What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

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LSAT Blog
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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby LSAT Blog » Fri May 04, 2012 1:28 pm

suspicious android wrote:Nice job. Definitely hope to see a part three sometime.


Thanks. Dr. Harris has agreed to a third interview. As such, I'm currently soliciting additional questions.

As I previously wrote, what question(s) would you pose to a writer of LSAT questions? What would you want to know? Please share honest (and serious) questions.

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dowu
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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby dowu » Mon May 07, 2012 4:03 pm

:shock: :shock:
Last edited by dowu on Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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glucose101
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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby glucose101 » Mon May 07, 2012 4:45 pm

He probably means that one acquires a new type of way of reading things (that which is valued on the LSAT).

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dowu
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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby dowu » Mon May 07, 2012 5:33 pm

Idk, but I just read the second interview and it seems as though he believes highly in how learnable this test is, with proper studying method. Merely plowing through PTs, as we all know, is not an effective way to study. He thinks its best to know, in and out, a few hundred questions rather than just knowing a little bit from thousands of questions. Really good points to make.

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby MLBrandow » Mon May 07, 2012 7:02 pm

LSAT Blog,

Please ask Dr. Harris the following:

Have you ever put the finishing touches on a logical reasoning question, then put your index finger forcefully in the air and shouted "Aha! This will surely fool them all!"?

I imagine something like this every time I read a tricky LR question with a cryptically worded answer trap or credited response.

whiteness
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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby whiteness » Mon May 07, 2012 8:35 pm

Ask him how they come up with what combination of game types will be in the LG section? They seem to vary.

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gatesome
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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby gatesome » Tue May 08, 2012 1:50 pm

this is great thanks!

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby LSAT Blog » Wed May 09, 2012 9:49 am

nmop_apisdn wrote:Nice work, Steve!

I wonder what he meant by this:

LSAT blog wrote:
8. Have you ever heard of folks at LSAC reading online message boards and laughing at the stressed-out test-takers who post there?


I have never heard of LSAC folks basking in the misery of prospective law students. My experience with these people is that they are pretty sympathetic with the test taker and her plight. A guy I worked under at LSAC, for instance, had a hard time getting into grad school because he refused to take the GRE since “it didn’t measure anything important.” This is the kind of guy you want building your standardized test. One thing I have learned from studying thousands of LSAT items is that, first appearances notwithstanding, there is a benevolent intelligence at work behind the LSAT. The test taker just needs to tap into it.


What do you think he means by this?


Great question. Rather than speculate or put words in his mouth, I'll ask him directly.

Please keep sharing questions, everyone. Can't do an interview without questions...

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Samara
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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby Samara » Wed May 09, 2012 10:07 am

Last interview, you talked about socioeconomic bias and how the test might be "biased," but not unfairly. Do you think the LSAT is unfairly culturally biased? If so, what steps can be taken to correct for that?

In writing questions, did you take measures to reduce your own cultural bias or does the question selection process correct for that?

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby BearState » Thu May 10, 2012 4:51 pm

Is he allowed to take the LSAT and apply to law school if he wanted, or is it like a lotto where workers are prohibited?

Has he ever taken a PT or real administration? Could he a get a 180 if he wanted?

PS, I think its cool your site it branching out into a broader law school application news site. Desperately needed now.

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby LSAT Blog » Fri May 11, 2012 3:39 pm

BearState wrote:Is he allowed to take the LSAT and apply to law school if he wanted, or is it like a lotto where workers are prohibited?

Has he ever taken a PT or real administration? Could he a get a 180 if he wanted?

PS, I think its cool your site it branching out into a broader law school application news site. Desperately needed now.


Great questions. I'll ask these.

Glad you're enjoying the new direction. There's a lot to talk about these days, and I find it fascinating.

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby LSAT Blog » Wed May 23, 2012 11:12 am

So I got Dr. Harris to address the cultural bias questions at length:

http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/ls ... rview.html

I expect that next week we'll get to many of the others.

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby shifty_eyed » Wed May 23, 2012 11:25 am

LSAT Blog wrote:So I got Dr. Harris to address the cultural bias questions at length:

http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/ls ... rview.html

I expect that next week we'll get to many of the others.


Oh man, I could definitely tell that answer was given by a dude who writes LSAT questions.

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby Samara » Wed May 23, 2012 11:52 am

LSAT Blog wrote:So I got Dr. Harris to address the cultural bias questions at length:

http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/ls ... rview.html

I expect that next week we'll get to many of the others.

Thanks to you and Dr. Harris for doing this! Very interesting.

