Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:53 am

dresden doll wrote:I'd like to know how anyone imagines that it's possible for everyone to score 170+ on a test that's specifically designed so that only 2 percent score 170+. Even if everyone were as bright as people ITT imagine it's possible with the right prep, the test makers would simply impose a super tight curve, and only 2 percent of test takers would wind up with the 170+. The curve doesn't and wouldn't work any other way.


That's not how the LSAT "curve" works. It's possible for everyone in one administration to get a 180.

But back in reality, plenty of people can't score a 170 even with years of prep.

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smaug_
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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby smaug_ » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:08 am

dresden doll wrote:I'd like to know how anyone imagines that it's possible for everyone to score 170+ on a test that's specifically designed so that only 2 percent score 170+.


I just think that it isn't so hard that a given college graduate could never ever hit that score. Could it take years of work? Maybe. Is it worth reaching that far for most people? Probably not. But, I don't think that 170+ scorers are generally some different category of human. Yeah, intelligence might be a thing, but I don't think the LSAT measures that more than it measures a set of skills that any college graduate could develop with sufficient time.

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bceagles182
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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby bceagles182 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:12 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
dresden doll wrote:I'd like to know how anyone imagines that it's possible for everyone to score 170+ on a test that's specifically designed so that only 2 percent score 170+. Even if everyone were as bright as people ITT imagine it's possible with the right prep, the test makers would simply impose a super tight curve, and only 2 percent of test takers would wind up with the 170+. The curve doesn't and wouldn't work any other way.


That's not how the LSAT "curve" works. It's possible for everyone in one administration to get a 180.

But back in reality, plenty of people can't score a 170 even with years of prep.



I'd say that every person in the world has a ceiling regarding the number of LSAT questions they could get correct within the allotted time frame. For many, this potential number exceeds the number required to get a 180. For most others, it does not. We'll never know the exact percentages because the vast majority of test-takers never reach that ceiling.

I would venture to guess that most college students are not capable of scoring a 170 regardless of their level of preparation. This does not mean that these people are not extremely intelligent though, because the exam tests a number of very specific skills, many of which have limited correlation to the test-taker's potential as a lawyer. For example, I studied a ton for the LSAT but I maxed out in the high 160s. Perhaps I could've scored 170 on a good day, but I doubt it would have been possible for me to do that with any consistency because I read rather slowly and I could never even come close to finishing the RC. I could often score perfectly on the other 3 sections though. In the end, that weakness has never mattered in law school or in my summer jobs. On the LSAT, the sections are so short that small advantages in reading speed make a huge difference, but in law school, the exams are 3-4 hours so the advantage that others may have from reading a prompt more quickly than me is marginal at best.

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bceagles182
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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby bceagles182 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:23 am

As has been alluded to above, it's important to distinguish between an actual ceiling and a realistic ceiling. With regard to my example above, is it theoretically possible for me to invest time to improve my reading speed? Sure. Is this a realistic expectation for me to do this simply to improve my LSAT score? I would say no. It's realistic for people to acclimate themselves to the exam and the types of questions that are asked. But things like reading speed go beyond the scope of the exam. And at some point, I imagine that cost of investing another minute to improve one's reading speed exceeds the marginal value added (to one's scoring ability on the LSAT, at least) from doing so.

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suspicious android
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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby suspicious android » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:46 am

hibiki wrote:
dresden doll wrote:I'd like to know how anyone imagines that it's possible for everyone to score 170+ on a test that's specifically designed so that only 2 percent score 170+.


I just think that it isn't so hard that a given college graduate could never ever hit that score. Could it take years of work? Maybe. Is it worth reaching that far for most people? Probably not. But, I don't think that 170+ scorers are generally some different category of human. Yeah, intelligence might be a thing, but I don't think the LSAT measures that more than it measures a set of skills that any college graduate could develop with sufficient time.



You're using your experience as though it is somehow relevant to most people. Do you have much experience with people who do months of prep and can't hit 160? They're out there, a lot of them. They're not all mentally challenged or lazy. Some people just don't have it, whatever "it" is. Maybe if they got to redo childhood over again, but not even studying constantly for months will not do it once you reach a certain age.

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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby PDaddy » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:55 am

DaRascal wrote:I think the subject title's pretty self-explanatory. And I mean to imply that some people have ceilings that aren't 170+.

What I mean to say is... Do you think there are some people who can never really achieve a certain score even with an unlimited amount of study time because of factors such as lapses in focus, inability to process/handle multiple pieces of information at one time, inability to make correct inferences, etc etc etc.

What do you think?


First, your "question" is unintelligible as written.

Re-read the wording used in the sentence/question beginning with "Do you think..."

In addition to the fact that the wording doesn't make sense - even though I can discern what you are trying to say - you failed to properly punctuate your question, and there's the rub. To raise the proverbial "ceiling" you speak of, mastery of the English language is paramount. Many test-takers experience the ceiling because they have failed to acquire the requisite reading, writing and speaking skills necessary to effectively navigate the test.

I mention writing and speaking because the two are almost inextricably bound to the act of reading, i.e. people tend to perform all three with similar levels of proficiency. Hence, the answer to your question is "Yes"!

