Law School Discussion

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Messages - tealight

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11
Wait List / Re: Surprise from UVa
« on: April 02, 2005, 10:52:16 AM »
Is the forum they have on that site only for admitted students??

12
Wait List / Re: Duke Priority Waitlist
« on: April 02, 2005, 10:42:50 AM »
It's for both summer and fall.  And yes, it contains the words "priority" and "waitlist."

13
Wait List / Duke Priority Waitlist
« on: April 01, 2005, 09:47:20 PM »
Anyone else on it?  Does anyone have more information about it?

14
Wait List / Re: UVA Waitlist
« on: March 21, 2005, 05:29:39 PM »
Hi, I haven't received anything yet.  Have your on-line status checks been changed to "decision?"

15

I maintain that among the things the test measures, it is ability to perform when the stakes are high. So choking should indeed be punished.


Yes, but:

(a) Insofar as it's a measure of "ability to perform when the stakes are high", it's only a measure of ability to perform ON STANDARDIZED TESTS when the stakes are high.  Are you prepared to present evidence that choking on the LSAT is highly predictive of choking while negotitating, preparing a brief at the last minute, or arguing before a Court of Appeals?  None of those things bears the slightest resemblance to the LSAT.


Good point.

16
I think I've found a way to destroy the whole "take the highest LSAT score" thing once and for all.

Let's apply the Swiftian principle of taking the notion to its extreme to see where it takes us.

If the highest LSAT were taken, then you would have college students taking EVERY LSAT test possible for four years.  Thats 20 tests, I suppose.  Then, out of that twenty, one would be significantly higher (out of happenstance or constant repetition).  The schools would be forced to take the highest and the overall applicant pool, while sporting higher numbers, would suffer in overall quality.

I treated the ACT this way, since scores weren't averaged.  I made a 28 the first time and a 33 the second.  I took it a third time and made another 33.  There's no way I would have taken it a third time if the scores were averaged.

In another vein, people who scored a 176 would continuously try for a 180, in order to have a better chance at Harvard.  The testing centers would be clogged up beyond repair.  The entire scale would crumble because all of the scores would be inflated through repeated test administrations. 


If you averaged all twenty scores, you would get a much more accurate snapshot of that person's progress.  This is why your GPA is an average, not just the best grades you received.  It encompasses everything, not just one moment.


Okay.  The first flaw I see is that you are assuming that taking the LSAT is painless and costless, which is untrue.  Think of the time, agony, waiting period, money, work, psychological distress, etc. that goes into studying and preparing for the LSAT.  Do you remember the primates on the LSAT board during the Feb. LSAT wait?  Some may have the drive to take it over and over again, but these would be a select few.  For instance, even now only 3.2% of test takers take the LSAT more than twice. 

Quote from LSAC:

"Individuals need not take the LSAT more than once unless they believe some circumstance, such as illness or anxiety, prevented them from performing as well as they might have expected. Most people take the test only once; last year 78.8 percent of the total number of test takers took the LSAT just one time; 18.0 percent took the test twice; and approximately 3.2 percent took the LSAT more than twice."

http://www.lsac.org/LSAC.asp?url=/additional-info/lsat-repeater-data.asp

Second, data show that scores for repeat test takers often rise slightly. However, if your score is a fairly accurate indicator of your ability, it is unlikely that taking the test again will result in a substantially different score. You should also be aware that there is a chance your score will drop. "

Taking the highest score would separate out those applicants who are willing to work for a better score if they don't do the well on the first try.  And IMO that is a crucial skill for a lawyer to have. 

But in response to your worry about LSAC being inundated by LSAT takers, I doubt they would mind if they could make a profit.  What's more, they could just maintain their current three times in a two-year period limit.

Also interesting from the LSAC data page, those who score 169 and above seem to have on average over a 50% chance of doing worse the second time around.

17
Averaging LSAT scores is probably one of the more effective socio-economic equalizers.  If they didn't average scores, the 'rich kids' could take the LSAT over and over until they got the score they were satisfied with.  The 'poor kids' would just have to take their one shot at it because they couldn't afford $100+ it costs to take the LSAT each time.  Just my 2.

Except that those who need to take it more than once might not have had the money for prep courses.

This is true, but I'm not convinced that a prep course offers more than what can be learned from books.

Learning, maybe.  Simulated testing environment, no.  Testing yourself just isn't the same. 

18
Some people have the aptitude and yet choke on the day of the test.  Does this mean that they should be treated like someone who got a score that actually measured their aptitude

I ask again, what does the test measure? If there is no accord on this question, the whole discussion is fruitless.

I maintain that among the things the test measures, it is ability to perform when the stakes are high. So choking should indeed be punished.

Excellent point.  What ARE they testing??  I agree that one component is how well you take exams.  But in law school, you take multiple exams, not just one for the entire three years.  In other words, the next similar high stakes exam we'll take is the bar.  And I don't think anyone claims that the LSAT predicts bar performance.

19
Averaging LSAT scores is probably one of the more effective socio-economic equalizers.  If they didn't average scores, the 'rich kids' could take the LSAT over and over until they got the score they were satisfied with.  The 'poor kids' would just have to take their one shot at it because they couldn't afford $100+ it costs to take the LSAT each time.  Just my 2.

Except that those who need to take it more than once might not have had the money for prep courses.

20
Some people have the aptitude and yet choke on the day of the test.  Does this mean that they should be treated like someone who got a score that actually measured their aptitude? 

Example: John scores 167s on his practice tests and scores a 155 on the real thing.  Mary scores 152s on practice tests and scores a 155 on the real thing.  Ask yourself whether these test takers should be treated equally.  What if John takes the test again and then scores a 167?  Is the average of 161 his best predictor? 

Most people really don't score outside of their score band.  But some do.  Perhaps LSAC should only average scores that fall within the same score band.  Even if schools adopt different policies of admitting candidates with averaged LSATs and taking the higher one, they suffer in the rankings game.  This then limits the sovereignty of the schools on determining their own policies.



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