I can understand what you are trying to say, but I think you missed my point.
What I am saying is that some seem to think that a person should be able to perform on the LSAT to the best of their ability the first time. If the performance lacks, for what ever reason, the person should be disregarded for LS due to the inability to "get it right" the first time. Second, on the issue of averaging. Some would believe that the scores should follow the person. Then wouldn't it follow that bar scores should follow as well?
After all, someone that makes a 170 on a second test showed the same skill at answering questions as someone that did so the first time around. Just as a person that shows enough skill to pass a bar exam, whether it is the first or second attempt.
I agree that someone who makes a 170 on a second test showed the same skill at answering questions as someone that did so the first times around. HOWEVER, he/she had the right to cancell it if he/she bombed it the first time for whatever reason...No one has EVER said that people will not get second chance for LSAT test. Indeed, LS give weight for one's improvement by AVERAGING the score. If you made mistake, you have to live with it. Think about the real world, if you are a lawyer and you screwed your client first time because you didn't do enough research/effort for the work, even if you recover from it by doing it right the second time, your work can't be considered the same as someone who did it right the first time. It is the nature of the business...
So we agree that a 170, whether it is the first or second time, is still the same skill level. Each applicant demonstrates that they have the same potential to perform in the first year of LS similarly. The person taking the test the second time now has developed the skills (otherwise they would not have achieved the 170) necessary that the LSAT assumes are required to do so. So why should the test taker continued to be measured as someone that does not possess these skills?
Second, I never stated that a person could not take the test again if they had performed in a sub-par fashion. The point is whether they should still be judged at a level that is not representative of their abilities. Basically, person 1 goes in and scored well, person 2 doesn’t. Person 2 studies, learns logic, learns to evaluate arguments, and improves to a higher score. Doesn’t person 2 now possess the same skill level as person 1? Wouldn’t they be able to use the same skill as person 1? Both persons are now at the same skill level and would have the same assumed abilities for LS and therefore should be judged the same in the LSAT’s eyes in my opinion.
Regarding the cancellation of scores…it is true you are free to cancel if you “bomb” it. However, since this is rather difficult to determine because you are blind to your score, the person has no idea how they actually did until they receive their score. So, if a person “knew” they bombed it and cancelled their score. Then went and studied, came back retested and scored higher is better qualified for LS than a person who test at the same level that didn’t cancel a poor test? It is back to whether a person should be judged at the level they finally achieve or at a level that might not be indicative of their true potential ability.
About mistakes…I didn’t realize that someone with a high LSAT score was able to achieve an error free practice of law. I understand what you are saying regarding the need for competent lawyers and the need for accuracy. But I don’t think you could assume how someone will perform in their practice based upon the LSAT. Because as others has mentioned, the LSAT doesn’t test one’s knowledge of the law, just the ability of the person to perform on the LSAT and the first year of LS. The bar exam (the point you haven’t addressed and I would like to understand what you think) would be a much better indicator as to the person’s ability to be a good attorney.
Finally, if you believe that lawyers never make mistakes, then get prepared for some new information. Lawyers make mistakes all the time, and carry malpractice insurance for that very reason. No one can be perfect all the time. That is the true nature of the business. And what you get on one test, one time, is not, cannot be a good indication as to the attorney he/she will be in the actual practice of law.