URM and the LSAT Observations

flexityflex86
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby flexityflex86 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:40 am

dude you're living in a bubble. most people don't get a 167. most people start at a 140, and most people don't study more than a couple of weeks.

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Blessedassurance
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby Blessedassurance » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:47 am

flexityflex86 wrote:I certainly don't think it's like the poster said about blacks viewing doing too well on the test as being a traitor. I think everyone wants to best situation for themselves. My experience has been they do not have any reasoning deficiencies any more than anyone else, but do not study as they don't have time.

Again, I do not want to generalize on the entire population. We've only tutored a few thousand people so we can't generalize on the hundred thousand or so people who took the LSAT over this time.

I think the only explanation is the URM thing hurting motivation. We have had students who don't study and score in the 130s say they are going to go to Harvard, because they have a 3.3 gpa and are black.


Or resources.

The sample group you are using is definitely not representative.

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bk1
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby bk1 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:02 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:dude you're living in a bubble. most people don't get a 167. most people start at a 140, and most people don't study more than a couple of weeks.

Out of my entire post that's all you got?

No shit very few people score that well, I was using it as an example. Your second point basically proves my point. URM doesn't make people less likely to try hard, it is the general MO of the entire LSAT taker pool and not something unique to URMs.

Oban
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby Oban » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:13 pm

I took an lsat prepclass in California, most the URMS were Mexican/Hispanic and a few were black. A lot of them didn't know much about Law school or the lsat so they were shooting for schools like davis and peperdine rather than t14 or even UCLA. Many felt that there was no way they could et in there and many feared leaving their "home" state. I never felt that anyone was "cruising" to get the URM boost. I will say that retake motivation is nill. After I got my score, it was less than I was prep testing and not as high as I wanted, but I was like meh, its good enough for a T20 school w/ $$$ with the URM boost. Turned out to be true.

A general charicature of URMs that are not TLS/interweb savy is that they don't know how high to shoot, or don't want to shoot high, because they just think attending the local T2 or TTT is ok, they shot for them, rather than shooting for Harvard.

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CryingMonkey
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby CryingMonkey » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:18 pm

bk1 wrote:The one thing I will say is that I think that being URM pushes motivation downwards in one area: retaking (at least from an advice-driven TLS perspective). A 3.7/167 non-URM will basically be told to retake every time. That persons chances are greatly diminished by a sub-170 LSAT score. On the other hand, a 3.7/167 URM is rarely told to retake by TLS and even if someone says retake it is definitely not nearly as vigorous.


I think this is fairly plausible; a URM around 170 is generally in a pretty good spot and the advice tends towards "enjoy t14". That said, I don't buy that the URM bump exerts a downward pressure on people's motivation to study or try hard. The sample size in the OP is 18 URM students, which is hardly representative, and I really don't think a comment or two (or ten or twenty, for that matter) implying unrealistic expectations can be used to generalize that the performance gap is solely and exclusively because there is a boost for URMs. Lots of people have unrealistic expectations about getting into law school and about the legal profession in general - that's one of the reasons we're seeing so many articles about people who went to TTT or TTTT schools and are now shocked that they can't find Biglaw jobs.

flexityflex86
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby flexityflex86 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:22 pm

well, something i've also noticed is people we get who start at a 160 also tend to study the most, and normally break a 170, and are modest. people who start at a 130 don't study, but expect big improvements.

sarahlawg
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby sarahlawg » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:31 pm

Oban wrote:I took an lsat prepclass in California, most the URMS were Mexican/Hispanic and a few were black. A lot of them didn't know much about Law school or the lsat so they were shooting for schools like davis and peperdine rather than t14 or even UCLA. Many felt that there was no way they could et in there and many feared leaving their "home" state. I never felt that anyone was "cruising" to get the URM boost. I will say that retake motivation is nill. After I got my score, it was less than I was prep testing and not as high as I wanted, but I was like meh, its good enough for a T20 school w/ $$$ with the URM boost. Turned out to be true.

A general charicature of URMs that are not TLS/interweb savy is that they don't know how high to shoot, or don't want to shoot high, because they just think attending the local T2 or TTT is ok, they shot for them, rather than shooting for Harvard.


I'm with bk in saying that I think this is representative of many LSAT takers and not unique to URMs. Several of my white friends were a-ok with getting a score that gets them into their local TTT. For some, myself included, it's not until you get the score that will take you places that you start thinking maybe you belong there. It's part coping mechanism, in my experience (fear of rejection, the unknown, etc).

