« on: June 07, 2006, 01:32:10 PM »
A very short argument on why the LSAT is a "good" test, by yours truly
Like everyone else, I've been thinking about the LSAT while studying for it. I'm taking the test on Monday. I've felt very mixed about it, but now have decided that - more than not - it's a decent test. Here's why.
First, note some important attributes:
- High pressure due to the time limits.
- High pressure due to a mix of predictability and unpredictability. (Will there be a LG that kills you?)
- Large community of study books, classes, groups, forums, etc.
- A large part of the test is learnable in a short period of time - LG and LR.
- The test seems to require some core traits that can only be learned over a long period of time - knowledge of boolean logic, common fallacies, vocabulary, reading skills, etc.
- Scoring that's NOT based on how well you do. Rather, how well you do compared to the other test takers.
- High pressure based on the knowledge of the scoring scale.
Now, in response to realizing all of this, most of us (myself included) have had the impression that the test isn't very valid - after all, if everyone's out there studying for it, then I've got to study for it like crazy too. Maybe it's just testing how crazy we all are. Or, if everyone can go take classes and get great scores, then's what's the point?
But I've changed my mind. I think the test makes sense. Why? Look at that list I compiled. To me, it looks an awful lot like it could also be describing law school.
Yes, the LSAT is learnable. But if you can get off your ass and learn that kind of stuff on your own - then good for you! You'll do great in law school! Especially on the LR and LG sections: If you're able to learn how to solve these kinds of problems, then you should be able to learn how to solve legal problems for your classes. Another way of phrasing my thesis is that the LSAT is testing your learnability to become a lawyer. I believe that studying and taking the LSAT is akin to an independent study course in legal reasoning.
1. I've never been to law school - I've only seen it on TV.
2. I'm scoring well on the preptests (90th percentile or better), and so I may be disposed to finding that the test is a reasonable one.