Do you think we will see a Computerized LSAT in the near future?

Computerized LSAT by 2020

Yes
6
17%
No
30
83%
 
Total votes: 36

Broncos15
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Do you think we will see a Computerized LSAT in the near future?

Postby Broncos15 » Fri May 29, 2015 12:52 pm

With the LSAT being one of the last major graduate exams in a paper format, do you think we will see a change into a computerized format?

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haus
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Re: Do you think we will see a Computerized LSAT in the near future?

Postby haus » Fri May 29, 2015 1:17 pm

It seems likely that it will happen, but I doubt it will happen soon.

DrRighteous
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Re: Do you think we will see a Computerized LSAT in the near future?

Postby DrRighteous » Fri May 29, 2015 1:51 pm

I am hopeful it will happen soon, but do not think it will happen before 2020. Social science geekery ahead: The online graduate tests are actually based on an entirely different theory of measurement (and as a result, use computerized adaptive testing) than the original paper and pencil tests. Moving to a CAT from the current format would be a pretty big leap. Now, it looks like LSAC has been looking how the LSAT might work as a CAT since 1999 - yep, 16 years of internal research on turning the LSAT into a CAT. I don't think they'll be making the conversion in the next 5 years but I am cautiously optimistic that it will be in the next 10.

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RZ5646
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Re: Do you think we will see a Computerized LSAT in the near future?

Postby RZ5646 » Fri May 29, 2015 2:35 pm

As someone else mentioned, tests like the GRE adapt to the student and give different questions based on how well you do. This was presumably a motivation for computerizing those tests, and I doubt LSAC will redesign the test to make it adaptive any time soon.

Also, the LSAT rewards interacting with the physical test by underlining in RC passages, diagramming games, etc., so putting it on a screen would make it much more difficult and probably require the invention of completely new strategies to do as well as before. (Personally I always struggle when I have to do LG with scratch paper while viewing the game on my laptop or iPad.)

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Louis1127
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Re: Do you think we will see a Computerized LSAT in the near future?

Postby Louis1127 » Fri May 29, 2015 10:15 pm

Someone said one these forums a while back said that LSAT considered making the test computerized (but obviously decided against it), and it just kind of stuck in my mind. I think it was maybe Jeffort, Steve from LSAT Blog, or Graeme from LSAT Hacks, someone like that, probably one of those three. Maybe search around and see if u can find that nugget.

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mornincounselor
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Postby mornincounselor » Sat May 30, 2015 12:38 am

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Jeffort
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Re: Do you think we will see a Computerized LSAT in the near future?

Postby Jeffort » Sun May 31, 2015 1:05 am

Louis1127 wrote:Someone said one these forums a while back said that LSAT considered making the test computerized (but obviously decided against it), and it just kind of stuck in my mind. I think it was maybe Jeffort, Steve from LSAT Blog, or Graeme from LSAT Hacks, someone like that, probably one of those three. Maybe search around and see if u can find that nugget.


You're probably remembering one of my posts about this topic since I frequently read LSAC's research reports and their twice a year LSAC newsletter reports.

If/when LSAC ever converts the LSAT into a computer based test, it won't happen anytime in the foreseeable future. They did a LOT of research about creating a CAT (Computer adaptive test) LSAT back in the 1990's and then shelved the idea for various reasons. LSAC has continued conducting some research about possibly creating a computerized LSAT, but they've only done and published a small amount of research reports about it in the last 10 years, most of them from 2004 and 2005.

http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/research/all/ct

There are only a handful or two of research reports concerning computerizing the LSAT that have been done and published since 2005 and those studies/reports are about foundational, methodology and psychometric issues that are very distant from/preliminary to getting anywhere close to a phase of starting to attempt to specifically develop any computerized LSAT prototypes.

The most recent research report about it is from March of this year. It focuses on analyzing individual question response times that can be measured with computerized testing, evaluating the usefulness of that type of data for evaluating skill level, assessing question characteristics and difficulty level, and for evaluating how it could potentially be used as a factor in creating an operational computerized LSAT that maintains skill level measurement accuracy and precision.

One sentence in that report is very revealing about how far away LSAC is from being able to produce a computerized LSAT:

Even though the development of these mixture or dynamic RT models is still in its infancy, these models seem to fit the data quite well.


http://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source ... -15-01.pdf

Due to the huge decline in the volume of test takers and LS applicants and applications that's been happening over the last ~5 years, LSACs $$ revenue and budget has been almost cut in half since their main source of $$ is from test taker registration fees and per school you apply to CAS fees. Consequently, LSAC has had to make major cutbacks in expenditures and has significantly cut down its staff size just to stay solvent, leaving much less $$ currently available for significant research and development projects.

Their most recent LSAC biannual report (May 2015) is pretty revealing about their ongoing struggles adapting to what they call "The new Normal" concerning the drop in LSAT takers and LS applicants.
http://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source ... report.pdf

The previous LSAC reports from 2013 and 2014 are also very revealing about the internal struggles they're going through and having to figure out how to deal with and adapt to. They also lay out LSAC's priorities, plans, accomplishments, how they're adapting, etc.

You can read them all from here:
http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/publi ... sac-report

Probably way more info than anybody taking the test next week cares about or has time to read, but here it is, solid proof that LSAC will not be rolling out a computerized LSAT anytime in the near or foreseeable future.

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LSAT Blog
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Re: Do you think we will see a Computerized LSAT in the near future?

Postby LSAT Blog » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:52 am

Thanks for the detailed excerpts from LSAC's reports, Jeffort. I agree that their most recent statements in the May 2015 Report re: computerizing it are extremely vague. Seems to indicate that it'll be a LONG time (several years) before they release a computerized version.

