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Messages - Penn263

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51
Studying for the LSAT / Re: THE LSAT NEEDS TO BE MODERNIZED.
« on: April 27, 2008, 09:53:34 AM »
CAT/CBT testing at those little centers is a terrible thing IMHO

What is actually wrong with the centuries old tradition of simple paper/papyra and some simple little tool (like a pencil) to scribe things down with? 

I took the GMAT CAT WHILE in LS for some unknown reason (ok, I was bored I guess).

In the little center, after emptying my pockets and putting all my stuff into a little locker (it felt like getting booked into jail) I was escorted into a neat room with glass windows with computers all around and seated.   The chair sucked and sat to low, the room was SUPER FRIGGING COLD and I looked around to try to find the sides of beef hanging from the ceiling since it was a perfect meat locker.

The terminal they put me at was RIGHT UNDERNEATH the AC output vent and it was going FULL BLAST and puring supercooled air right onto my head and body non stop.  It was in late spring when it was nice and warm outside, but I was literally shivering and shaking during the entire thing and kept having to rub my hands and arms to keep them from turning blue and actually freezing up.  (I am not just trying to be dramatic here, this happened).  It took me about 6 hours after I left the test place to thaw out and stop shivering and to get my core temperature back to normal.

Working the mouse (total piece of $hit one that did not really work well and was really dirty too) was a pain, especially since my hands were freezing up from extreme cold, there was not much room for scratch paper to write things down and juggle all that and the chair would not adjust up to normal desk seating height, meaning that I was sitting with my head and arms well below normal desk level.  Some people in the room had headphones on for whatever test and were talking out loud along with whatever they were hearing (I'm guessing it was some foreign language test), other people came and went intermittently while I was working my test and it was super distracting. 

The keyboard and monitor of the PC were super cheap pieces of $hit.  When it came time to type out the little graded writing thing for the GMAT at the end I had to flex and thaw out my hands over and over to even be able to frigging type. When I finished and came out of the room and was literally shaking/shivering uncontrollably (felt like frostbite was setting in), the lamo snot nosed kid (probably a freshman in college) that was 'in charge' at the time said 'you ok, test not go well?, maybe you should have studied more.' , I said "Dude, I am frozen, leave me alone and go back to your skate boarding magazine now, ok?  Nice tats and your mom should be proud of the piercing you have too bro."

Anyway, pencil and paper is actually more efficient and better in many ways.  Technology and computers are not the solution for everything. 

Rant over for now...


At least with CBTs you don't ever have to worry about wasting time because you bubbled in  answers in the wrong slots, or waste time sharpening and re-sharpening your pencils during test, or waste time on equally as ridiculous stuff. CBTs also have less noise and visual distractions since you have your own cubicle-like area with sound buffer head phones and view blockers. Moreover, CBTs tell you how much time you have left at ANY point you wish to know--so no more surprise by the 5 minute countdown. And, unlike the current paper-based LSAT, you can take the test ANY time of the year and never have to worry about late registration fees. Some other HUGE benefits: 1. You would get your score immediately, (and knowing your score immediately is extremely beneficial in determining which law schools to apply to--potentially saving you money on applications) 2. Retaking the exam would be MUCH faster. Cheating is also a step next to impossible since you have a camera recording your every move with someone watching its live feed. I took the GRE first and then the LSAT and was really in awe at how antiquated the current LSAT testing process is.

I think modernizing the test would be well worth the cost of making up more questions, (a task of which I don't think is quite as difficult and costly as you may think).

52
Studying for the LSAT / Re: THE LSAT NEEDS TO BE MODERNIZED.
« on: April 27, 2008, 09:23:58 AM »
The GRE is a freakin waste of time. Just like the SAT...

Most testing centers also test mutliple tests at the same time and have different time slots for beginning the test. This means you have people entering and exiting the testing room during your test.

At least you get your own booth with sound buffer head phones, and view blockers. There's nothing more distracting than hearing everyone taking the test turn to the next page of the exam and you realize you're STILL working hard on the previous page...then the anxiety instinctively builds.

53
Law School Applications / Re: LOCI and being waitlisted...
« on: April 25, 2008, 05:28:52 PM »
Well I think there's no real standard way of going about it. I did several things including sending a letter via e-mail and a snail mail package with another one-page letter and some supplemental materials that I thought would help my cause. My professor also sent another LOC.

