire lives to fall for the first time, not due to lack of trying or ambition, but as a consequence of intense competition against others who are similarly high-achieving.

So, like I've said before, anyone who feels the LSAT is "traumatic" should not go to law school. The trials that law school exams create are going to be just as if not more traumatic, especially in that first semester where you are totally unsure how to prepare or how well you're actually going to be able to do. The LSAT is actually easier in that there's a lot more guidance and preparation available, whereas the law school exam format is a lot more fluid and can change dramatically from professor to professor. Someone who thinks preparing for and taking the LSAT is overly trying is completely unready to deal with the stressful and fluid demands of the law school exam experience. The LSAT is just an introduction to what can be a truly humbling education and (especially in this economy) a humbling profession that follows.

User avatar
dbt
Posts: 617
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:46 am

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby dbt » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:47 pm

The LSAT is a stressful experience. Having much of where you get to go to law school determined by 3.5 hours is tough.

Then again, law school exams are just as, if not more, stressful. Having your entire grade for a course determined by a 3.5 hour exam, with it usually being the case that there are fewer official old tests than there were for the LSAT. And add to that that 2L and 3L grades matter, but 1L grades matter the most.

No, I don't mind the LSAT. It's getting you ready for the real trauma ahead.

User avatar
LawandOrder
Posts: 611
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:36 pm

Re: The LSAT is a traumatic experience

Postby LawandOrder » Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:13 pm

God damn kids these days. You think the fucking LSAT is traumatic!? Back when I was your age I was being shot at damn near constantly while on patrol back in 'Nam!




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: KillaKam92 and 3 guests