I've written a few articles on my site about it over the years, most recently about their exploration of administering it via tablet.

(When they do computerize it, I'm sure they'll announce far in advance.)

From the most recent newsletter, it also seems like LSAC is dividing their efforts across multiple areas. They're seeking to find revenue by providing services to organizations in markets unrelated to law school. I think they're worried about their financial sustainability in the long-term.

This seems to indicate that it'll be a long and slow road for them to computerize the LSAT.

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Jeffort
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Re: Do you think we will see a Computerized LSAT in the near future?

Postby Jeffort » Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:20 pm

Yeah, given the things presented and discussed in the last few LSAC biannual reports, it appears they are desperately trying to figure out ways to maintain their own short and long term financial sustainability.

The Wizard of Oz theme of the most recent report and of the annual LSAC conference they just had last week in San Diego that ended on Saturday is very telling about the precarious position they're in with all the rapid changes that have been happening in legal education and employment, especially regarding "The New Normal" of low LSAT test takers demand and declining volume of law school applicants and applications.

The Wizard of Oz theme and corresponding quotes from the report pretty well illustrate the state of mind and grave concerns about the future LSAC currently has regarding the ongoing serious challenges they are struggling to figure out how to successfully navigate through.

From pages 2 and 10 in the May 2015 report:
http://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source ... report.pdf

“Oh, I’d give anything to get out of Oz altogether; but which is the way back to Kansas? I can’t go the way I came!”

LSAC also is working hard to escape Oz with various program initiatives and plans for the future.

Like the journey our Wizard of Oz friends took across the poppy fields, into the Emerald City, and through the dark forest, the work of LSAC and member law schools will not take place overnight and without some challenges. Unlike the journey to Oz, we’re not dreaming up these challenges; they are very real.


Since one of LSAC's current big initiatives is to upgrade/modernize their own internal technology and computer systems since all their current technology (for designing and assembling the LSAT, for the online applications and CAS system, for their internal operations, and for all online and other services they provide to test takers, LS applicants and member law schools and organizations they provide services to) is coded and operates on the old Microsoft .NET Visual Basic platform, they have a long ways to go to even modernize their own computer systems, let alone design, produce and deploy a computerized LSAT that takes advantage of current evolving technologies.

At the slow rate they're going with work to computerize the LSAT while having to deal with more immediately pressing issues like generating enough $$ to stay operational, for all we know iPad's and tablets may be obsolete/old technology by the time LSAC has enough resources to move forward full speed ahead to produce and deploy a computerized LSAT.

It wouldn't surprise me if within the next 5-10 years iPhones, iPads/tablets and such become old technology and Apple and/or Google comes out with an everything all in one device like a biometric iEverything iChip implant that connects your brain, body, eyes, ears and nervous system wirelessly to the internet Cloud so people are guided, aided, monitored by it and see things the way The Terminator does in those movies!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBgeEa3t-uA

I'm starting to wonder these days if Google and Apple with their always rapidly advancing technology inventions combined with the internet and 'the cloud' are creating stuff that will end up giving rise to a real life 'Skynet' we all end up connected to and dependent on for daily life that creates a rise of the machines with computers that surpass human intelligence with self aware artificial intelligence.

Just the Google autocomplete search suggestions that appear in a drop down list after you start typing just a few characters into the search box impresses and also scares me on an almost daily basis with its seeming ability to read my mind and know what I'm thinking about and looking for just from the first few letters I start to type into the search box! For example, last week I was thinking about ordering delivery Chinese food and wanted to search for places near me that deliver. When I was only about 3 or 4 letters into typing in my search keywords, "Chinese food delivery in [my city]" instantly appeared in the drop down search suggestions, and I haven't done any google searches for Chinese food or any other type of food delivery services, browsed any Chinese food web sites or any food delivery web sites or ordered any delivery food in the past several years it could have learned from to customize that suggestion for me! Stuff like that happens all the time when I do google searches where it really seems like google is reading my mind. Another one that blew my mind was a few weeks ago after watching a documentary (on TV, not through the internet or my PC) I decided to do a search for articles about quantum consciousness theories. After I had only typed in the letters 'qua', the full search phrase for what I wanted to find instantly appeared at the top of the drop down search suggestions list! :twisted:

Stephen Hawking recently spoke about and warned that artificial intelligence could end mankind.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30290540

LSAC's chief mathematician and psychometrician Dmitry I. Belov is a scary smart guy that's the main mastermind of the psychometrics behind the LSAT and crazy scary smart at being able to figure out and write computer programs and algorithms to measure all sorts of cognitive things. One of his recent research reports is about a mathematical computer analysis way to detect whether a test taker had pre-knowledge of LSAT test items, most specifically of the logic games and wrote another report about a way to use complex psychometric analysis to detect test taker collusion and other forms of possible cheating.

If he and his psychometric team/associates on his same super crazy smart level were to team up with Google and Apple, the Terminator movies could end up turning out to have been prophesies rather than pure fiction and we could very well end up with something like this in the future:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umH0ZpLaAwI

Anyway, I'm rambling way off the topic now. The "Let's try to find our way out of Oz" LSAC newsletter statement and Wizard of Oz theme of their annual meeting last week got my mind thinking about some maybe crazy land/maybe the real future rather than fiction ideas that are increasingly being considered, discussed, analyzed and speculated about by many of the recognized/renowned modern geniuses of our current times.

I Hope you guys find these ramblings interesting or at least entertaining and possibly a good stress relieving distraction break from the pressure of the LSAT being a week away. :mrgreen:

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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Re: Do you think we will see a Computerized LSAT in the near future?

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:49 am

Great overview Jeffort, I'm reading the May 2015 report now.




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