Everyone has a ceiling, but those ceilings are determined by various factors unique to each individual. Moreover, there simply isn't enough time in most cases to undo the bad language habits that most test takers have acquired over several years.

I really don't mean to be a gunner here (I wish everyone well, including you), but you have illustrated perfectly in your writing why, despite the LSAT being very learnable, many test takers will never be high scorers. Superior command of the English language is the key to the entire test, and most people have neither the time nor the inclination to undo their deeply ingrained habits.
Last edited by PDaddy on Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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DaRascal
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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby DaRascal » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:05 am

Geez. Relax. I left out a question mark. It's the informal TLS message boards. I know you're just to make an analogy here but you're getting too intense there. My muscles tightened for a second and I almost threw a punch at the monitor. :x

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PDaddy
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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby PDaddy » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:09 am

DaRascal wrote:Geez. Relax. I left out a question mark. It's the informal TLS message boards. I know you're just to make an analogy here but you're getting too intense there. My muscles tightened for a second and I almost threw a punch at the monitor. :x


It wasn't just a missing question mark. Read it again. It is unintelligible as written. The sentence is poorly cxonstructed, and your failure to understand what I am pointing out tells me a lot about your struggles with the LSAT. I am telling you this for your own good. If you take a minute and re-read the sentence in question, you will see the error in construction. Read it aloud.

03152016
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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby 03152016 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:15 am

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Last edited by 03152016 on Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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suspicious android
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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby suspicious android » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:16 am

PDaddy wrote: It is unintelligible as written. The sentence is poorly cxonstructed, and your failure to understand what I am pointing out tells me a lot about your struggles with the LSAT. I am telling you this for your own good.


Very noble of you.

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Nova
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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby Nova » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:18 am

The thread title is clear: Does everyone have a ceiling?

I read the bolded like this: Are there people with ceilings?

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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby 03152016 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:19 am

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Last edited by 03152016 on Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Micdiddy
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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby Micdiddy » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:23 am

Do really people do have what some do might have not like all do though?

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Nova
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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby Nova » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:51 am

PDaddy wrote: you failed to properly punctuate your question

LOLOLOL
PDaddy wrote:The sentence is poorly cxonstructed, and your failure to understand what I am pointing out tells me a lot about your struggles with the LSAT

Dude, constructed doesnt have an x. You clearly have an LSAT ceiling.
Max324 wrote:"Do you think there are some people who can never really achieve a certain score, even with an unlimited amount of study time, because of factors such as lapses in focus, inability to process/handle multiple pieces of information at one time, inability to make correct inferences, etc.?"
Does that edit make it kosher? Not looking to get into this argument; I'm genuinely curious.

Its fine.
suspicious android wrote:
PDaddy wrote: It is unintelligible as written. The sentence is poorly cxonstructed, and your failure to understand what I am pointing out tells me a lot about your struggles with the LSAT. I am telling you this for your own good.

Very noble of you.

+1

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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby 03152016 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:04 am

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Last edited by 03152016 on Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Nova
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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby Nova » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:19 am

Max324 wrote:
Nova wrote:
Max324 wrote:"Do you think there are some people who can never really achieve a certain score, even with an unlimited amount of study time, because of factors such as lapses in focus, inability to process/handle multiple pieces of information at one time, inability to make correct inferences, etc.?"
Does that edit make it kosher? Not looking to get into this argument; I'm genuinely curious.

Its fine.

Responded to your earlier post, but it was deleted.

Anyways, the only difference between Rascal's sentence and my edit is a couple of commas -- hardly an egregious error. I didn't find it particularly difficult to parse, though that the phrasing is ambiguous because the structural elements aren't properly delineated. I think grammar is an eminently learnable skill, and I would gently recommend that those who find their writing lacking clarity pick up a copy of Strunk's "The Elements of Style".


Sorry about that lol. Your edit is definitely more clear. I think OP likely just wrote from his stream of consciousness. Rough drafts are usually ugly. Mine are, at least.

Great suggestion. One of my profs required us to get that book. Very helpful.

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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby 03152016 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:28 am

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Last edited by 03152016 on Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Nova
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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby Nova » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:34 am

Max324 wrote: My last post had grammatical errors that I edited out right after posting, but your quote of my post caught them. :oops: Womp wommmmmmp.


Indicative of your LSAT ceiling :P

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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby JDot » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:56 am

Absolutely everyone has a ceiling, I have a friend that graduated from an ivy league school with straight As and took the LSAT 3 times, he took a prep course and studied his ass off for months leading up to the first test and then in between the others and scored “only” a 165, 168, and 169….really smart kid, just for whatever reason couldn’t make that leap into the 170s…he goes to a top 10 law school right now so I’m sure he doesn’t care that he never made it into the 170s, but it just goes to show no matter how smart you are and how hard you study some people will always have a ceiling

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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby TheZoid » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:14 am

hibiki wrote:
dresden doll wrote:That seems like an unrealistic hope.


