accomodated testing time, extra time on LSAT?

ren2011
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Re: accomodated testing time, extra time on LSAT?

Postby ren2011 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:35 pm

maybe braille? they could conceivably have different books printed up or something.

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northwood
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Re: accomodated testing time, extra time on LSAT?

Postby northwood » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:48 pm

if you legitimately have a learning/ testing disability and its documented ( with multiple doctors confirming) then i have no problem with you taking extra time. As a special education teacher, extra time does not make it unfair for the rest of the general education testers. If they need extra time to process it- then extra time to take the test is just making it fair for them. They have to compensate for this during all prep. Even with extra time they still have to get through endurance issues, anxiety, etc.

fosterp
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Re: accomodated testing time, extra time on LSAT?

Postby fosterp » Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:02 pm

What I don't get out of all of this is why are some things regarded as legitimate disabilities worthy of accommodations while other things are not? I mean if the purpose of the LSAT is gauge a way to discriminate abilities among a population, doesn't it sort of undermine the purpose when you start granting advantages to some in order to "level" the playing field. I mean lets face it, in terms of the LSAT, being stupid in general is a huge disability is it not? Its not like anyone chose to be stupid either, some people are born more intelligent than others and there is nothing that can be done. So why not allow us to submit all our crappy school grades and other bad test scores to give us accommodations for being stupider than others?

I realize I might be sounding a bit insensitive here, and I think that allowing bigger font tests for people with vision problems, or allowing an alternative way to mark answers if someone has a physical disability making it hard for them to write is perfectly justified, since these are accommodations you can expect that person to have to use in all facets of life. But come on, we are all taking this test to demonstrate aptitude for law school, not so much to prove our ability but to prove our ability relative to others. All of this is an eventual path into our careers as lawyers, and in the grand scheme of things you won't be able to fall back on your disability is a reason for performing below par. I think the liberal stance regarding disabilities is overstepping its bounds when it puts its nose into a test when the very purpose of that test is to discriminate performance among the testers.

IBThatGuy
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Re: accomodated testing time, extra time on LSAT?

Postby IBThatGuy » Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:25 am

fosterp wrote:What I don't get out of all of this is why are some things regarded as legitimate disabilities worthy of accommodations while other things are not? I mean if the purpose of the LSAT is gauge a way to discriminate abilities among a population, doesn't it sort of undermine the purpose when you start granting advantages to some in order to "level" the playing field. I mean lets face it, in terms of the LSAT, being stupid in general is a huge disability is it not? Its not like anyone chose to be stupid either, some people are born more intelligent than others and there is nothing that can be done. So why not allow us to submit all our crappy school grades and other bad test scores to give us accommodations for being stupider than others?


In many cases, the argument would be that the disability creates a disadvantage distinctly unrelated to what the test is supposed to gauge. For instance, the blind have a disadvantage when taking the LSAT, compared to sighted persons (I assume that Braille is slower to process than printed words, and diagramming would be exceptionally difficult, among other problems), but we don't think LSAT scores should reflect eyesight (pun not intended).

Conversely, I remember one forumite suggesting that she/he sought extra time because of a documented disorder that made it difficult to think logically. Given that logical thinking is one area the LSAT is specifically intended to test, my guess is that, for that person, extended time probably was not granted (and probably should not have been).

WayBryson
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Re: accomodated testing time, extra time on LSAT?

Postby WayBryson » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:02 am

Giving extra time on this test would be a huge advantage. I am not saying that there aren't circumstances that wouldn't warrant this, but the time constraints are what make this test difficult—this seems particularly true at the high end of the curve. I think many of the takers who score in the high 160s would probably be able to score well into the 170s if given more time. I also agree with the poster above me, that there is a very important distinction between disabilities that bar access to the material, e.g. having to read Braille, and disabilities that reflect what the test is primarily concerned with, e.g. logical reasoning and language skills.

Given unlimited time, I doubt I would ever score below a 179, because I could ponder any question until I was absolutely certain I saw the correct logical connection. This test is very self-consistent, which makes it pretty easy to whittle down choices. How many people drop a 6-10 questions in a logic games section because they fail to make a key inference and thus have to resort to brute force methods? Many people find this section the hardest on the test. Given enough time, a bright 6th grader would crush it. Similarly, how many people make the mistake of underestimating the test because they don't practice under the time constraints?

I am certain that there are some people who truly deserve accommodation, and I believe it should be provided, someone who must take it in Braille for example. However, it would completely discredit the test if LSAC were to try and pander to anybody and everybody’s hardships. Law schools are serious places, and lawyers have serious responsibilities. It is only fitting that the LSAT reflects this reality. Your clients are not likely to care whether you have a learning disability, and if they do, it isn’t likely to be in a sympathetic light.

fosterp
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Re: accomodated testing time, extra time on LSAT?