Law schools have recognized that certain groups of people are underrepresented. LSAC has shown that certain groups of people perform more poorly on the LSAT, even when controlled for economic status. The point Dr. Harris seems to be dancing around is that even the best crafted test discriminates against those people and such discrimination or bias is not necessarily something that should be "corrected." I think I agree with him. I would argue that the obstacles underrepresented groups face persist throughout society and are not idiosyncratic to the LSAT or law school. "Correcting the bias" in the LSAT would thus treat the symptom, not the illness, and degrade its overall predictive value. Luckily, law schools are able to provide a narrow (and probably still imperfect) solution through the URM boost.

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby LSAT Blog » Wed May 23, 2012 11:05 pm

shifty_eyed wrote:Oh man, I could definitely tell that answer was given by a dude who writes LSAT questions.


Haha, I know what you mean. Something about this test...


Samara wrote:Thanks to you and Dr. Harris for doing this! Very interesting.

Law schools have recognized that certain groups of people are underrepresented. LSAC has shown that certain groups of people perform more poorly on the LSAT, even when controlled for economic status. The point Dr. Harris seems to be dancing around is that even the best crafted test discriminates against those people and such discrimination or bias is not necessarily something that should be "corrected." I think I agree with him. I would argue that the obstacles underrepresented groups face persist throughout society and are not idiosyncratic to the LSAT or law school. "Correcting the bias" in the LSAT would thus treat the symptom, not the illness, and degrade its overall predictive value. Luckily, law schools are able to provide a narrow (and probably still imperfect) solution through the URM boost.


I think that's exactly what Dr. Harris is saying.

The only real challenge to the LSAT of which I'm aware is the Shutlz/Zedeck "Looking Beyond the LSAT (LinkRemoved)" project. When studying the validity of their test (which is apparently intended to predict lawyerly "effectiveness") they found that it did not have any racial or ethnic gap, but it had "few significant correlations" with 1L GPA. Some of their predictors even had negative correlations with 1L GPA (p64, PDF).

More: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/11/education/11lsat.html

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby LSAT Blog » Thu May 31, 2012 2:17 pm

Thanks to all for submitting such great questions. Here are the answers to many of them:

http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/fo ... rview.html

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby LSAT Blog » Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:02 pm

Dr. Harris has generously agreed to yet-another interview. As such, I'm currently soliciting additional questions.

As I previously wrote, what question(s) would you pose to a writer of LSAT questions? What would you want to know? Please share honest (and serious) questions.

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby Straw_Mandible » Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:17 pm

These interviews were great! I'm so glad to see that you're conducting another one.

Here's my question:

Does LSAC pay any attention to the products and strategies developed by test prep companies? For instance, do they make any attempt to 'keep ahead' of the prep industry by deliberately altering patterns that have been previously identified?

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby Louis1127 » Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:51 pm

Hey Steve,

Kind of an off-the-wall question, so if you need one of those, consider this one:

If the LSAT is supposed to be (and is) a predictor of how well one does in law school, why not include a graded writing section, considering that how you do in law school is based solely on essay-style exams?

Wouldn't this make it an even better predictor?

Thanks so much Steve. Love The Blog!

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby LSAT Blog » Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:45 am

These are excellent questions, and I'd love to hear his answers to both.

Please feel free to ask any others (and I'm glad to hear you enjoy the interviews/blog!)

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby LSAT Blog » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:50 pm

The first installment of the interview is up!

http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2014/08/re ... swers.html

(Mods, please let me know if the link is not ok in this instance, and I'll remove it.)

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby LSAT Blog » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:00 am


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PeanutsNJam
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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:10 pm

Lol reading these is like reading a RC passage. Not that he writes those but damn, yeah this guy definitely writes LSAT questions.

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby vracovino » Sat Sep 06, 2014 12:19 am

Sometimes the LSAT just bothers me. "Definetly read the stem first." Well I mean we all do that here, but if that's the attitude the test writers have towards the question than why does the stem come AFTER the stimulus? That does not imply that you should always be reading the stem first.

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Re: What would you ask a former LSAT testmaker?

Postby CardozoLaw09 » Sat Sep 06, 2014 12:25 am

vracovino wrote:Sometimes the LSAT just bothers me. "Definetly read the stem first." Well I mean we all do that here, but if that's the attitude the test writers have towards the question than why does the stem come AFTER the stimulus? That does not imply that you should always be reading the stem first.


It would be pretty awkward to have a stem-stimulus-answer choices arrangement. The only other alternative is to have the stem and answer choices above the stimulus, but then that would be even more awkward.




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