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Helicio
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby Helicio » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:33 pm

I was surprised the first time I heard how huge the URM boost is, and I think URM status can be very unfair to disadvantaged whites/asians/middle easterners, etc., but I think attributing the score difference between whites and blacks to "lack of motivation" is as stupid as attributing it to IQ differences or some shit.

No one knows what to attribute the difference to, so even attributing it to something is stupid.

CaseClosed
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby CaseClosed » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:37 pm

jmjones wrote:ACCESS.

I'm a black man at a top ten university. Yet, before the summer of my senior year in high school, I could not tell you what Harvard was or even how to pronounce Yale. My grades (and some of my friends for that matter) were always high. But to us, college was college. We did not know difference between Stanford and the local community college. Mostly, because we did not know what Stanford was.

Funny story--first time I heard about Stanford; it was through some movie in which Jack Black plays a bum and his brother/friend or something is trying to get into Stanford.

Anyway...

What was an ivy league? What is prestige? What does ACTing have to do with college?

You have to understand that these are not common place discussions in a "URM" home. Even if the parents wanted their kids to go to good schools, they did not know how to help their kids because they were also in the same situation.

I could not even find a credit/debit card to pay the online registration fee for the ACT. I had to give some random neighbor cash so I could use his card.

And now, I go to school with students whose parents AND grandparents were students at the same University. You think their parents did not craft their personal lives and their resumes to reflect a successful applicant for this particular school.

As mentioned earlier, there is something about the hood. It's a place where people lack access to information, success is discouraged as is seen "acting white" because achieving success (law school/standard English/eating salad) requires you to distance yourself from 'the hood.'

There are all types of sociology books on this type of mentality and it is not limited to the American Blacks. Read and you might understand.

Another important consideration is when all this is happening. We're talking about teenagers and young adults, people that can be easily swayed by peer pressure. Not too many teenagers go on soul searching missions.

I remember when Harvard and Columbia came to interview me and I also remember how lightly I took it. Not because I did not want to go to those schools but because I did not understand the magnitude of these interviews. Why? Because no one was there to tell me.

The career services office was tucked away in some small corner of the building where none of my friends kicked it. So why would I ever go there? . . .Unless I needed to print something and it happened to be the nearest room with a computer and then I saw an ACT booklet (remember those) on a shelf and then just happened to inquire about it and then . . .well you kinda know the rest.

Remember my friends from high school, those with the good grades, well they went to community college because they did not know better. Their families did not understand the value of sending them to distant schools for their FUTURE when their help with the bills was needed at home, NOW.

And me? That summer before my senior year, I happened to get a phone call from an uncle that I did not know existed. One of those uncles who some in the family consider "white washed" and chose to live in some random state away from the community and become a dentist. He knew I had no parental support and, at the time, I was living alone in some low income apartment.

He was my access to information. My ticket from that environment. He challenged me to gain acceptance into a top ten school. It was the first time anyone had taken an interest in my academics. But it would be a long time until I fully came to appreciate my new environment of opportunities and white people and ass kissing professors for recommendations. In fact, my first year in college, I did not speak to a single professor towards the end of the year. They weren't extending a handshake to me and I was too busy wondering "where the fuck I'm I" to do so.

I specifically remember in one of my classes, the TA kept giving me Cs on my papers. I never said a word. I just assumed I was doing C work. Until one day, she gave me a 67. I took all my papers to her and asked her to explain to me why I was getting low grades. She couldn't. She simply changed them all to B+ and A-s (I still think they were As :evil: )

We (my friends and I) grew up hiding from authority figures. Cops were always harassing. Principals were always hating. We only got to deal with white people when they summoned you.

So what the fuck is office hours?

Despite all the randomness in this post, I hope it conveys the message that a minority student from a disadvantaged background may need several lucky moments in his/her life to get to where a majority (i generalize) of TLSers knew they were going from the get-go.

Get it.


+1!

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Helicio
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby Helicio » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:39 pm

CaseClosed wrote:
jmjones wrote:ACCESS.

I'm a black man at a top ten university. Yet, before the summer of my senior year in high school, I could not tell you what Harvard was or even how to pronounce Yale. My grades (and some of my friends for that matter) were always high. But to us, college was college. We did not know difference between Stanford and the local community college. Mostly, because we did not know what Stanford was.

Funny story--first time I heard about Stanford; it was through some movie in which Jack Black plays a bum and his brother/friend or something is trying to get into Stanford.

Anyway...

What was an ivy league? What is prestige? What does ACTing have to do with college?

You have to understand that these are not common place discussions in a "URM" home. Even if the parents wanted their kids to go to good schools, they did not know how to help their kids because they were also in the same situation.