Postby fosterp » Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:13 am

IBThatGuy wrote:
fosterp wrote:What I don't get out of all of this is why are some things regarded as legitimate disabilities worthy of accommodations while other things are not? I mean if the purpose of the LSAT is gauge a way to discriminate abilities among a population, doesn't it sort of undermine the purpose when you start granting advantages to some in order to "level" the playing field. I mean lets face it, in terms of the LSAT, being stupid in general is a huge disability is it not? Its not like anyone chose to be stupid either, some people are born more intelligent than others and there is nothing that can be done. So why not allow us to submit all our crappy school grades and other bad test scores to give us accommodations for being stupider than others?


In many cases, the argument would be that the disability creates a disadvantage distinctly unrelated to what the test is supposed to gauge. For instance, the blind have a disadvantage when taking the LSAT, compared to sighted persons (I assume that Braille is slower to process than printed words, and diagramming would be exceptionally difficult, among other problems), but we don't think LSAT scores should reflect eyesight (pun not intended).

Conversely, I remember one forumite suggesting that she/he sought extra time because of a documented disorder that made it difficult to think logically. Given that logical thinking is one area the LSAT is specifically intended to test, my guess is that, for that person, extended time probably was not granted (and probably should not have been).


Yeah accommodations for shortcomings not directly related to the characteristics being measured should definitely be considered. The LSAT isn't measuring your eyesight, so anyone with vision impairments should be accommodated. Its not measuring your physical ability to write, so if you have some physical disability impairing that - that is fair.

What I don't agree with is extra time for people with any kind of psychological disorder. I realize it sounds a bit insensitive but this test's primary function is measuring your intellectual aptitude, and any disability that affects that has to reflect in your score. If it isn't, the you are undermining the integrity of the test. Everyone wants to get a 180, but not everyone can and thats a fact of life. I am probably never going to get a 180 because I just wasn't born smart enough or had a good enough education compared to the guy that does. If you have ADD and that prevents you from getting the score you want, well tough luck that is the hand you were dealt in life like all of us. Me being less intelligent than the next guy prevents me from getting the score I want - the only difference in their situation and mine is theirs is a documented disorder, but I am just stupid. You just gotta deal with the hand you were given and do the best you can because you are going to be stuck with it all your life. I think the whole liberal egalitarian idea of anyone can achieve anything with hard work is getting to be a little too pervasive these days and I am glad LSAC has at least stood some ground.

WayBryson
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Re: accomodated testing time, extra time on LSAT?

Postby WayBryson » Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:40 am

fosterp wrote:
IBThatGuy wrote:
fosterp wrote:What I don't get out of all of this is why are some things regarded as legitimate disabilities worthy of accommodations while other things are not? I mean if the purpose of the LSAT is gauge a way to discriminate abilities among a population, doesn't it sort of undermine the purpose when you start granting advantages to some in order to "level" the playing field. I mean lets face it, in terms of the LSAT, being stupid in general is a huge disability is it not? Its not like anyone chose to be stupid either, some people are born more intelligent than others and there is nothing that can be done. So why not allow us to submit all our crappy school grades and other bad test scores to give us accommodations for being stupider than others?


In many cases, the argument would be that the disability creates a disadvantage distinctly unrelated to what the test is supposed to gauge. For instance, the blind have a disadvantage when taking the LSAT, compared to sighted persons (I assume that Braille is slower to process than printed words, and diagramming would be exceptionally difficult, among other problems), but we don't think LSAT scores should reflect eyesight (pun not intended).

Conversely, I remember one forumite suggesting that she/he sought extra time because of a documented disorder that made it difficult to think logically. Given that logical thinking is one area the LSAT is specifically intended to test, my guess is that, for that person, extended time probably was not granted (and probably should not have been).


Yeah accommodations for shortcomings not directly related to the characteristics being measured should definitely be considered. The LSAT isn't measuring your eyesight, so anyone with vision impairments should be accommodated. Its not measuring your physical ability to write, so if you have some physical disability impairing that - that is fair.

What I don't agree with is extra time for people with any kind of psychological disorder. I realize it sounds a bit insensitive but this test's primary function is measuring your intellectual aptitude, and any disability that affects that has to reflect in your score. If it isn't, the you are undermining the integrity of the test. Everyone wants to get a 180, but not everyone can and thats a fact of life. I am probably never going to get a 180 because I just wasn't born smart enough or had a good enough education compared to the guy that does. If you have ADD and that prevents you from getting the score you want, well tough luck that is the hand you were dealt in life like all of us. Me being less intelligent than the next guy prevents me from getting the score I want - the only difference in their situation and mine is theirs is a documented disorder, but I am just stupid. You just gotta deal with the hand you were given and do the best you can because you are going to be stuck with it all your life. I think the whole liberal egalitarian idea of anyone can achieve anything with hard work is getting to be a little too pervasive these days and I am glad LSAC has at least stood some ground.


