How is the new LSAT different?

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Yugihoe

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How is the new LSAT different?

Post by Yugihoe » Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:02 pm

Can current and recent test takers explain in what ways, if any, recent examinations differ to those pre 2014? I feel like someone who's taken any PTs before #74 could probably weigh in on their experiences. I've also heard that the test is now in digital format instead of on paper.

IntellectualMode

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Re: How is the new LSAT different?

Post by IntellectualMode » Fri Apr 17, 2020 4:01 am

Yugihoe,


The last big change that was made to the LSAT was in the RC section where they added the comparative reading section, which you can see in PrepTests from 2007 onwards.

For LG, there are certain game-formats that haven't been in use for a proper while. It is unknown whether or not TestMakers intend on re-introducing them into modern LSATs.

As for the digital LSAT, this is a function that has only been recently introduced in the US and Canada as of last year (meaning I unfortunately get the pencil and paper, being in the UK).
You still have to go to a test centre but you'll do the timed multiple choice questions on a tablet.
Your writing essay will be administered separately through an online platform.

Hopefully that clears everything up.

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Yugihoe

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Re: How is the new LSAT different?

Post by Yugihoe » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:42 am

atterburyh wrote:Yugihoe,


The last big change that was made to the LSAT was in the RC section where they added the comparative reading section, which you can see in PrepTests from 2007 onwards.

For LG, there are certain game-formats that haven't been in use for a proper while. It is unknown whether or not TestMakers intend on re-introducing them into modern LSATs.

As for the digital LSAT, this is a function that has only been recently introduced in the US and Canada as of last year (meaning I unfortunately get the pencil and paper, being in the UK).
You still have to go to a test centre but you'll do the timed multiple choice questions on a tablet.
Your writing essay will be administered separately through an online platform.

Hopefully that clears everything up.
Thanks for this! Sounds like not much has changed then.

EnjoyIllinois

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Re: How is the new LSAT different?

Post by EnjoyIllinois » Sat Apr 18, 2020 3:58 pm

I'm curious about the new LSAT, the so-called "digital LSAT" too. The plan is to have scratch paper and pens available. Additionally, students can bring in pencils. This will come in handy on the logic games. Also, the tablet will have a highlight function to highlight chunks of text.

I don't quite understand why they will have pens but allow students to bring in pencils. Why not have both pens and pencils available and allow students to bring in pens and pencils? Or why not limit it to pencils only, no pens? But the rule seems to be - LSAC will give you a pen and if you want to bring in a pencil, they will permit you to use it.

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Re: How is the new LSAT different?

Post by IntellectualMode » Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:05 am

EnjoyIllinois wrote:I'm curious about the new LSAT, the so-called "digital LSAT" too. The plan is to have scratch paper and pens available. Additionally, students can bring in pencils. This will come in handy on the logic games. Also, the tablet will have a highlight function to highlight chunks of text.

I don't quite understand why they will have pens but allow students to bring in pencils. Why not have both pens and pencils available and allow students to bring in pens and pencils? Or why not limit it to pencils only, no pens? But the rule seems to be - LSAC will give you a pen and if you want to bring in a pencil, they will permit you to use it.

Yeah the plan to have pens and scratch paper is still going ahead.

But I think there are a couple of reasons why they would only want students bringing in no.2 pencils
only.
(1) LSAT cheaters can be really crafty and hide stuff in pens that give them an unfair advantage. To an extent, you could say that they can do this with pencils as well but generally it becomes a fair bit more obvious when they try and hide shit on pencils.
(2) Even though the test centres provide pens, relying on ink can sometimes be unreliable and in a test
where every second counts, the last thing you want is your pen to run out of ink. Personally I would just use my pencils only.

Maybe LSAC will realise this is just a dumb idea and just get people to bring in pencils only at a later date,
maybe they're only doing this so they have an excuse to buy stuff and use up their remaining budget, maybe LSAC / Test Centre employees just want some pens, I've not a clue.