I could not even find a credit/debit card to pay the online registration fee for the ACT. I had to give some random neighbor cash so I could use his card.

And now, I go to school with students whose parents AND grandparents were students at the same University. You think their parents did not craft their personal lives and their resumes to reflect a successful applicant for this particular school.

As mentioned earlier, there is something about the hood. It's a place where people lack access to information, success is discouraged as is seen "acting white" because achieving success (law school/standard English/eating salad) requires you to distance yourself from 'the hood.'

There are all types of sociology books on this type of mentality and it is not limited to the American Blacks. Read and you might understand.

Another important consideration is when all this is happening. We're talking about teenagers and young adults, people that can be easily swayed by peer pressure. Not too many teenagers go on soul searching missions.

I remember when Harvard and Columbia came to interview me and I also remember how lightly I took it. Not because I did not want to go to those schools but because I did not understand the magnitude of these interviews. Why? Because no one was there to tell me.

The career services office was tucked away in some small corner of the building where none of my friends kicked it. So why would I ever go there? . . .Unless I needed to print something and it happened to be the nearest room with a computer and then I saw an ACT booklet (remember those) on a shelf and then just happened to inquire about it and then . . .well you kinda know the rest.

Remember my friends from high school, those with the good grades, well they went to community college because they did not know better. Their families did not understand the value of sending them to distant schools for their FUTURE when their help with the bills was needed at home, NOW.

And me? That summer before my senior year, I happened to get a phone call from an uncle that I did not know existed. One of those uncles who some in the family consider "white washed" and chose to live in some random state away from the community and become a dentist. He knew I had no parental support and, at the time, I was living alone in some low income apartment.

He was my access to information. My ticket from that environment. He challenged me to gain acceptance into a top ten school. It was the first time anyone had taken an interest in my academics. But it would be a long time until I fully came to appreciate my new environment of opportunities and white people and ass kissing professors for recommendations. In fact, my first year in college, I did not speak to a single professor towards the end of the year. They weren't extending a handshake to me and I was too busy wondering "where the fuck I'm I" to do so.

I specifically remember in one of my classes, the TA kept giving me Cs on my papers. I never said a word. I just assumed I was doing C work. Until one day, she gave me a 67. I took all my papers to her and asked her to explain to me why I was getting low grades. She couldn't. She simply changed them all to B+ and A-s (I still think they were As :evil: )

We (my friends and I) grew up hiding from authority figures. Cops were always harassing. Principals were always hating. We only got to deal with white people when they summoned you.

So what the fuck is office hours?

Despite all the randomness in this post, I hope it conveys the message that a minority student from a disadvantaged background may need several lucky moments in his/her life to get to where a majority (i generalize) of TLSers knew they were going from the get-go.

Get it.


+1!


tl; dr

SchopenhauerFTW
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:43 pm

Image

Making points like this though...

Blessedassurance wrote:The sample group you are using is definitely not representative.

... is why I loved studying for the LSAT.

sarahlawg
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby sarahlawg » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:52 pm

CaseClosed wrote:
jmjones wrote:ACCESS.

Get it.


+1!


this is more socioeconomic status than URM status, although it's easy to argue they go hand-in-hand in a lot of cases.

NYCLSATTutor
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby NYCLSATTutor » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:13 pm

Does anyone have stats for:

Average LSAT scores by income

Average LSAT scores by race, corrected for income

This debate is incredibly interesting but it is relying mostly on anecdotal evidence. I did a bit of preliminary research, but was unable to find either of those numbers....if anyone has them, they would be much appreciated.

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bk1
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby bk1 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:47 pm

NYCLSATTutor wrote:Does anyone have stats for:

Average LSAT scores by income

Average LSAT scores by race, corrected for income

This debate is incredibly interesting but it is relying mostly on anecdotal evidence. I did a bit of preliminary research, but was unable to find either of those numbers....if anyone has them, they would be much appreciated.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7_xHsce57c

SchopenhauerFTW
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:36 pm

bk1 wrote:
NYCLSATTutor wrote:Does anyone have stats for:

Average LSAT scores by income

Average LSAT scores by race, corrected for income

This debate is incredibly interesting but it is relying mostly on anecdotal evidence. I did a bit of preliminary research, but was unable to find either of those numbers....if anyone has them, they would be much appreciated.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7_xHsce57c

Dammit all! I just remembered this video a few minutes ago and came to share it. Now bk beat me to it.

Good video. I highly recommend it for people who insist on having this debate.