54
Studying for the LSAT / Re: THE LSAT NEEDS TO BE MODERNIZED.
« on: April 25, 2008, 02:17:36 PM »
One of the reasons, is that it would actually increase the cost of testing.  This means they would pass that onto you the test taker.  The reason for the increased expense is the greatly increased need for valid questions.  Currently, the LSAT needs to essentially create just over 400 valid test questions a year.  Since CAT tests are offered throughout the year, it is important to have an extremely large question pool to avoid the problem of having a test-taker disclose the questions they saw to another test-taker.  At any given time the question pool on the GMAT, for example, is between 5,000 and 10,000 questions with some questions being changed out every month.  This means that over the course of the year the GMAT goes through about 18,000 - 20,000 questions.  That is a huge difference and a great expense.

Not to mention, that potential decrease to the validity of the test.  That many more questions, means that much more chance of error.  I teach people to take the GMAT, GRE, and the LSAT and I must say I cringe at the thought of the LSAT going to computer.

You act like the current test questions are ACTUALLY GOOD PREDICTORS of how well students will do in law school...

55
Studying for the LSAT / Re: THE LSAT NEEDS TO BE MODERNIZED.
« on: April 25, 2008, 01:50:33 PM »
Actually it's also harder to cheat. Instead of a proctor who occasionally glances around, computer based tests have a camera recording you at all times. You also can't bring ANYTHING in the room--since you're using a computer. 

56
Studying for the LSAT / Re: THE LSAT NEEDS TO BE MODERNIZED.
« on: April 25, 2008, 01:47:16 PM »
I would go crazy with a keyboard in front of me trying to doodle flowcharts.

Flowcharts? As in bubbling in answers? CBTs (Computer based tests) aren't even like that... I took the computer based GRE and it was so simple and straightforward.

Probably the same reason it takes 3 weeks to grade some scantrons and they don't offer refunds for cancellations... they have a monopoly so they can do whatever they want.  Why invest in the infrastructure to do all of that when they can continue running their business as is with no significant changes and people have to use it because that's all there is?

Why you ask? Because it would save an inordinate amount of money eliminating ALL the paper work, scantrons, people who process every thing. Actually the GRE gives you your score as soon as you finish...

57
Studying for the LSAT / THE LSAT NEEDS TO BE MODERNIZED.
« on: April 25, 2008, 01:39:27 PM »
Can someone please explain why the LSAT is still paper-based and not computerized like the GRE?

It's ridiculous.

58
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: UCLA/USC Class of 2011
« on: April 25, 2008, 08:49:46 AM »
"You'll hear from us in May" = De Facto Rejection.

Sorry, but it's the truth. I'm still waiting on USC, too...

59
Where should I go next fall? / Re: UCLA v. Boston College ($$$)
« on: April 24, 2008, 08:19:25 PM »
Haha, I'm on the UCLA waitlist, too, with money from BC.  I'd prefer to work in LA, but at this point, I'm set on BC.  I'm considering just writing UCLA and telling them to take me off the WL, but I'd kinda like to see the final decision.

So then would you choose UCLA (no money) over BC ($$$) if it did come down to it??

I think it would depend on how late they decided to accept me, if they did.  In May?  I suppose I'd have to consider it.  In July?  No way. 

However, given my numbers I really don't think I have a shot to get in off that waitlist.  Really at this point, I'm pretty committed to BC.  I signed the lease on an apartment and everything.  Plus, I think I'd enjoy Boston as a student more than I'd enjoy LA as a student. 

Signed a leased so early? Wow. I feel behind now. But going to BC locks you into the Northeast. I guess it's not so bad if you like Boston and/or NYC.

60
Wait List / Re: Waitlisted at UCLA
« on: April 24, 2008, 05:50:35 PM »
No, they don't rank their waitlist.

I am always baffled when people maintain that waitlists aren't ranked. Do adcomms pluck out people at random? No, of course not, they know some people on the list are better candidates than others and eventually call applicants up, one-at-a-time, in an order that they see fit.

That's illogical. If that were true then no one on the waitlist would have better stats than anyone rejected...and clearly that's false, since not very infrequently do you find people who are rejected having better stats than people on the waitlist... therefore, ranking the WL based on stats would be a direct double standard... Think about it.

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