Misconduct/Irregularity Help

gremmlin
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Misconduct/Irregularity Help

Postby gremmlin » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:11 am

I took the LSAT the LSAT this morning and was tossed out of the exam site. Long story short, I brought an analog watch (a chronograph, and I made sure there were no digital numbers anywhere). I did not have a timer set on the watch, there were no digital numbers, and the watch displayed with its long and short hands nothing but the time and date. However, at precisely 10AM, it beeped twice. I had borrowed this watch specifically for this exam, and now I'm knee deep in fuckage. For one, I received a write up and I was kicked out at half-time. The proctor was absolutely blissful and couldn't hide his sheer joy of exercising authority. He graciously snatched up the watch as soon as he heard it, then with a big smile on his face, after we finished section 3, he proudly announced he would escort me out, putting emphasis on there was nothing I could do. "I know how important this is, but you have to leave, and there is nothing you can do, *big smile." Now I'm worried that he may have written up a superbly dramatic report to LSAC to add the icing on the cake to glorify his existence.

I've dug around online, and it seems like most people who received misconducts at least finished the exam and were given a warning. This has led me to believe that my case may be much worse, for an offense that led to dismissal without warning. I've also yet to find a definitive answer on the repercussions. Let me just state that I had no idea the watch would beep, it'd been quiet since I borrowed it, and of course I had absolutely no intention of setting off a watch to disrupt the exam or cheat. This was not cross bubbling, and I'm apologetic that it beeped at all.

I went back to the rules, and bar the beep, the watch was perfectly legal and compliant. I called LSAC and they were not much more helpful, in fact, the person I spoke to kept telling me I would be disqualified and reported for calling him, because cell phones were illegal, despite my telling him I WAS ALREADY DISMISSED and was at my car leaving the test site. Do people really get that much of a kick exercising authority and dishing out punishment, albeit for absolutely nothing? Regarding the "violation," he was equally unsympathetic, and basically told me I was f-d because a beep = a time keeping device= CLEAR violation of the rules. He also stated that the misconduct would be reported to law schools unless I appealed it, which would be up to the test site to file. Perhaps it was a preconception of violators, he was spelling out gleefully I would be very f-ked and have no chance of removing it from my record.

Now to the most important part of this post: what recourse is available? There was no intention here, and it seems extremely harsh that there was not even a verbal warning, just straight dismissal. How can I keep this off the record? Things are already looking very bad, because I canceled my first LSAT back in June. It will be a third in December. Will law schools view that as my having taken it 3 times, thus slap a minus on my actual score? Will they see the serious "misconduct" or do I actually have a chance of getting it removed?

(BTW, I was very confident at least on the first 3 sections today [never made it to the latter 3], which makes me doubly pissed. I estimate at most 3 wrong for those 3 sections, so needless to say, I'm extremely frustrated and pissed off right now)

fosterp
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Re: Misconduct/Irregularity Help

Postby fosterp » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:56 am

Tough break.

The lesson to be learned here for everyone else is the importance of doing your PTs as if they were real tests, and changing nothing come real test time. Had this man practiced with his friends watch beforehand, he would have realized the problem and been able to correct it.

That said, what happened is bullshit and I would appeal it.

But to look at it from the other perspective, this is a very serious test and theres a huge incentive for people to cheat or use any method to get some kind of advantage, be it bending the rules or breaking them entirely. The only real option for lsac is to bring the hammer down hard on anyone that slips up. The moment they start letting shit slide is the moment everyone starts doing all sorts of unorthodox shit just to give them the upper hand. Maybe it was a harmless beep, or maybe someone planned it that way with the planned excuse that it was "borrowed" and they "didn't know." Not to call anyone a liar, theres just no way for them to verify that, so they just have to assume its an attempt to cheat and treat it as such.

jwzp
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Re: Misconduct/Irregularity Help

Postby jwzp » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:27 am

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Last edited by jwzp on Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dcman06
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Re: Misconduct/Irregularity Help

Postby dcman06 » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:09 am

Wow that sucks.

