Law School Discussion

anyone here thinks LSAT is easy?

Miss P

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Re: anyone here thinks LSAT is easy?
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2006, 01:50:52 PM »
You figured you'd actually pay attention to what you were doing for this thing, huh? Wow...It's clear that you transcend normal standards of intelligence.

You are a riot. Is the LSAT tough enough to distinguish anything, then? What you are doing (and you know this) is making light of the toil that we apes invest as we struggle through prep to reach our scores. I don't appreciate that. The LSAT is so simple and intuitive...yet I and so many others lack the ability to follow the simple patterns. 

I figure that there has to be some value to being honest in answering the OP's question. Not trying to piss you off. You are still convinced - as is evident from your post - that the LSAT measures intelligence; it doesn't. It measures familiarity with English, with argument, and with the format of the LSAT itself. On test day, it also measures concentration, endurance, and - for some - one's ability to remain levelheaded under exam pressure. That's pretty much it.

I think you're making two separate arguments: (1) that the LSAT does not test intelligence, and (2) that it is easy.  I roughly agree that the LSAT does not test intelligence, but I don't think that means it's easy. 

redemption

Re: anyone here thinks LSAT is easy?
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2006, 02:01:43 PM »
I think you're making two separate arguments: (1) that the LSAT does not test intelligence, and (2) that it is easy.  I roughly agree that the LSAT does not test intelligence, but I don't think that means it's easy. 

Not quite. One argument - it doesn't measure intelligence. And one testimony of personal experience - I found it easy.

Miss P

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Re: anyone here thinks LSAT is easy?
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2006, 02:14:39 PM »
I think you're making two separate arguments: (1) that the LSAT does not test intelligence, and (2) that it is easy.  I roughly agree that the LSAT does not test intelligence, but I don't think that means it's easy. 

Not quite. One argument - it doesn't measure intelligence. And one testimony of personal experience - I found it easy.

Right, but you said that it wasn't difficult enough to measure intelligence.  I don't think that's a matter of difficulty.  The test is obviously difficult for most people.

redemption

Re: anyone here thinks LSAT is easy?
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2006, 02:16:36 PM »
Right, but you said that it wasn't difficult enough to measure intelligence.  I don't think that's a matter of difficulty.  The test is obviously difficult for most people.

Not being able to read is not a measure of lack of intelligence. it's simply a matter of habit and practice.

I like you. You're feisty.

Miss P

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Re: anyone here thinks LSAT is easy?
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2006, 02:41:17 PM »
Right, but you said that it wasn't difficult enough to measure intelligence.  I don't think that's a matter of difficulty.  The test is obviously difficult for most people.
Not being able to read is not a measure of lack of intelligence. It's simply a matter of habit and practice.

On this, we agree.  I might add that this "habit and practice" is probably less a product of individual determination than of larger socio-cultural trends, but I agree that basic literacy has little to do with intelligence.

I also think the LSAT assesses something more than basic literacy, but this does not make it a test of intelligence. 

***

It's great that you found the test easy.  I also thought that it was fairly easy, though not as easy as it apparently was for you.  (I practiced a little less than you did, according to the number of diagnostic tests you list, but I practiced a bit below your 180s.)

I am troubled, however, by the insistence that it would be easy for others if they would just try harder or practice enough.  People have all sorts of limitations -- nerves, reading speed, learning disabilities, non-native reading language skills (e.g., idiom, vocab), etc. -- and you and I obviously have certain advantages -- elite education, for one.  (I could list more for myself, but I don't know enough about your background to comment further on yours.)  Innate intelligence, practice, and familiarity are not the only variables that control how someone does on the test. 

Quote
I like you. You're feisty.

I'll choose to take this as sincere.  Thank you!  I like you too.

redemption

Re: anyone here thinks LSAT is easy?
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2006, 02:57:32 PM »
Right, but you said that it wasn't difficult enough to measure intelligence.  I don't think that's a matter of difficulty.  The test is obviously difficult for most people.
Not being able to read is not a measure of lack of intelligence. It's simply a matter of habit and practice.

On this, we agree.  I might add that this "habit and practice" is probably less a product of individual determination than of larger socio-cultural trends, but I agree that basic literacy has little to do with intelligence.

