Let's end the games section

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prezidentv8
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Re: Let's end the games section

Postby prezidentv8 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:27 pm

Veyron wrote:
Mickey Quicknumbers wrote:Well, until OP actually addresses my rebuttals, I declare myself the winner of this thread.

co-winners include: everybody else


Yay! My mommy always said I was a winner.


Looks like almost everyone won this internet argument!

http://www.tvfanatic.com/quotes/you-have-no-idea-what-an-idiot-is-is-that-right-i-just-threw/

WE'RE ALL WINNERS!

tomwatts
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Re: Let's end the games section

Postby tomwatts » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:51 pm

As promised, final thoughts on the OP.

His argument might have held more water if the LSAT were the only factor in law school admissions, and more so if games were the only part of the LSAT, and more still if getting all the questions on the games were vital to getting a high enough score to get into law school. None of these are actually true. To wit:

You can get a 170 on the LSAT by getting about half the games wrong if you get everything else right. More realistically, if you're good at the other stuff, a 160-165 score is not terribly unlikely. And a 160-165 is certainly good enough for law schools in the lower end of Tier 1 or in Tier 2, especially if you have high grades, regardless of other factors.

Moreover, if you have a good "overcoming adversity" story, combined with decent grades, you can overcome a lower LSAT score and get into some GREAT schools. Yale accepts somebody in the 150's every year. By definition, a quarter of the people that law schools accept have LSAT scores below their 25th percentiles. Some of those people are reverse-splitters (low LSAT, high GPA) designed to drive up other numbers. But a lot of those people are people with good stories, like those that the OP described.

Finally, you don't need to go to a prestigious law school to become a worthwhile lawyer. If you have very particular things that you want to do and are a hard worker and, yes, get a little bit lucky, you can get a good law-related job even if you come out of Tier 3 or, yes, even Tier 4. It's (much) harder to do, but if you play your cards right, you can do it, if you want it badly enough.

So there's hope for those widows and orphans yet. They might become compassionate public interest lawyers who help the general welfare of society despite the deck being stacked against them, despite those darned logic games.

And for the rest of the applicant pool, the 20-somethings who don't really know what they want to do with their lives, haven't taken the idea of going to law school very seriously, and (frankly) often aren't very hard-working, and it puts a serious roadblock in their way. Here's something that no one knows how to do. Show us you're serious by learning it, and we'll let you in. But you have to show us you're serious, first.

It is true, however, that over-reliance on a single metric (even the LSAT) is pernicious, and USNWR rankings make it always a tempting proposition. Criticism of standardized tests has been heavy since at least the 1980's, and I'm proud to say that Princeton Review has been one of the leaders in this criticism (under John Katzman, anyway). However, in response to this heavy criticism of the SAT, etc., the tests have changed. The SAT today is a better test than it was 30 years ago. (Antonyms? Analogies? Quantitative comparisons? No calculator?) The LSAT and MCAT are much better tests than they were 30 years ago. While you can't ever rely on any single number to measure educational success or potential, it is legitimate to include standardized tests as part of your process.

The proper number to consider, in other words, is not how well the LSAT correlates with first year law school performance. The proper numbers to compare are correlations between GPA and first year law school performance vs. correlations between GPA + LSAT and first year law school performance. That is, does the LSAT together with GPA predict first year law school performance better than GPA alone does? If so, then the LSAT provides additional useful information that you can't get from GPA alone. And at that point, it's a useful test to have. Could it be better? Surely. But using a standardized test -- and one that you can and should study for -- as an admissions component (component only, not the sole criterion) for law school seems reasonable.

Kurst
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Re: Let's end the games section

Postby Kurst » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:13 pm

A careful reading of this gentleman's words betray his true intention: to vicariously praise the LSAT.

To get you to speak for him in defense of the LSAT, he adopts an ingenious pretense: logic games -- the most learnable section of the test, the section to which many of us owe our substantial score improvement -- should be scrapped because they (1) do not reflect the tasks that a practicing lawyer performs; and (2) unfairly privilege those who prepare for them. (1) is a red herring: the only function of the LSAT is to predict 1L grades. (2), on the other hand, strikes at the heart of LSAT preparation, and is what sparked this glorious flame.