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KingMenes
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby KingMenes » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:26 pm

Thanks for the Professor Alex Johnson youtube video.

Here is a link to the article he mentions in the video:

--LinkRemoved--

END OF THREAD

thecactus
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby thecactus » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:55 pm

You guys need to look up Claude Steele and his work on stereotype threat. This could explain why URMs, even when controlled for SES and other factors, tend score lower than whites.

Also, to the OP: dude, you work at a test prep company. What you see is going to be an incredibly skewed sample. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that a disproportionate amount of URMs don't have the resources to enroll in a fancy prep program or work with a tutor. For all you know, a lot of URMs are studying 10000 hours on their own, and you wouldn't know about it.

Also, this has already been said, but the cultural capital you have access to plays a big role in how you approach this test. I grew up in a neighborhood with a lot of Latinos and Southeast Asians, and a lot of them were smart enough and able enough to go to top colleges, but chose to stay close to home to help their families. Or they simply didn't know how important a school's prestige can be and chose the less expensive option.

tl; dr version: There are a number of different factors for why URMs don't score as high on this particular standardized test, and the reduce that explanation to "they just don't work as much" is far, far too simplistic.

flexityflex86
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby flexityflex86 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:22 pm

KingMenes wrote:Thanks for the Professor Alex Johnson youtube video.

Here is a link to the article he mentions in the video:

--LinkRemoved--

END OF THREAD

I saw the video.

I think he's a very smart man and a great public speaker.

I respect his opinion, but I think it's wrong.

I think the fact it holds true across different socioeconomic brackets, which is his prime motivation for it being "a white man's test" also supports my point.

The note on URMs feeling like they don't belong in a white field is off base as I don't think it's a notion of black people feeling that lawyers are supposed to be white. I mean if we look at our pop culture in movies lawyers are often black (Philadelphia, Law Abiding Citizen, etc.) I think it's a classic rich vs. poor thing on that note.

I personally never thought I could be a lawyer coming from a poor family, etc. and I just took practice LSATs without looking at percentile charts or school rankings. When I started at 78% timed, I figured that was a C+ and below average.

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KingMenes
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby KingMenes » Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:41 pm

NEW THREAD TITLE:

ITT THREAD WE IGNORE WELL-REASONED ARGUMENTS, BEAT DEAD HORSES, AND TALK UNTIL WE ARE BLUE IN THE FACE IN HOPES THAT OTHERS WILL ACCEPT OUR 'EYE TESTS' AS SCIENTIFIC FACT

--ImageRemoved--

flexityflex86
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby flexityflex86 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:50 pm

It's not being ignored, but since when does well reasoned = fact?

I've heard well reasoned arguments that the Holocaust never happened, but when I talk to my grandfather who was an eye witness survivor, it makes it apparent these well reasoned arguments are not factual arguments.

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20121109
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby 20121109 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:00 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:It's not being ignored, but since when does well reasoned = fact?


You know this is not what was said, right?

Are you sure you're an LSAT tutor?

nelaw2010
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby nelaw2010 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:08 pm

jmjones wrote:ACCESS.

I'm a black man at a top ten university. Yet, before the summer of my senior year in high school, I could not tell you what Harvard was or even how to pronounce Yale. My grades (and some of my friends for that matter) were always high. But to us, college was college. We did not know difference between Stanford and the local community college. Mostly, because we did not know what Stanford was.

Funny story--first time I heard about Stanford; it was through some movie in which Jack Black plays a bum and his brother/friend or something is trying to get into Stanford.

Anyway...

What was an ivy league? What is prestige? What does ACTing have to do with college?

You have to understand that these are not common place discussions in a "URM" home. Even if the parents wanted their kids to go to good schools, they did not know how to help their kids because they were also in the same situation.

I could not even find a credit/debit card to pay the online registration fee for the ACT. I had to give some random neighbor cash so I could use his card.

And now, I go to school with students whose parents AND grandparents were students at the same University. You think their parents did not craft their personal lives and their resumes to reflect a successful applicant for this particular school.

As mentioned earlier, there is something about the hood. It's a place where people lack access to information, success is discouraged as is seen "acting white" because achieving success (law school/standard English/eating salad) requires you to distance yourself from 'the hood.'

There are all types of sociology books on this type of mentality and it is not limited to the American Blacks. Read and you might understand.

Another important consideration is when all this is happening. We're talking about teenagers and young adults, people that can be easily swayed by peer pressure. Not too many teenagers go on soul searching missions.

I remember when Harvard and Columbia came to interview me and I also remember how lightly I took it. Not because I did not want to go to those schools but because I did not understand the magnitude of these interviews. Why? Because no one was there to tell me.