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Pneumonia

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Re: How is the new LSAT different?

Post by Pneumonia » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:17 pm

Pens are clicky, which can be distracting. I don't know how you could cheat on the LSAT short of having an answer key.

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Re: How is the new LSAT different?

Post by IntellectualMode » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:15 am

Pneumonia wrote:Pens are clicky, which can be distracting. I don't know how you could cheat on the LSAT short of having an answer key.
A fair point, but you must remember that an accusation of 'cheating' is actionable per se - you don't need to show that a test taker had an intention to cheat, the mere act of bringing a prohibited item (a pen) into the exam, is sufficient for LSAC to rule you were attempting to cheat and then gets your exam scores thrown out.

But an example of cheating using a pen
- which is NOT something I'm advocating or supporting, and I highly discourage anyone to take this course of action -
could be hiding a small piece of paper within a pen lid which has complex words with their definitions.

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Pneumonia

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Re: How is the new LSAT different?

Post by Pneumonia » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:26 am

atterburyh wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:Pens are clicky, which can be distracting. I don't know how you could cheat on the LSAT short of having an answer key.
A fair point, but you must remember that an accusation of 'cheating' is actionable per se - you don't need to show that a test taker had an intention to cheat, the mere act of bringing a prohibited item (a pen) into the exam, is sufficient for LSAC to rule you were attempting to cheat and then gets your exam scores thrown out.

But an example of cheating using a pen
- which is NOT something I'm advocating or supporting, and I highly discourage anyone to take this course of action -
could be hiding a small piece of paper within a pen lid which has complex words with their definitions.
The question was why pens are banned. Have you ever taken the test? In what instance would a list of words with definitions be even remotely useful? Also, anything small enough to fit in a pen lid could also fit much easier in like, idk, your pocket. Or your sock or shoe. Or taped to your shin or whatever.

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Re: How is the new LSAT different?

Post by nixy » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:04 am

I have definitely read in the past that, for instance, mechanical pencils are banned precisely because of the concern that you could hide material in the barrel. I agree that in practice, this kind of cheating isn't likely to help anyone (how much material could you possibly fit? how lucky would you have to be to pick exactly the few words to put on your limited cheatsheet that would be pertinent to the questions you actually got?), and that it doesn't address the possibility of hiding material on your person (I'm not going to go with "in your pocket" because they could easily ask people to turn out their pockets), but it's the reason I've seen given, and I remember it being because someone actually tried it. If the focus is more on maintaining the integrity of the exam than the possibility that someone's actually going to benefit from hiding stuff in a pencil (or pen) barrel, it makes a tiny bit more sense.

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Pneumonia

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Re: How is the new LSAT different?

Post by Pneumonia » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:06 am

nixy wrote:I have definitely read in the past that, for instance, mechanical pencils are banned precisely because of the concern that you could hide material in the barrel. I agree that in practice, this kind of cheating isn't likely to help anyone (how much material could you possibly fit? how lucky would you have to be to pick exactly the few words to put on your limited cheatsheet that would be pertinent to the questions you actually got?), and that it doesn't address the possibility of hiding material on your person (I'm not going to go with "in your pocket" because they could easily ask people to turn out their pockets), but it's the reason I've seen given, and I remember it being because someone actually tried it. If the focus is more on maintaining the integrity of the exam than the possibility that someone's actually going to benefit from hiding stuff in a pencil (or pen) barrel, it makes a tiny bit more sense.
This makes a bit more sense. Sure, they could ask you to empty your pockets, but that did not happen at my administration and I have never heard of it happening.

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Re: How is the new LSAT different?

Post by nixy » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:15 am

I'm probably thinking of the pocket thing because at the bar they made us show our pockets. Mostly, though, if I were going to try to cheat on the LSAT (again, not sure how it would even help in practice), I wouldn't just stick something in my pocket and cross my fingers.

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