Word.

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nematoad
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Re: accomodated testing time, extra time on LSAT?

Postby nematoad » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:07 am

fosterp wrote:
IBThatGuy wrote:
fosterp wrote:What I don't get out of all of this is why are some things regarded as legitimate disabilities worthy of accommodations while other things are not? I mean if the purpose of the LSAT is gauge a way to discriminate abilities among a population, doesn't it sort of undermine the purpose when you start granting advantages to some in order to "level" the playing field. I mean lets face it, in terms of the LSAT, being stupid in general is a huge disability is it not? Its not like anyone chose to be stupid either, some people are born more intelligent than others and there is nothing that can be done. So why not allow us to submit all our crappy school grades and other bad test scores to give us accommodations for being stupider than others?


In many cases, the argument would be that the disability creates a disadvantage distinctly unrelated to what the test is supposed to gauge. For instance, the blind have a disadvantage when taking the LSAT, compared to sighted persons (I assume that Braille is slower to process than printed words, and diagramming would be exceptionally difficult, among other problems), but we don't think LSAT scores should reflect eyesight (pun not intended).

Conversely, I remember one forumite suggesting that she/he sought extra time because of a documented disorder that made it difficult to think logically. Given that logical thinking is one area the LSAT is specifically intended to test, my guess is that, for that person, extended time probably was not granted (and probably should not have been).


Yeah accommodations for shortcomings not directly related to the characteristics being measured should definitely be considered. The LSAT isn't measuring your eyesight, so anyone with vision impairments should be accommodated. Its not measuring your physical ability to write, so if you have some physical disability impairing that - that is fair.

What I don't agree with is extra time for people with any kind of psychological disorder. I realize it sounds a bit insensitive but this test's primary function is measuring your intellectual aptitude, and any disability that affects that has to reflect in your score. If it isn't, the you are undermining the integrity of the test. Everyone wants to get a 180, but not everyone can and thats a fact of life. I am probably never going to get a 180 because I just wasn't born smart enough or had a good enough education compared to the guy that does. If you have ADD and that prevents you from getting the score you want, well tough luck that is the hand you were dealt in life like all of us. Me being less intelligent than the next guy prevents me from getting the score I want - the only difference in their situation and mine is theirs is a documented disorder, but I am just stupid. You just gotta deal with the hand you were given and do the best you can because you are going to be stuck with it all your life. I think the whole liberal egalitarian idea of anyone can achieve anything with hard work is getting to be a little too pervasive these days and I am glad LSAC has at least stood some ground.


unfortunately, those scumbags don't hook a brother up when he's legally blind in one eye and doesn't have a viable way of seeing clearer than 20/200. but whatever. i'm only a little bitter.

mikeman
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Re: accomodated testing time, extra time on LSAT?

Postby mikeman » Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:01 pm

I don't doubt people do have legitimate disabilities. My question is, however, if the whole point of the LSAT is to predict law school performance, than doesn't granting accommodation defeat the very purpose of the LSAT? (This is more questionable than other arguments, such as the fact that when the GREs no longer flagged accommodating testing, the people requesting accommodation skyrocketed).

FlanSolo
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Re: accomodated testing time, extra time on LSAT?

Postby FlanSolo » Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:32 pm

fosterp wrote:What I don't agree with is extra time for people with any kind of psychological disorder. I realize it sounds a bit insensitive but this test's primary function is measuring your intellectual aptitude, and any disability that affects that has to reflect in your score. If it isn't, the you are undermining the integrity of the test. Everyone wants to get a 180, but not everyone can and thats a fact of life. I am probably never going to get a 180 because I just wasn't born smart enough or had a good enough education compared to the guy that does. If you have ADD and that prevents you from getting the score you want, well tough luck that is the hand you were dealt in life like all of us. Me being less intelligent than the next guy prevents me from getting the score I want - the only difference in their situation and mine is theirs is a documented disorder, but I am just stupid. You just gotta deal with the hand you were given and do the best you can because you are going to be stuck with it all your life. I think the whole liberal egalitarian idea of anyone can achieve anything with hard work is getting to be a little too pervasive these days and I am glad LSAC has at least stood some ground.


I think this would be valid if law were practiced by taking timed LSATs with no accommodation for documented disorders. Of course, there are many different ways one can practice law, many of which involve different sets of skills and abilities that are not necessarily well reflected by how well one can perform on an LSAT in 35 minutes versus a somewhat longer period of time.

The LSAT is one of several components that predicts how a student will fare in law school. Performance in law school is a major predictor for how one will perform as a lawyer, but relies on a number of factors that have little relation to timed LSAT performance such as work ethic, passion, study habits, etc. To make the jump directly from LSAT performance to job performance is absurd.

