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Messages - Jeffort

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Ordering Tests from the LSAC
« on: September 30, 2009, 02:43:05 PM »
Does anyone know how long LSAC says it usually takes to ship preptests? I remember their policy on the books was something absurd like 4-6 weeks.

LSAC is notoriously slow processing and shipping out orders of PrepTests.  Amazon is much faster at processing and shipping orders to get you the same prep materials for the same or sometimes lower cost (shipping prices, etc.) depending on current Amazon promotions.  Plus, will show whether they have the items in stock and available to ship before you place an order.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Sept. '09 LSAT DONE...FIRST POST!
« on: September 30, 2009, 12:12:54 PM »
#1:  Scores are typically released (and have been for many years now) before the deadline date listed in your documents/on the LSAC web page.  That date is a drop dead, must have them released by then deadline.  So, based on history you will very likely receive your scores in advance of that date.  Stop stressing about it, they will send you an email with your score and you will then be able to access all the disclosure files about the test and your score upon release.

#2:  Please take this seriously people.  Asking about and trying to discuss the contents and substance of an administered test online or however prior to it being disclosed by LSAC is very far from being Kosher and carries great risks to your future.  That warning in the thread thumb-tacked at the top of the index IS from LSAC TEST SECURITY.  It is no internet joke/prank.  They DID post that and have posted that same thing repeatedly here and on the other boards for a few years now.  LSAC test security DOES read and patrol the boards and takes these issues seriously to try to insure the fairness of the test process. 

From what they say, and from what they have told me, they would rather be able to rely on the honor code where everyone simply obeys the rules and is honest rather than having to get all draconian with investigations and such that can potentially lead to offenders/cheaters getting into lots of trouble that can possibly tank a persons opportunity to gain Law School admission and later have a career as a lawyer. 

Not that this should even need to be said yet again, Just remember, the gatekeepers are watching and blatant cheaters/rule breakers will not be tolerated. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Thanks Guys! My LSAT Experience
« on: September 30, 2009, 05:04:16 AM »
Wow!  Great posts/thread you made. 

Very cool of you to take the time to do that and give back to others.  The world needs more people like you with your attitude, perspective and generosity.  You have my respect. 

I hope when scores come out you receive good news that will make you happy and be a good payoff to you for your efforts. 

As for why they prohibited using mechanical pencils to take the LSAT, I've been confused about the philosophy behind that policy change since it went into effect and have various competing theories.  Perhaps we should speculate about that and maybe even make a thread for the topic!

Some of my random theories:

-  So that angry frustrated test takers don't have possession of a super sharp pointed cylindrical object made out of metal or strong synthetic material that can be used to shank a proctor or fellow testee with in a fit of rage.

-  LSAC was tired of getting complaints from people about being distracted during the test by clicking noises around them. (the ADD/ADHD people tend to be of above average intelligence and make up a decent proportion of those seeking LS but are easily distracted and thrown off by little noises when trying to hyper focus!)

-  LSAC was lobbied by the lumber industry and by the companies that make old fashioned pencils but not mechanical ones to help beef up sales of wooden pencils and pencil sharpeners.   

-  The sharp point of mechanical pencil 'lead' punched holes in the bubble sheets of test takers that were angry, push down hard and use a lot of pressure bubblers causing paper jams in the scanning machines at LSAC headquarters (this relates to theory #1, but better to have holes in paper than in someones flesh!)

-  Cuz the SAT and other standardized tests banned them cuz a bunch of cheating HS kids wrote out cheat sheets and stuff on small strips of paper they rolled up and stuck inside the tube of a mechanical pencil a number of years back to get into college.

Anyone have other theories? 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: please help - cancellation issue
« on: September 30, 2009, 03:20:38 AM »
That sucks that you got injured shortly before the test date.  I hope you are recovering well.

Obviously it is not a great situation you are in with the choices, but based on what you said I would go with canceling it again and re-taking it later as the lessor of two evils.

There is a GIANT difference in the percentile rank between a low/mid 150's score and a low 160's score.

That monumental difference greatly influences the level (ranking, future job prospects, etc.) of LS's your LSAT score puts you in range of for admission chances. 

While 3 cancellations generally looks bad and deserves a good explanation in an addendum to your applications, it looks better than 2 cancellations, one middle of the road mediocre score and one much better score since the schools you apply to would see both scores while reviewing your application and consider both even though most schools now claim to just take your highest reported score.

Depending on the circumstances and details of the struggles and adversities you have faced you can possibly turn this around into a positive in your application materials to get schools to look past 3 cancellations and simultaneously accentuate your strong qualities with a unique/compelling/attention grabbing application if you perform well and score in the 160's with a re-take. 

Something along the lines of illustrating you as a person with the attitude and work ethic of I get Knocked Down, but I get up again, aint nothing going to keep me down!

You could make use of the fact that while physically injured, healing and recuperating, instead of just convalescing in bed and blowing off showing up for the test you pushed yourself to show up and tried your hardest that day in whatever condition you were in.  That demonstrates motivation, dedication and following through with your responsibilities.  Law Schools like hard workers that follow through with their responsibilities and push themselves even when facing obstacles. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Two Questions
« on: September 29, 2009, 03:40:40 PM »
Look who's back!

Is it Elvis?  ;)  I think I saw him having lunch at a diner the other day with big foot and Michael Jackson.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: How long does hand scoring take?
« on: September 29, 2009, 06:26:38 AM »
Will the real Jeffort please stand up

Here for roll call standing up! 

Do I need to show ID and sign a check in sheet or something as well?