Maybe. I don't think the LSAT is really that hard. If you can read quickly enough and learn the games section you should be able to score 170+. I'd be further willing to qualify it to "all native speakers of English who don't suffer from attention or reading disorders."


How humble of you. Also, is the bolded below really true?

Micdiddy wrote:
suspicious android wrote:
hibiki wrote:Can everyone score higher than 170? Probably not. Can all native speakers of English with college degrees? I hope so.


I like your optimism, but keep in mind about half of Harvard students who take the lsat don't break 166.

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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby shifty_eyed » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:35 am

TheZoid wrote:
hibiki wrote:
dresden doll wrote:That seems like an unrealistic hope.


Maybe. I don't think the LSAT is really that hard. If you can read quickly enough and learn the games section you should be able to score 170+. I'd be further willing to qualify it to "all native speakers of English who don't suffer from attention or reading disorders."


How humble of you. Also, is the bolded below really true?

Micdiddy wrote:
suspicious android wrote:
hibiki wrote:Can everyone score higher than 170? Probably not. Can all native speakers of English with college degrees? I hope so.


I like your optimism, but keep in mind about half of Harvard students who take the lsat don't break 166.


The average LSAT score for Harvard undergraduates is 166, I believe.

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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby TheZoid » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:37 am

Wow, that's pretty surprising. I've always kinda wondered whether getting into undergrad or law school was harder, but I think the only real answer is they're just different. Plenty of Harvard grads end up at mediocre (by TLS standards) law schools, and plenty of people from average undergrads go to Harvard law. Just seems weird.

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shifty_eyed
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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby shifty_eyed » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:43 am

TheZoid wrote:Wow, that's pretty surprising. I've always kinda wondered whether getting into undergrad or law school was harder, but I think the only real answer is they're just different. Plenty of Harvard grads end up at mediocre (by TLS standards) law schools, and plenty of people from average undergrads go to Harvard law. Just seems weird.


Yeah, I was surprised to see that my undergrad's average LSAT was in the low 160s, and it's actually in the top 15 or so of schools ranked by LSAT score.

I think TLS skews our perspective, and a LOT of people take the LSAT underprepared. I imagine MOST if not ALL Harvard students could break 170 if they studied as much as the regular TLS LSAT prepper poster.

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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby TexasAggie13 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:53 am

shifty_eyed wrote:
TheZoid wrote:Wow, that's pretty surprising. I've always kinda wondered whether getting into undergrad or law school was harder, but I think the only real answer is they're just different. Plenty of Harvard grads end up at mediocre (by TLS standards) law schools, and plenty of people from average undergrads go to Harvard law. Just seems weird.


Yeah, I was surprised to see that my undergrad's average LSAT was in the low 160s, and it's actually in the top 15 or so of schools ranked by LSAT score.

I think TLS skews our perspective, and a LOT of people take the LSAT underprepared. I imagine MOST if not ALL Harvard students could break 170 if they studied as much as the regular TLS LSAT prepper poster.


Agree with this 100%.

Also, I think everyone has an LSAT ceiling. You can learn to conquer the LSAT pretty effectively through tons of prep work, but sooner or later raw intelligence will come into play. I think everyone would eventually reach a point where they can no longer consistently improve even if they know the test backwards and forwards.

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Re: Are you a believer that everyone has a ceiling on the LSAT?

Postby ams212 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:05 am

shifty_eyed wrote:
TheZoid wrote:Wow, that's pretty surprising. I've always kinda wondered whether getting into undergrad or law school was harder, but I think the only real answer is they're just different. Plenty of Harvard grads end up at mediocre (by TLS standards) law schools, and plenty of people from average undergrads go to Harvard law. Just seems weird.


Yeah, I was surprised to see that my undergrad's average LSAT was in the low 160s, and it's actually in the top 15 or so of schools ranked by LSAT score.

I think TLS skews our perspective, and a LOT of people take the LSAT underprepared. I imagine MOST if not ALL Harvard students could break 170 if they studied as much as the regular TLS LSAT prepper poster.



I think prestige of undergrad is highly overrated anyways. I would argue that your average LSAT-taker at Harvard isn't any smarter than an above average LSAT-taker at a state school. Getting in to an Ivy League undergrad doesn't make you automatically more intelligent (ie more able to crack a higher LSAT with hard work and study) than someone from a less prestigious schools. Undergrad admissions are, in a lot of ways, a crap shoot. Self-selection, your high school teachers, financial constraints, and standardized test scores play such a large role. The standardized tests to get into undergrad, IMO, are more indicators of knowledge than intelligence, whereas the LSAT is more of an indicator of intelligence (based on its heavy testing of analytic skills). I also, would argue Harvard students are more likely to study for the LSAT because they probably likely prepared for the SAT and ACT before undergrad to get into Harvard. I think that's why the LSAT is such a valuable tool. It eliminates factors besides work ethic and intelligence. While on average Harvard students are more intelligent than a less prestigious school's students, at the top level I don't think there's a difference. So it doesn't at all surprise me that Harvard students only average a 166 because there are bound to be students who got into Harvard based on other factors than intelligence (hard work, easy graders in high school, etc.).




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