After declaring war on logic games, he plants the subtle notion that successfully preparing for the LSAT corrupts one's integrity. Those who successfully prepare for the LSAT, in other words, are inevitably and incorrigibly biased in favor of the test.

kill lsat wrote:I'm really focused on eliminating the games section and I know that virtually everyone on this blog believed that at one point in his/her life. But, once they committed to the LSAT and things worked out for them, they started to sing a different tune.

Next, to ensure that people come to the defense of the test, he characterizes the preparation process that many of you went through not as a rigorous 0L rite of passage, but as an unholy abomination; the Labors of Hercules pale in comparison to the agonizing, heart-wrenching, soul-crushing experience of LSAT preparation. Cue the noise (try to read any of these overwrought, maudlin appeals without scoffing at the blatant absurdity):

kill lsat wrote:WE ALL KNOW THE MISERY this test causes tens of thousands of law school prospects every year!
kill lsat wrote:There have to be studies to demonstrate the agony caused by the LSAT for all prospective students and the underprivileged, in particular.
kill lsat wrote:the games section (and, more generally, the entire LSAT) is little more than a con having the effect of preventing the vast majority of people from getting into the law school of their choice
kill lsat wrote:4 games in 35 minutes is more like a cruel joke.
kill lsat wrote:I would bet you had your own share of heartache that you felt was needless torment preparing for the LSAT, particularly the games section. Can you remember back to the time? Was it fair to you, your family?
kill lsat wrote:You cannot support the interests of the poor and under-represented, while you simultaneously support standardized tests.
kill lsat wrote:If you have neither the money to attend a solid prep course nor the time to do much prep, then you have nothing. Your innate intelligence, academic background and professional experience will not help you -- unlike in the other sections.

TL;DR: games are torture. Wait, what's this paradoxical gem?

kill lsat wrote:I agree with your husband, however, that they [logic games] are, in fact, fun -- my engineering background made me fall in love with them as entertainment.

Even the best flames slip. This slippage was overlooked, but when he mentioned the finest LSAT test preparation company, one TLS member called him out:

prezidentv8 wrote:
kill lsat wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:There are FEW things in life that require less time and effort in exchange for payoff than the LSAT. ... I frankly could give a rats ass how hard someone has it it with community events, etc. You are not being surprised by how important it is. It is YOUR decision, one which you know just how important the implications are, and if you cannot dedicate the time necessary to conquering it than how am I supposed to believe you are every going to be able to prioritize your cases properly? If you don't have time for it, wait.


I would bet that a single mother of 4 would find it easier to prioritize her cases or yours than to prioritize the needs of her children on the poorly paying job she has. Many like her give up their dreams -- and law schools become overpopulated with people who seem incapable of empathy. Even poor, struggling people are entitled to have aspirations and we have to lower barriers for them, not create artificial ones, like the LSAT and particularly the games section. How fair is it that she has to compete with people who only have to worry about whether they were idiots at last night's frat party? Those juveniles will have their parents send them to Kaplan. The mother will do her best preparing for the exam and will probably do poorly. I would bet her hard times, empathy, tough choices and drive would make her a far better lawyer than someone who makes the kind of cold, calculated, unsympathetic arguments many on this blog have. But, we'll never know.


Egregious Kaplan trolling.

Yet he continues to garner serious responses. How do you read this:

kill lsat wrote:Expand the time on all sections, so we can get a better sense of who really knows the answer, rather than who has the best test-taking skills.

...and not think flame?

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prezidentv8
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Re: Let's end the games section

Postby prezidentv8 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:06 am

Kurst wrote:A careful reading of this gentleman's words betray his true intention: to vicariously praise the LSAT.

To get you to speak for him in defense of the LSAT, he adopts an ingenious pretense: logic games -- the most learnable section of the test, the section to which many of us owe our substantial score improvement -- should be scrapped because they (1) do not reflect the tasks that a practicing lawyer performs; and (2) unfairly privilege those who prepare for them. (1) is a red herring: the only function of the LSAT is to predict 1L grades. (2), on the other hand, strikes at the heart of LSAT preparation, and is what sparked this glorious flame.

