Law School Discussion

"Demonstrated history of poor test taking"

HippieLawChick

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"Demonstrated history of poor test taking"
« on: August 04, 2005, 04:18:52 PM »
Why would a school consider this an "excuse" for a crappy LSAT?  Wouldn't that mean that you would also do poorly on your law school tests/exams or maybe even the bar exam?


king

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Re: "Demonstrated history of poor test taking"
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2005, 04:34:24 PM »
Why would a school consider this an "excuse" for a crappy LSAT?  Wouldn't that mean that you would also do poorly on your law school tests/exams or maybe even the bar exam?



There are people who had a poor SAT score but went on to have a 3.9 college GPA at a good school.  So the SAT underestimated their college performance so that the LSAT would also underestimate their law school potential.  This is the theory (I am not saying that I believe it or not). 

twarga

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Re: "Demonstrated history of poor test taking"
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2005, 04:41:37 PM »
Undergrad and law school are apples and oranges.

_____

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Re: "Demonstrated history of poor test taking"
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2005, 04:47:30 PM »
I think part of the problem is a lack of definition...

You need to be saying "Demonstrated history of poor STANDARDIZED test taking."

Because if you got a 3.9 in UG, you can take tests--just not standardized ones, maybe...

(If you don't insert the word Standardized, yeah, you're basically saying you're an idiot, because it would mean you're admitting that either (a) you had ZERO tests in undergrad, or (b) you cheated your a$$ off.)


shadowcreeper

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Re: "Demonstrated history of poor test taking"
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2005, 05:38:48 PM »
I wrote an LSAT addendum about my history of poor standardized test taking. I took the SAT a number of times and did not score in a manner that depicted how I would do in college. My college and Masters GPA showed that standardized testing scores did not represent my academic abilities. In my situation, I was able to back up my claims.

The LSAT and other standardized tests are far from being actual law school exams. I am not an expert on law school exams, but from the two I took to gain admission into the law school that I am going to attend, they are nothing like the LSAT. Law school exams are mostly blue book style tests. There are some multiple choice questions, but they do not count for a large chunk of the grade. Most of your grade depends on how well you handle essay questions: recognize the issues, define the law that relates to the issues, analyze how the law relates to the facts and issues, and sum it up in a nice conclusion. You really need to be able to write and communicate your essay answers with clarity and confidence to do well on law school exams. Which is fine by me since I always excelled on blue book exams.

I am sure that if someone claims they test poorly but got an awesome SAT score then they would not really have anything to back up their claim about testing poorly. The excuse may be used in situations where it is not valid. But, there are actually people out there who just do not handle standardized tests well. Luckily the bar is a good mix of Multiple choice and essay questions.

Re: "Demonstrated history of poor test taking"
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2005, 10:14:26 PM »
I took the SAT three times and didn't crack a 1020 even with the best two scores out of the three tests combined.  I graduated with a 3.67.  Without my one "F," I would have graduated with a 3.78.  Should I mention these two facts in an addendum? 

HippieLawChick

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Re: "Demonstrated history of poor test taking"
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2005, 10:10:51 AM »
Nice discussion in this thread.  I got that people might do better in school than these tests might indicate, but since schools base so much on the LSAT, I wonder how much a statement in an addendum might actually help.

Re: "Demonstrated history of poor test taking"
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2005, 10:30:45 AM »
Unless there is a marked discrepancy between two LSAT scores, I would choose not to write an addendum, even if it were meant to address a single poor score. A low GPA, because it is over the course of a long period time, merits an explanation, but an addendum meant to explain one bad LSAT score smacks of whining.

practiceboy02

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Re: "Demonstrated history of poor test taking"
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2005, 11:18:41 AM »
Unless there is a marked discrepancy between two LSAT scores, I would choose not to write an addendum, even if it were meant to address a single poor score. A low GPA, because it is over the course of a long period time, merits an explanation, but an addendum meant to explain one bad LSAT score smacks of whining.

I don't agree.  A "low" score might actually be a generally high score but perhaps a few points under what a school asks for.  If you write something that sounds whinny, then of course it will be perceived that way.  If you write an effective piece and support your argument why other factors are a better indicator of why a school should accept you, it won't be.  When being judged on criteria that is, in essence, not entirely fair, you should do all you can to present yourself in the best light and make a clear and concise picture of why you are an ideal candidate. 

But isn't your application itself already the "why you should accept me" part?  It seems entirely redundant (and kind of whiny/making excuses) to say "You should accept me despite my sub-par LSAT score because of the rest of my file."

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Re: "Demonstrated history of poor test taking"
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2005, 11:23:09 AM »
But isn't your application itself already the "why you should accept me" part?  It seems entirely redundant (and kind of whiny/making excuses) to say "You should accept me despite my sub-par LSAT score because of the rest of my file."

I don't think it's whiny at all to say, "You asked for a full picture of me, and so I am presenting it." 

I mean, if they wanted to see only your LSAT and GPA, that's all they would ask for, and no one would be writing any personal statements, nor would we need LORs.

They are asking for a full picture--I see nothing wrong with giving it to them.