Also, since you seem to be a conservative, don't you think the market should sort this out? If you were a law firm, would you rather hire someone who got a 180 with additional (not unlimited) time or someone who got a 165 with the standard amount of time knowing you can just count on the 180 guy to work an extra hour or two each day? I'm not sure that's such an easy call.

WayBryson
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Re: accomodated testing time, extra time on LSAT?

Postby WayBryson » Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:05 pm

FlanSolo wrote:
fosterp wrote:What I don't agree with is extra time for people with any kind of psychological disorder. I realize it sounds a bit insensitive but this test's primary function is measuring your intellectual aptitude, and any disability that affects that has to reflect in your score. If it isn't, the you are undermining the integrity of the test. Everyone wants to get a 180, but not everyone can and thats a fact of life. I am probably never going to get a 180 because I just wasn't born smart enough or had a good enough education compared to the guy that does. If you have ADD and that prevents you from getting the score you want, well tough luck that is the hand you were dealt in life like all of us. Me being less intelligent than the next guy prevents me from getting the score I want - the only difference in their situation and mine is theirs is a documented disorder, but I am just stupid. You just gotta deal with the hand you were given and do the best you can because you are going to be stuck with it all your life. I think the whole liberal egalitarian idea of anyone can achieve anything with hard work is getting to be a little too pervasive these days and I am glad LSAC has at least stood some ground.


I think this would be valid if law were practiced by taking timed LSATs with no accommodation for documented disorders. Of course, there are many different ways one can practice law, many of which involve different sets of skills and abilities that are not necessarily well reflected by how well one can perform on an LSAT in 35 minutes versus a somewhat longer period of time.

The LSAT is one of several components that predicts how a student will fare in law school. Performance in law school is a major predictor for how one will perform as a lawyer, but relies on a number of factors that have little relation to timed LSAT performance such as work ethic, passion, study habits, etc. To make the jump directly from LSAT performance to job performance is absurd.

Also, since you seem to be a conservative, don't you think the market should sort this out? If you were a law firm, would you rather hire someone who got a 180 with additional (not unlimited) time or someone who got a 165 with the standard amount of time knowing you can just count on the 180 guy to work an extra hour or two each day? I'm not sure that's such an easy call.


I think this somewhat misses the point. The issue is the integrity of the LSAT as a test, which is different from the issue of how good of a predictor the LSAT is. Time is what makes the LSAT difficult. Much of the test would be trivial given extra time. As a result, a score achieved under different time constraints is simply bogus. It has nothing to compare itself to. To answer your question regarding the 180 vs 165, I would take the 165 without hesitation if I wasn't provided with any other means of evaluating the applicants because that 180 is essentially meaningless. I wouldn't have a context to evaluate it in. Conversely, the 165 sits nicely in the big beautiful aptitude curve that LSAC has worked so hard to create and maintain. The 180 would be an enigma--a gamble. My prejudices being what they are, I wouldn't gamble on this one. Others very well might.

Having said all that, I think you bring up valid points about some of the potential weaknesses of the LSAT. I agree that for many people the LSAT may not be favoring their (very relevant) strengths, and thus put them at a competitive disadvantage. The LSAT is an aptitude test, but certainly not a comprehensive one. For example, let's consider a hypothetical case of two highly intelligent people. Let's suppose one of them is your LSAT poster-child. The kind of guy/gal who quickly processes information and rapidly moves between differing contexts. These are skills that are useful to a lawyer and their high LSAT score is well deserved. Let's now consider that our other genius is one of those guys/gals who has a penchant for conceptualizing extremely complex structures and systems--the Einstein kind of brain. Without doing a lot of speed training, this person really might have some trouble breaking a 170 simply because their brain is geared towards different processes.

Finally, the LSAT is not the end-all be-all of admissions. It exists as one important factor alongside letters of recommendation, the personal statement, transcripts, and even addenda (like your documented reasons for why the LSAT might be under-predictive). Admissions is the place for these other kinds of considerations to be made. But altering the test for individuals is just plain wrong. It robs the test of its one and only virtue: being able to put people into a relatively reliable, universal metric.

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bmathers
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Re: accomodated testing time, extra time on LSAT?

Postby bmathers » Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:14 pm

Just to update this thread: After a court ruling last year, accommodations are much easier to get. For example, if you received accommodations for the SATs, LSAC much give you the same exact accommodations, with written proof coming from the SATs (no further testing). Additionally, LSAC is NO LONGER allowed to disclose that you received an accommodated test when applying to law school.

Big news on the front of those who need accommodations.

Source: I received a severe TBI in 2004 and just went through this process for my Feb LSATs. I scored well on standardized tests before me accident, and still do with extended time, to allow my brain to process the information.




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