Studying for the LSAT / Re: How long does hand scoring take?
« on: September 27, 2009, 08:51:08 AM »
Just got back from the test center.  I have to say that I thought the RC section was harder than usual.  I changed a few of my answers and left some eraser marks on the paper.  Are the chances very slim of the Scanner machine grading those wrong?  If I decide to get it hand scored, how long does that usually take?  Thank you for any advice.

As long as you did a good job erasing (even though it still leaves a visible smudge in the erased bubble on the answer sheet) and filled in the bubbles you wanted completely it should be scored properly.  The scanning machines are very accurate and tuned to tell the difference between minor random stray marks/erasures and intentionally filled in bubbles for your selected responses. 

You will receive a scan of your bubble/answer sheet when scores are released and can then verify whether your test was scored properly.  I'm pretty sure you can request a hand score after scores are released if you see a problem, but you should read the current LSAC rules and regulations about that at to verify.  They have changed a lot of rules, regulations and deadlines in the last year. 

Hand scoring typically takes about 1-2 weeks, depending on when you request it.  Unless the scanning machine went totally haywire or you are a terrible bubbler that can't seem to fill in the ovals decently, paying the fee for a hand score is typically wasted $$$ that wont lead to a 'happy ending'.

Hope everyone did well on the LSAT today. I, unfortunately did not; and I have a question the answer to which might make me feel a little better about my law school prospects.

Do law schools see what you scored on each section, or do they just get your overall score?? If anyone knows the answer to this I would really appreciate if you could post it.

I ask because I did excellent on the first four sections; I mean I killed the test. Then my 5th section was the Logic Games, which I am not too good at. I completely bombed this section because I let my nerves get the better of me. I was hoping that if a law school could see that I did great on the other sections I could write an addendum and explain that I just f*$%#d up on this one section, but my true potential is reflected by performance on the other sections. So if anyone knows, please post. Thanks!

Schools only receive your final scaled score for the entire test and a copy of your writing sample.  They do not receive a section by section breakdown of your performance or your total raw score (# of questions you answered correctly).

What they get is very basic.

Candidate name:  Wanting to be Future Lawyer Larry

Candidate LSAT data: 

6/09 139 (you really screwed the pooch on this one Larry, maybe you should look into becoming a plumber, they make more per hour than a lot of Law School grads and lawyers these days.)

9/09 171 (wOOt, you kicked arse Larry, get them application materials polished, strap yourself in for a wild ride and get ready to do 3 years at a highly ranked LS, your journey has just begun.)

Addendums that are basically saying "I hate logic games and choked on that section, please ignore it" that complain about the difficulty of the LSAT or a section type, or that make excuses for lackluster LSAT performance are generally not effective or persuasive to admission committees. 

You need to provide stuff in your application that plays up/emphasizes your soft factors (things other than LSAT and GPA) that make you a worthy candidate for LS in order to improve your admission chances if your LSAT score is low in the index range of admitted students at schools you want to apply to. 

Of course there is always the option to re-take the test if you really think you can score higher the next time.  Most schools now focus on the higher score rather than averaging multiple scores but then you have the complications involved with not having your application complete for review and consideration until December test scores are released (around X-mas) plus many more weeks of LSAT prep purgatory. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Two Questions
« on: September 27, 2009, 12:03:26 AM »
And do people usually have more trouble with the experimental section b/c it includes unfamiliar concepts?

ALSO: I have one more question, but I didn't want to make a new thread for it. What are the most relevant series of real lsat tests (for example: over or under a certain test #)? I ask b/c I've heard some are outdated.

Peoples experience with the difficulty level of experimental sections they get varies.  Sometimes experimental sections are more difficult overall than typical scored sections of the same type while others are easier, and some just feel weird or different in the balance or in some other way to people that have taken many of the PrepTests for practice.

The psychometrics and processes used to develop, pre-test and rate the difficulty of individual questions and sections to assemble unique test forms that measure the same skill set consistently are very complex. 

Since it is a standardized test, NO, they do not test you on unfamiliar or new concepts in experimental sections.  The LSAT does and has been testing the same core set of acquired (yes, that means you can learn to do this stuff better with education and practice) logic, reading, comprehension, reasoning, and analysis skills in pretty much the same ways since 1991. 

The writing style has slowly and subtly changed over the years as has the difficulty balance between sections and the score conversion charts, but the LSAT is still testing the same stuff as it was in 1991. 

One notable difference to keep in mind when practicing with older Preptests is that during the '90s numerous really unique off the wall logic games popped up including some super hard ones and some LG sections that were just plain brutal or that contained a one of a kind 'odd-ball' game.   That phase seems to have fizzled out pretty much.  The LG sections of the tests administered in the last several years (6-9+ years) have been extremely consistent with the same regular game types and patterns. 

Bottom line: 

-  All the available preptests are useful and good for preparation and practice. 
-  If you get the older ones and take some of them as full timed tests do not rely on your scaled score result as an indication of how you would score on an LSAT administration now.  Use the older tests to learn the concepts and practice with, not as score predictor indicators. 
-  If you cannot or are not going to get and work all the available previously administered tests, definitely get the more recent ones leading up to the most currently released test. 
-  However many you get for prep and practice, save several of the most recently administered tests (say 2006-2009) in full test form (do not look at ANY of the questions ahead of time) to use as full timed practice tests in the final weeks before you take it for real.  Those will be the best gauge of your probable scoring range leading up to test day.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Absent vs. Cancel Score
« on: September 26, 2009, 09:32:23 PM »
Holy crap!

Yea, after being 'Absent' for a while I'm not canceled, instead I'm home again and back from the DEAD

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