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Author Topic: LSAT Writing  (Read 450 times)

jarvis batman mcdyess

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LSAT Writing
« on: December 08, 2008, 01:21:04 AM »
sup yall, i just took the dec lsat.  i had never practiced writing before... that is, LSAT writing, but i thought i wrote a very solid argument (solid assumptions, good support, no loose ends etc.).

my problem is that my handwriting sucks.  i finished with some 3-5 minutes to spare, and in that time i went through and made a few minor edits, but more frequently i modified my t's so they looked more like t's, dotted my i's so they didn't look like l's, made my d's more curved, etc.  you get the idea.

even so, i feel as though the average reader will become very frustrated with this, and possibily allow that frustration to affect their appraisal of this essay.

so, does this just get photocopied in the original form into my LSAC file?  are schools likely to care? 

in my defense, in his decade or so, i rarely remember writing essays out by hand (im sure many others share this).  i can't really apologize for my handwriting - it is what it is, largely because learning to practice "good" handwriting never offered me great benefits, and i can type 5 times as fast as i can write. 

A. Douchowitz

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Re: LSAT Writing
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2008, 01:44:11 AM »
I'm hardly an expert and I'm sure someone more qualified to give you an answer will reply after me, but I have mostly gotten the impression (from other posts on LSD, opinions of previous test-takers and profs, etc.) that the writing sample probably won't matter.  It seems to only matter in "close call" situations.  As for the handwriting issue, I'd like to hear the answer as well.  I know they scan the writing sample, but I'm not sure if it's just scanned and available to view with your handwriting intact, or if it's converted to Times New Roman or whatever.

contrarian

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Re: LSAT Writing
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2008, 02:27:55 AM »
I'm hardly an expert and I'm sure someone more qualified to give you an answer will reply after me, but I have mostly gotten the impression (from other posts on LSD, opinions of previous test-takers and profs, etc.) that the writing sample probably won't matter.  It seems to only matter in "close call" situations.  As for the handwriting issue, I'd like to hear the answer as well.  I know they scan the writing sample, but I'm not sure if it's just scanned and available to view with your handwriting intact, or if it's converted to Times New Roman or whatever.

The most reasonable assumption would be that they scan and provide the digital image as is.  Handwriting recognition simply isn't that sophisticated to generate a reliable script-to-text representation, especially absent a sample set of your writing to familiarize their recognition engine with your style of writing.  The resulting text would be riddled with spelling errors and words used in the wrong context (if they used an algorithm that attempted to correct those words).

That said, my handwriting is also a mess.  I haven't written anything at length for decades.  Even the signed statement at the start of the test cramped my hand midway through.  I'm sure this is a known factor and probably would be the least of your worries. 

Unless you're up against someone with the exact same LSAT, GPA, extracurricular history, work history, school and undergraduate degree, personal statement. 

A. Douchowitz

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Re: LSAT Writing
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2008, 04:20:07 AM »
I'm hardly an expert and I'm sure someone more qualified to give you an answer will reply after me, but I have mostly gotten the impression (from other posts on LSD, opinions of previous test-takers and profs, etc.) that the writing sample probably won't matter.  It seems to only matter in "close call" situations.  As for the handwriting issue, I'd like to hear the answer as well.  I know they scan the writing sample, but I'm not sure if it's just scanned and available to view with your handwriting intact, or if it's converted to Times New Roman or whatever.

The most reasonable assumption would be that they scan and provide the digital image as is.  Handwriting recognition simply isn't that sophisticated to generate a reliable script-to-text representation, especially absent a sample set of your writing to familiarize their recognition engine with your style of writing.  The resulting text would be riddled with spelling errors and words used in the wrong context (if they used an algorithm that attempted to correct those words).

That said, my handwriting is also a mess.  I haven't written anything at length for decades.  Even the signed statement at the start of the test cramped my hand midway through.  I'm sure this is a known factor and probably would be the least of your worries. 

Unless you're up against someone with the exact same LSAT, GPA, extracurricular history, work history, school and undergraduate degree, personal statement. 

I agree about the writing being exhausting.  The ol' forearm got a little sore by the end of the writing sample.  I'm sure handwriting doesn't matter, I was mainly curious about how the sample is made available for review and, now that I think about it, you're absolutely right about it being a much more reasonable assumption that the sample is presented as-is.