The career services office was tucked away in some small corner of the building where none of my friends kicked it. So why would I ever go there? . . .Unless I needed to print something and it happened to be the nearest room with a computer and then I saw an ACT booklet (remember those) on a shelf and then just happened to inquire about it and then . . .well you kinda know the rest.

Remember my friends from high school, those with the good grades, well they went to community college because they did not know better. Their families did not understand the value of sending them to distant schools for their FUTURE when their help with the bills was needed at home, NOW.

And me? That summer before my senior year, I happened to get a phone call from an uncle that I did not know existed. One of those uncles who some in the family consider "white washed" and chose to live in some random state away from the community and become a dentist. He knew I had no parental support and, at the time, I was living alone in some low income apartment.

He was my access to information. My ticket from that environment. He challenged me to gain acceptance into a top ten school. It was the first time anyone had taken an interest in my academics. But it would be a long time until I fully came to appreciate my new environment of opportunities and white people and ass kissing professors for recommendations. In fact, my first year in college, I did not speak to a single professor towards the end of the year. They weren't extending a handshake to me and I was too busy wondering "where the fuck I'm I" to do so.

I specifically remember in one of my classes, the TA kept giving me Cs on my papers. I never said a word. I just assumed I was doing C work. Until one day, she gave me a 67. I took all my papers to her and asked her to explain to me why I was getting low grades. She couldn't. She simply changed them all to B+ and A-s (I still think they were As :evil: )

We (my friends and I) grew up hiding from authority figures. Cops were always harassing. Principals were always hating. We only got to deal with white people when they summoned you.

So what the fuck is office hours?

Despite all the randomness in this post, I hope it conveys the message that a minority student from a disadvantaged background may need several lucky moments in his/her life to get to where a majority (i generalize) of TLSers knew they were going from the get-go.

Get it.



Great post. I think this sums up the cultural differences that play into the way minorities perform in school and on standardized tests. However, I think this goes beyond race. I suspect that economic status also plays a role in how you view school, standardized testing, and authority figures.

Then again, I'm not sure. Have any studies been done that look at how poor white people do on standardized tests vs. poor minorities?

The poster does make a great point about the way minorities see authority figures. Minorities in the US tend to see the establishment as being white (which may have slightly changed now that Obama is prez).

SchopenhauerFTW
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:14 pm

nelaw2010 wrote:Minorities in the US tend to see the establishment as being white (which may have slightly changed now that Obama is prez).

Only slightly.

splitmuch
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby splitmuch » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:20 pm

KingMenes wrote:I scored a 160 on the June 2011 LSAT, but I was aiming for 170. I am an American of African descent; I majored in History and minored in economics at a Big Ten university. In high school, I scored a 26 on the ACT as a homeless teenager, I was Black then too.

This is another cause and correlation flawed conclusion. Is the lack of studying the cause for the lower average performance of African American test takers or is the lack of cultural capital or LSAT context or misinformation the cause of the lower average performance of Hispanics and African Americans? Where does the line between cause and correlation diverge? How much does tutoring versus self-study versus undergraduate major play in success or failure on the LSAT? Which is the cause or correlation? Where is the in-depth study that answers this reasonable question?

As someone who studied about 200 hours for the June LSAT, I can confirm that the LSAT is not racist. If anything, the LSAT discriminates against students lacking the proper training in logical reasoning, analytical reasoning, and reading comprehension; those who pick the lower scoring majors. It is more important to view the LSAT scores in terms of undergraduate major than ethnicity. There is a heavy concentration of Latino and African Americans in the lower scoring undergraduate majors. For instance, many pre-law and criminal justice majors believe they are receiving the sort of education that will get them into law school; misinformation?Context?Cultural Capital?

I'm in no position to say what the specific cause happens to be, but there are several factors that contribute to the lower test scores of African Americans and Hispanics. IMO, If more URM knew about resources like TLS; the average score among URM would increase within a year or two.

Image


That is my $0.02 on the issue, but I'm sure this dead horse will be beaten over and over again. I digress.


Ironic that you post that after talking about causation/correlation. Physics majors are smarter people on average than LA majors.

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Gizmo
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Re: URM and the LSAT Observations

Postby Gizmo » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:28 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:It's not being ignored, but since when does well reasoned = fact?

I've heard well reasoned arguments that the Holocaust never happened, but when I talk to my grandfather who was an eye witness survivor, it makes it apparent these well reasoned arguments are not factual arguments.

I'm impressed that you managed to get a holocaust reference in, especially this quickly.




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