After declaring war on logic games, he plants the subtle notion that successfully preparing for the LSAT corrupts one's integrity. Those who successfully prepare for the LSAT, in other words, are inevitably and incorrigibly biased in favor of the test.

kill lsat wrote:I'm really focused on eliminating the games section and I know that virtually everyone on this blog believed that at one point in his/her life. But, once they committed to the LSAT and things worked out for them, they started to sing a different tune.

Next, to ensure that people come to the defense of the test, he characterizes the preparation process that many of you went through not as a rigorous 0L rite of passage, but as an unholy abomination; the Labors of Hercules pale in comparison to the agonizing, heart-wrenching, soul-crushing experience of LSAT preparation. Cue the noise (try to read any of these overwrought, maudlin appeals without scoffing at the blatant absurdity):

kill lsat wrote:WE ALL KNOW THE MISERY this test causes tens of thousands of law school prospects every year!
kill lsat wrote:There have to be studies to demonstrate the agony caused by the LSAT for all prospective students and the underprivileged, in particular.
kill lsat wrote:the games section (and, more generally, the entire LSAT) is little more than a con having the effect of preventing the vast majority of people from getting into the law school of their choice
kill lsat wrote:4 games in 35 minutes is more like a cruel joke.
kill lsat wrote:I would bet you had your own share of heartache that you felt was needless torment preparing for the LSAT, particularly the games section. Can you remember back to the time? Was it fair to you, your family?
kill lsat wrote:You cannot support the interests of the poor and under-represented, while you simultaneously support standardized tests.
kill lsat wrote:If you have neither the money to attend a solid prep course nor the time to do much prep, then you have nothing. Your innate intelligence, academic background and professional experience will not help you -- unlike in the other sections.

TL;DR: games are torture. Wait, what's this paradoxical gem?

kill lsat wrote:I agree with your husband, however, that they [logic games] are, in fact, fun -- my engineering background made me fall in love with them as entertainment.

Even the best flames slip. This slippage was overlooked, but when he mentioned the finest LSAT test preparation company, one TLS member called him out:

prezidentv8 wrote:
kill lsat wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:There are FEW things in life that require less time and effort in exchange for payoff than the LSAT. ... I frankly could give a rats ass how hard someone has it it with community events, etc. You are not being surprised by how important it is. It is YOUR decision, one which you know just how important the implications are, and if you cannot dedicate the time necessary to conquering it than how am I supposed to believe you are every going to be able to prioritize your cases properly? If you don't have time for it, wait.


I would bet that a single mother of 4 would find it easier to prioritize her cases or yours than to prioritize the needs of her children on the poorly paying job she has. Many like her give up their dreams -- and law schools become overpopulated with people who seem incapable of empathy. Even poor, struggling people are entitled to have aspirations and we have to lower barriers for them, not create artificial ones, like the LSAT and particularly the games section. How fair is it that she has to compete with people who only have to worry about whether they were idiots at last night's frat party? Those juveniles will have their parents send them to Kaplan. The mother will do her best preparing for the exam and will probably do poorly. I would bet her hard times, empathy, tough choices and drive would make her a far better lawyer than someone who makes the kind of cold, calculated, unsympathetic arguments many on this blog have. But, we'll never know.


Egregious Kaplan trolling.

Yet he continues to garner serious responses. How do you read this:

kill lsat wrote:Expand the time on all sections, so we can get a better sense of who really knows the answer, rather than who has the best test-taking skills.

...and not think flame?


QFgivingprezcredit

09042014
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Re: Let's end the games section

Postby 09042014 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:16 am

AR is as predictive as gpa is.

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well-hello-there
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Re: Let's end the games section

Postby well-hello-there » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:57 am

kurst wins

Ignatius Reilly
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Re: Let's end the games section

Postby Ignatius Reilly » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:15 pm

Desert Fox wrote:AR is as predictive as gpa is.


false, you vommit belching volcano of unthruths

PhiloLogicGames
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Re: Let's end the games section

Postby PhiloLogicGames » Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:23 pm

:lol: Probably the funniest Discussion topic and thread TLS has seen in a while. :lol:

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feralinfant
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Re: Let's end the games section

Postby feralinfant » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:23 pm

Ignatius Reilly wrote:
false, you vommit belching volcano of unthruths


Arggh my pyloric valve

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niederbomb
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Re: Let's end the games section

Postby niederbomb » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:41 pm

You can get a 170 on the LSAT by getting about half the games wrong if you get everything else right.