I also think the LSAT assesses something more than basic literacy, but this does not make it a test of intelligence. 

***

It's great that you found the test easy.  I also thought that it was fairly easy, though not as easy as it apparently was for you.  (I practiced a little less than you did, according to the number of diagnostic tests you list, but I practiced a bit below your 180s.)

I am troubled, however, by the insistence that it would be easy for others if they would just try harder or practice enough.  People have all sorts of limitations -- nerves, reading speed, learning disabilities, non-native reading language skills (e.g., idiom, vocab), etc. -- and you and I obviously have certain advantages -- elite education, for one.  (I could list more for myself, but I don't know enough about your background to comment further on yours.)  Innate intelligence, practice, and familiarity are not the only variables that control how someone does on the test. 

Quote
I like you. You're feisty.

I'll choose to take this as sincere.  Thank you!  I like you too.

There are systematic biases that are shown up by the LSAT, yes. I ascribe this to an educational system that allows people to graduate from college not being to take an argument apart and put it back together; or to read a piece of magazine text and understand what it's saying.

I do not believe in innate intelligence, and, as I say, I don't believe that the LSAT is rigorous enough to measaure differences in innate intelligence even if such a thing existed.

There are people with learning disabilities, and the test should accomodate for that - I think it does.

Since it is not about innate intelligence, but instead about habit and practice, it seems only reasonable to suppose that everyone without a learning disability (and anyone who doesn't freak out on test day) could do well on the LSAT. The only variable is how long that would take. My somewhat educated guess, for what it's worth, would be that 4-6 months of steady practice of the rght sort should enable one to get 90+ raw.

The issue is how schools should use the LSAT score. I think that there's little to be gained by making fine distinctions between a 169 and a 172. My own preference is that each school set a cut-off score - say 167 for Harvard - that they require (as a measure of readiness, not of brains) and evaluate candidates that qualify on qualities other than their LSAT score.


pass36

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Re: anyone here thinks LSAT is easy?
« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2006, 03:08:09 PM »
I like everyone, as best I can.

But Red it is not just about habit and practice and you know it. 

I took zero (0) practice tests (didn't decide to apply to law school until after taking the test, which I took basically on a whim).  I did OK.  I did skim through a book about the test, so I knew what the formats were, but I didn't learn until right before the test that one could write on the test for example (I thought no scratch paper meant do it all in your head).

Could I have done better with practice?  Obviously.  But I don't think my score was simply random chance or luck either.

redemption

Re: anyone here thinks LSAT is easy?
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2006, 03:18:56 PM »
Practice reading, practice taking arguments apart and putting them back together, etc. You've done that at a high level for years. You've taught people how to do that. That counts. No wonder it was okay for you.

Miss P

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Re: anyone here thinks LSAT is easy?
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2006, 03:22:19 PM »
Since it is not about innate intelligence, but instead about habit and practice, it seems only reasonable to suppose that everyone without a learning disability (and anyone who doesn't freak out on test day) could do well on the LSAT. The only variable is how long that would take. My somewhat educated guess, for what it's worth, would be that 4-6 months of steady practice of the rght sort should enable one to get 90+ raw.

I think you overestimate individual agency in these matters.  What you call habit and practice is shaped by culture; it's much more than, say, a simple choice to prepare steadily for 4-6 months.  Among other things, it is shaped by an awareness of the importance of the test and one's own expectations for performance. Both of these are products of socioeconomic status, geography, culture, educational background, etc.

That said, the fact that the test is easy for some and not for others does not mean anything about the relative "intelligence" of the testtakers.  I agree wholeheartedly about this.  I just want to keep pushing you on whether the test's ability to measure intelligence (or lack thereof) has anything to do with its difficulty.

Bork

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Re: anyone here thinks LSAT is easy?
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2006, 03:28:02 PM »
What they need is a test designed to measure your passion and intensity levels...they should put you in a room with say....a chimpanze and then have you listen to a Boston album while this chimp leaps about. They could  see how you react to certain guitar solos while having monkey feces flung at your body.   :-\ I mean, if there was a test like this, I would own everybody. I'd be groovin with the monkey and air guitaring like a freakin maniac and then all the adcoms would be like, this guy has serious intensity and he is obviously passionate about Chimps and Boston. Powermaster out.