What I did before the test was what some other guys said already. I took timed tests and used the watch I planned on bringing to the test site just to make sure. The proctor may have been exercising authority too flamboyantly, but they have to do what they have to do. If the watch beeps, then that watch broke the rules, period. I don't know how far LSAC will want to take this, but they would likely ask you about your watch since it otherwise had no digital marks on it.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Misconduct/Irregularity Help

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:45 am

The proctor was just doing his job by applying the rules. When writing your appeal be sure to tone down any feelings of anger. Many may be sceptical of your claim that the watch was borrowed. You need to find examples of test takers who were given a warning before being, or without being, kicked out. (It is likely, however, that the instructions given immediately before the test included such a warning.) If feasible, consider using an attorney to help frame your appeal.

P.S. Do not demand a refund as this may give the testing organization an easy out.

P.P.S. There is at least one line of reasoning which suggests that leniency is appropriate in this case. The rules violation was an attempt to comply with the strict timing guidelines of the test. The actual harm--the beeping sound--was the equivalent of coughing, but less offensive because the beeping occurred only when the testing was to be stopped & therefore was not harmful to other test takers. Also, the beeping did not give you any unfair advantage on the test. The beeping sound followed test timing guidelines & should be considered as an option for all proctors so that time warning mistakes are minimized.
Apologize & respectfully ask for reconsideration of your punishment as your violation was an unintended result of your desire to strictly comply with the timing rules of the test. This clearly was not a surreptitious attempt to circumvent any testing rule.

The difficulty in your case is that you had to set the watch for a certain time period to alert you that the testing time was over. Many will question your claim that you were unaware of the beeping noise because there is no other reasonable explanation for setting a timer on a watch. You are, therefore, forced to claim that that you were unaware that the beeping sound was a violation of the testing rules. Your best strategy may be claiming that a beeping sound when the timed testing period concluded was not harmful to anyone & not helpful to you other than to ensure strict compliance with the testing time limit rules.
Your goal should be minimization, not exoneration.

A final thought: You could humbly & respectfully request written certification from the testing organization that all LSAT test takers worldwide with beeping watches were treated exactly as you were. That no one with a beeping timer that sounded at the end of a testing period was simply given a warning or a lessor punishment than you were during the administration of this or any other prior or subsequent testing session.

This is just commonsense advice to share with your attorney & should not be taken as legal advice for your particular situation.

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forward
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Re: Misconduct/Irregularity Help

Postby forward » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:57 am

I thought they had to issue you the written warning as you leave/are dismissed. You didn't get a copy?

jarofsoup
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Re: Misconduct/Irregularity Help

Postby jarofsoup » Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:05 pm

What ever you do six days is usually the magic number with the LSAC. The people working there are usually very nice, so try to keep communication open.


You may be in a bad position here. But I think you need to call back monday. Be a persistent and talk to a manager or a higher up.

I got angry at a proctor at the test center. She reached under my test booklet and looked to make sure the scantron was underneath. I looked at her and said "what the hell are you doing?"


But I didn't get kicked out.

I would file a complaint with the LSAC, and state that you do not believe that you were doing anything wrong, and that you called from the car after leaving the test. Tell them that the reaction of the proctor and the person on the phone did not react to your situation appropriately.



I am sure it is not the first time. There are posts up here about people getting written up for taking as sip of water during the writing sample...some of the stuff is absurd. The beeping is an accident, but you could tell LSAC that you had cell phone in your car, which was what my proctors reccommended that you do if you brought a cell phone in accidentally. The car, and the parking lot or street are not the test center.

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AreJay711
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Re: Misconduct/Irregularity Help

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:18 pm

I think it really depends on your proctor. I mean I had a watch that had the little thing that can scroll around the outside so I could see how long had passes since the beginning of the section and my proctor said that it was OK because it wasn't digital. Maybe a time keeping device maybe not -- I had another one just in case. At the same time i do believe beeping watches are specifically mentioned as prohibited items and it did go off at a terrible time so it is hard to fault the Proctor even if he is a jackass.