I am walking proof of this.

Desert Fox wrote:

AR is as predictive as gpa is.


I hope you're right.

I wouldn't mind nixing the games for a quantitative section (like the GMAT) or even a 2nd RC. I don't think being good a puzzles should be a prerequisite for law school, but as others have pointed out, it's only 23% of the test. Meh.

5618715218781
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Re: Let's end the games section

Postby 5618715218781 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:42 pm

KibblesAndVick wrote:
kill lsat wrote: Is it inherently unfair to those without the funds to take a great prep course or those who just don't have the time to do endless examples? Does it pose an onerous burden on prospective law students?


The LSAT is a wonderful thing for poor applicants. Socioeconomic status has far less impact on the LSAT than it does on all the other parts of the application process. If there were no LSAT schools would be forced to judge applicants largely on their grades and the quality of their undergraduate institution. That's an easier system for rich, upper class applicants to game than one with a difficult standardized test.

Being wealthy allows people to take prep courses and, at least in theory, more free time to spend studying. But, those advantages pale in comparison to what being wealthy or privileged allows to you in terms of undergraduate prestige, grades, extracurriculars, internships, jobs, and all the other ways they judge applicants.


So true, especially compared to MBA and business school...

ilikebaseball
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Re: Let's end the games section

Postby ilikebaseball » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:56 pm

Never really understood the difficulty of the games section. The best explanation to me for the games was from a freakin princeton review book, back when I first started and didn't know any better. Literally figured out linear/grouping in half an hour and haven't really hit a roadblock since. I need the games cuz if it was just RC and LR my score would be average lol

5618715218781
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Re: Let's end the games section

Postby 5618715218781 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:15 pm

well-hello-there wrote:
kill lsat wrote:Forum Questions: Is the Analytical Reasoning section so artificial and removed from the actual practice of law that it renders the LSAT an unnecessary and unhelpful barrier to selecting qualified and diverse students?
Nope
Is it inherently unfair to those without the funds to take a great prep course or those who just don't have the time to do endless examples?
nope
Does it pose an onerous burden on prospective law students?
nope
Does it harm the reputation of law schools that de-emphasize it?
yep
Should we campaign for its elimination or drastic modification?
nope
What can we do to make this happen?


Background/Argument: I am a professional with a solid engineering background. I fully understand that law schools need to know how well prospective students can apply the rules of logic and deductive reasoning to solve problems they will face as lawyers. However, AR tests nothing of the sort.
yes it does

In just 8.5 minutes, you are expected to learn about an artificial world, with bizarre rules, and then draw inferences that will enable you to answer questions that require further inferences. There simply is no analog in legal work.
of course there is
Lawyers have weeks to write briefs, not minutes.
because writing briefs is a whole lot harder than doing logic games
Even oral argument is based on a known set of cases and specific background. Going 3 levels deep into inferences would lose everyone in the courtroom.
but if you can't score well on the LSAT, you're less likely to have the mental capacity to understand the law, much less put forth a cogent argument to support your case
You would be called supercilious, an idiot or irritating. And, if you were wrong, ....
sticks & stones...

I might be able to understand 1 game in 35 minutes, with 23 questions -- the vast majority of which test your understanding of basic logic. You would have a reasonable opportunity to adjust to a brave new (artificial) world and demonstrate that you have a basic, intermediate or advanced knowledge of logic and reasoning.
that's exactly what the AR section does already.

