Law School Discussion

is the LSAT getting harder?

Marko

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is the LSAT getting harder?
« on: October 23, 2007, 08:01:30 PM »
1st post by me :)

When I ask people this question they always respond with the same answer: "it's a relative score so it can't get harder. The difficulty of the test gets adjusted anyway if the content is harder."

I know. Thanks Captain Obvious.

But, there are several reasons for why I believe it may be getting harder and what I mean by harder is different. I just mean that more people are getting less wrong, which shifts the scores down.

1) assuming the difficulty stayed consistent, the number of questions you can get wrong to get a 99%, for example, has gone down.  The general pattern before was anywhere from 12 to 10 wrong (with exceptions) but in the last couple of years it has been 6-8 wrong. I don't have it down to an exact science, it's just something I noticed.

2) before, a 171 and it was usually a 172 could have been a 99%, now it's 172-173 and the last one was a 173.

3) i think people are realizing it's not an aptitude test. you can study for it. it might take a year. but it can be done. as time passes, people see that by studying more they get better, and pass this knowledge down to people they know are studying.  over time the belief that you can study for it and not treat it as an aptitude test has grown more widespread (thanks Law School Discussions for that!)

4) i don't do as well on later tests (anecdotal evidence, sure but still...)

If so, LSAT masters, what does this mean? The good news is obviously that if it is getting harder since people don't see it as an aptitude test, then presumably all can take advantage of this.

Does anyone see this too? How far back do you think it goes? Any more precise evidence?

Are law schools realizing this?

tota

Re: is the LSAT getting harder?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2007, 08:43:05 PM »
I don’t know if the lsat is getting harder, but the scale is definitely getting stricter.  You need more correct now to get the same score than you did in the 90s.  This is likely due to the increased preparation that students now go through.  It simply means that people are doing better now than they were in the past.  I have heard, however, that the games sections have been getting a little easier while the reading sections have been getting a little harder over the years. 

Marko

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Re: is the LSAT getting harder?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2007, 08:47:04 PM »
i agree with that. that's exactly what I mean by harder.

i have heard that too! i think it's because it's harder to study for RC but much easier to improve on LG through studying. it makes sense that if you wanted to increase the difficulty of the lsat that you increase the difficulty of RC.

Re: is the LSAT getting harder?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2007, 10:50:59 PM »
Yeah the scale is getting more strict.  But that means that people, on average, are scoring higher (more questions correctly answered)  on the exam.  One might then argue that the test is getting easier.

Re: is the LSAT getting harder?
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2007, 09:37:40 AM »
I was consistently averaging 165 in 2003-2004 lsats. then in the 2005-2006 lsats it dropped consistently to 160-161.  But then for june 2007 and sept 2007 I got 163.  Im pretty consistent too so I think it did get harder.                 2005/6>2007>2004/3

Julie Fern

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Re: is the LSAT getting harder?
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2007, 12:28:28 PM »
hah!

Re: is the LSAT getting harder?
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2007, 01:14:22 PM »
Logic Games are definitely not as tricky as they used to be.  And Logic Games is by far the most learnable of the sections.  The first time I took a preptest cold, I didn't even get to 2 of the games and completely guessed.  After a couple months of study, I missed one question on the September exam. 

That being said, it's hard to gauge if LR and RC are easier or harder.  LR seems about the same as always.  They've thrown in the comparative passage for RC, but that didn't seem more difficult to me.  YMMV.  Also, these two sections respond less well to prep in my experience.

If you're not already doing very well on LG, that should be the area you spend most of your study time on.

So the LG are getting easier, and the RC may be getting more harder.  Really, the biggest difference that I can discern from earlier tests is the much stricter scale.  The content may even be somewhat easier, but you need to really nail it to get the same score that a somewhat more mediocre performance would have gotten you 10 years ago.

Marko

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Re: is the LSAT getting harder?
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2007, 07:05:56 PM »
lol that's the spirit!

i think RC is getting harder. it's also worth more and logic games is worth less. name a logic game section in the last 4 years that was worth 24.

good point about whether it will still remain a good predictor of 1st year performance.

also, most test prep courses blow so that's good for us.

Re: is the LSAT getting harder?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2007, 05:07:02 AM »
Older games were too polarizing = weakened predictive value.

There wasn't as much prep then, and test score requirements were lower. Less people also went to college so less competition.

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Re: is the LSAT getting harder?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2007, 05:09:18 AM »
2.  People did not in fact prep as much back then.  There was no TM, no PS, and no Bibles.  Just maybe Kaplan.

I seriously doubt the truth in this. Even if the current companies weren't around, that doesn't mean the applicants were less serious about their admissions. I find that very hard indeed to believe.