I'd fight and appeal any misconduct file. Though I don't have any particular knowledge about LSAC's policies I actually think you have a (comparatively) decent shot at this because you didn't finish the test so there isn't any real irregularity with the score since there should be no score. It isn't like you started early or something where even if you convinced LSAC you weren't trying to cheat it nonetheless would affect your score so LSAC would absolutely HAVE to send the misconduct report.

gremmlin
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Re: Misconduct/Irregularity Help

Postby gremmlin » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:42 pm

I just wanted to thank everyone for their input here. The rules do specifically ban watches that beep, so as much as it sucks, I'm clearly in the wrong here, and can only hope Adcom are human beings who will show a little sympathy. By the way, the watch is a Citizen's chronograph. I'll post any updates for future reference. It seems most people post their misconduct notice and are never heard from again.

As for one of my other questions, will taking multiple LSAT's adversely affect my chances? Like I said, I took one in June (canceled), then half of one yesterday, so December will be take 3 (which hopefully will finally result in a score. It would be my last chance to make it for the 2011 school year, and now my apps have to be delayed until January, really pushing it with few spots left at the schools), while I still have no score on file.

Lastly, how was the second half of the test? Were the LG's and LR's in the 2nd half particularly hard? Please say yes, so I can feel a little bit better about dropping out at half time, haha.

Thanks again guys

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savagedm
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Re: Misconduct/Irregularity Help

Postby savagedm » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:46 pm

/thread necro engaged!

I'd bitch and complain to LSAC about him making an "example" out of you and taking obvious pleasure out of it. Regardless of your minor violation, he effectively humiliated you and potentially ruined your name in front of people you live and work around. While the "I didn't know" argument could be looked at as a lie, the fact of the matter is that this infraction was so unbelievably minor compared to the scale of the response given by your proctor. That fool doesn't deserve to get paid by LSAC to administer this test, he needs to get hired at Guantanamo where his ilk are encouraged.

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Flips88
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Re: Misconduct/Irregularity Help

Postby Flips88 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:39 pm

If i were ever a LSAT proctor/or any other standardized test, I would be lenient as hell except on anything blatantly egregious. 2 beeps and this guy's future is in question. Ridiculous. Oh, I know, it's about following the rule, but come on.

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confusedlawyer
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Re: Misconduct/Irregularity Help

Postby confusedlawyer » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:52 pm

All of this because of 2 beeps from a watch, the embarassment, the feelings of anger at a bitch proctor, crying and calling LSAC while you should be writing, coming on the internet writing paragraphs checking responses and previous complaints. It almost becomes a 24 hour a day problem. Rough, it seems they are strict as hell, but I did what everyone else did, used the same watch for PT's as I did on the real test. I even used the same pencil that had all of my teeth marks in it from writing PT's. (Just showing the extreme I went to make the test feel like just another). I think you took a big risk borrowing a watch you knew nothing about, but the series of events is even more unfortunate.

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joebloe
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Re: Misconduct/Irregularity Help

Postby joebloe » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:06 pm

confusedlawyer wrote:[...] I even used the same pencil that had all of my teeth marks in it from writing PT's. [...]

I purposely brought all new pencils and erasers because of the possibility of marks like those being misinterpreted as some code to bring the answers with me, like some kind of Braille. Obviously I wasn't firing on all cylinders when I threw together my test bag. :lol: Wasn't there a Law and Order with something like that as a plot device?

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confusedlawyer
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Re: Misconduct/Irregularity Help

Postby confusedlawyer » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:09 pm

joebloe wrote:
confusedlawyer wrote:[...] I even used the same pencil that had all of my teeth marks in it from writing PT's. [...]

I purposely brought all new pencils and erasers because of the possibility of marks like those being misinterpreted as some code to bring the answers with me, like some kind of Braille. Obviously I wasn't firing on all cylinders when I threw together my test bag. :lol: Wasn't there a Law and Order with something like that as a plot device?
lol I did get a couple of looks when the proctors handed out the test I said it was a good luck pencil and we shared a good laugh, my proctors were as lenient within the rules and great, except the tapping of heels during the sections but nothing that affected me.




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