Unfortunately, 4 games in 35 minutes is more like a cruel joke. Only through quality instruction and significant practice, then a little luck on test day can all but the exceptionally gifted among us do well on that section.
over generalization & over simplification of reality
If you have neither the money to attend a solid prep course nor the time to do much prep, then you have nothing. Your innate intelligence, academic background and professional experience will not help you -- unlike in the other sections.
i'm guessing you did poorly on the LR section as well. your argument here is a 1 star difficulty flaw question

In the end, the games section (and, more generally, the entire LSAT)
guess confirmed
is little more than a con having the effect of preventing the vast majority of people from getting into the law school of their choice
would you force harvard to accept all 9K applicants?
-- and of sewing a bright red letter of inferiority across the coat-of-arms of law schools who dare to de-emphasis LSAT scores.
because the students at those schools aren't as bright

Since our entire system of justice depends (in theory) on application of the law and having a good lawyer to represent you, this profession is simply too important to leave the weeding out process to the inequities and vagaries of time and money.

Law schools should be picking the best-prepared candidates
they already do this by favoring high LSAT scores.
and/or those who are likely to make a significant difference in society or on campus (diversity).
they already do this by favoring high LSAT scores
The best way to do that is to kill the games section in its current form (and hopefully, the entire LSAT, but I won't argue that for now).
^this is the conclusion of your argument. It does not follow from the premises.

Any suggestions on how we can make this happen?

it's not going to happen.


this conversation is brilliant, haha, and hilarious

5618715218781
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Re: Let's end the games section

Postby 5618715218781 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:25 pm

EarlCat wrote:
kill lsat wrote:Forum Questions: Is the Analytical Reasoning section so artificial and removed from the actual practice of law that it renders the LSAT an unnecessary and unhelpful barrier to selecting qualified and diverse students?

No. The practice of law is largely an exercise in following directions, which is what the games section tests.

Is it inherently unfair to those without the funds to take a great prep course or those who just don't have the time to do endless examples? Does it pose an onerous burden on prospective law students?

No. Law school is expensive. If you won't cut grass or flip burgers or do whatever it takes to scrape together $1500 or so for a prep course, you're not motivated enough to take on the expense of law school.

Background/Argument: I am a professional with a solid engineering background. I fully understand that law schools need to know how well prospective students can apply the rules of logic and deductive reasoning to solve problems they will face as lawyers. However, AR tests nothing of the sort.

In just 8.5 minutes, you are expected to learn about an artificial world, with bizarre rules, and then draw inferences that will enable you to answer questions that require further inferences. There simply is no analog in legal work.

You've obviously never looked at the tax code.

I might be able to understand 1 game in 35 minutes, with 23 questions -- the vast majority of which test your understanding of basic logic. You would have a reasonable opportunity to adjust to a brave new (artificial) world and demonstrate that you have a basic, intermediate or advanced knowledge of logic and reasoning.

There are two whole sections that test your understanding of basic logic.

Unfortunately, 4 games in 35 minutes is more like a cruel joke. Only through quality instruction and significant practice, then a little luck on test day can all but the exceptionally gifted among us do well on that section.

So you think people should be considered adequately prepared for law school without demonstrating their abilities on a task that requires quality instruction and significant practice? Do you have the same objection to the bar exam, which also requires quality instruction and significant practice (and is even less intuitive than LSAT games)?

If you have neither the money to attend a solid prep course nor the time to do much prep, then you have nothing.

Prep courses aren't that expensive. I bet your car costs more than the most expensive prep course on the market. Sell your car, replace it with a clunker or ride the bus, cancel your cable TV or internet, get rid of your cell phone, sell some furniture, save some cash and take a dang prep course. Are you motivated to succeed or not?

Your innate intelligence, academic background and professional experience will not help you -- unlike in the other sections.

Untrue. I know a cold 177.

In the end, the games section (and, more generally, the entire LSAT) is little more than a con having the effect of preventing the vast majority of people from getting into the law school of their choice

Think for just a second about the consequence of allowing the majority of people to get into the law school of their choice.

Since our entire system of justice depends (in theory) on application of the law and having a good lawyer to represent you, this profession is simply too important to leave the weeding out process to the inequities and vagaries of time and money. Law schools should be picking the best-prepared candidates and/or those who are likely to make a significant difference in society or on campus (diversity).

Adequate preparation for anything requires significant amounts of time, and usually money. Law school is on the cheap end in that regard. (If you don't believe me, apply to med school or try to play a sport or an instrument professionally.)


ahh, the last sentence strucked me, yes, med school and athletics....

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Let's end the games section

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:28 pm

People, don't necro 3 year old threads.




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