Showing posts with label LSAC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LSAC. Show all posts

Digital LSAT Uses Samsung Tablets, Reuses Test Questions

A recent article in the National Law Journal (alternate link) gave some more juicy details on the upcoming computerization / digitization of the LSAT.

As I've previously written, there will be a digital LSAT pilot test on May 20.

LSAC will provide Samsung tablets connected to a "hub computer" at the test center, so you won't be taking the LSAT on a computer or an iPad.


Some details from the National Law Journal (emphasis added):

Each testing center will be equipped with a hub computer, or “mother ship” as the LSAC’s technology team has dubbed them, which will communicate with the Samsung tablets provided to each test taker. The test questions will only be available on the hubs and tablets during the actual test and are heavily encrypted. Stealing a tablet or hub computer would be useless to anyone hoping to get their hands on the questions early, Lowry said.
Purchasing the tablets and developing the testing system required a significant upfront investment by the LSAC, he added. 
“Because we reuse test items, it’s really important that we have rock-solid security,” Lowry said. “We just didn’t think that the, ‘bring your own computer’ model would be secure enough.”

Unsurprisingly, LSAC is incredibly concerned about test security, as always. This has been one of the barriers to computerizing the LSAT for a while. If LSAC's going to computerize or "tablet-ize" the LSAT, they want to do it right.

One of the most interesting details of all, though, is that LSAC announced they'll be reusing test questions for the digital LSAT. Up to this point, they've only reused questions from unreleased exams (the undisclosed February LSATs, overseas administrations, Sabbath observers' administrations, etc.)


Does this mean once the LSAT is administered via tablet:

1. they'll stop releasing numbered PrepTests?

2. your friend could takes the LSAT on Monday, you take it on Tuesday, and you see some of the same questions?

3. people more familiar with Samsung tablets will have an advantage?

4. LSAC will release practice exams in an interactive, tablet-friendly digital format?

5. you'll get your answers immediately?

6. you'll be able to take the LSAT almost anytime?

7. the LSAT will reduce competition from the GRE?


Lots of questions, not many answers, at least right now.


Some speculation on these questions:

1. Releasing numbered PrepTests: My guess is that LSAC will continue to release numbered PrepTests until the test is only available on tablet (assuming they switch 100% to tablet-based administrations). They'll probably release the occasional "Official Guide" with a few full-length practice tests to reflect any minor changes to the test.


2. Reusing questions: Because they will re-use questions (just like the GMAT and GRE), you may see the same questions as your friend on different days, but because the pool of questions will be very large, that's not likely to be a major issue. If anyone can master the statistics necessary to avoid cheating aka "contamination," it's the psychometrician geniuses at LSAC.


3. Familiarity with Samsung tablets: Familiarity with the technology will probably help, but I'm guessing the tablets will be simple-enough to use for most people that familiarity with Samsung tablets, or tablets in general, won't be a huge advantage.


4. Releasing interactive practice tests: LSAC may or may not not release interactive tablet-friendly digital PrepTests for Samsung, iPad, etc. to help with studying, but they'll probably release a handful of interactive practice exams*. Even if you don't have a tablet, it'd probably help to be able to practice on a smartphone, especially if you have one with a large screen.

It'd be great if they did release a digital practice test for mobile devices, but I wouldn't count on it happening in the short-term.

When LSAC moves, they move slowly and deliberately. This makes sense for something like test security, but there's also the saying, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

Personally, I'm hoping LSAC releases some tablet-friendly practice tests before fully digitizing the exam, just so you'll be able to practice with the new format before Test Day.


5 / 6. Convenience taking exam and getting scores back: No matter what - the tablet-based LSAT will be much more convenient for students, so I'm really excited about this.

They'll probably offer it Monday-Friday or Monday-Thursday on most weekdays, excluding holidays, etc. in contrast to only 4 times per year.

You'll probably get your score with detailed breakdowns immediately after taking the test. No more need to wait 3-4 weeks for your score, and you'll be able to decide right away whether you need to retake. You get to avoid the ambiguity of not knowing what to do next. And avoiding ambiguity might just be the biggest benefit of all.

7. Competition from the GRE: Right now, nearly all law schools still only accept the LSAT for law school admissions. The GRE's a much more consumer-friendly test, less scary to applicants and much more convenient to take. However, once the LSAT's computerized, the GRE will lose some of its advantage. Plus, many law school applicants are more scared of math than logic games, so the LSAT might still maintain its advantage in the end. Only time will tell.


If you take the digital LSAT pilot test on May 20, please reach out and let us know how it goes!



* Note: The only interactive digital practice test released to date is the LSAT ItemWise, which is the February 1997 LSAT. The other digital format LSATs for Kindle, Nook, etc. are not interactive, so I don't recommend using them. I believe LSAC has released PrepTests for Kindle and Nook because it was easy to do so, and they believed it was a more secure digital format than PDFs, not because it adequately reflected the upcoming test format.

LSAT vs GRE: Will Students Choose GRE for Law School Admissions?


A few weeks ago, I suggested the number of LSATs administered isn't likely to drop even if the GRE spreads from Harvard Law School to other top law schools.

Why?

Because the number of GMATs administered stayed the same, even when GRE spread across top business schools.


But, since then, I've done some more digging.

And, it turns out, the total number of GMAT tests administered actually doesn't tell the full story.

***

While the total number of GMAT tests administered remained steady over the GMAT testing years 2008-2016 (around 262,000)...

The number of GMAT tests administered within the U.S. specifically has steadily dropped over the past 5 years -  from 117,511 to 83,410 (about 34,000).

That's a drop of nearly 30%!


So, what's helped to make up some of the difference for GMATs administered during that time?

International growth, a lot of it coming from Asia.

Specifically:

* East and Southeast Asia (primarily due to China) increased over 11,000 tests administered (interestingly, mostly women)

* Central and South Asia (primarily due to India) increased by over 3,000 tests administered.


One could argue this means LSAT numbers will drop with competition from the GRE, and that may be true within the U.S.

However, like GMAC (the GMAT-makers), LSAC has also been looking into international expansion.


India

A few years ago, LSAC started licensing their content to Pearson for the LSAT-India, and the LSAT-India is now accepted by dozens of law schools.

(And, like the U.S., India's had its own law school bubble.)


Puerto Rico

They've also offered a version of the LSAT in Spanish for students in Puerto Rico for a few years now. (The number of tests administered is only a couple hundred.)


China

Most interestingly, they've offered a version of the LSAT in China (the LSAT-STL) for non-native speakers.

Given the success of the GMAT in that market, it represents the LSAT's biggest growth potential...if LSAC can market it there.


Of course, potential is just that, potential.

The LSAT-India gets a lot of competition from the Common Law Admission Test, which appears to be the dominant law school entrance exam over there.

Puerto Rico's a tiny market, and LSAC hasn't marketed the Spanish LSAT to other law schools in Latin America.

It looks like the LSAT-STL in China was a small pilot project that didn't go anywhere.


Additionally, while India and China are enormous markets, students in those countries don't have the same desire to go to American law schools as they do to go to top-ranked American (or overseas) business schools.

And that makes sense - business is global, but legal education (and licensing) varies from country to country.


LSAC needs to market itself domestically to law schools within each country or partner with organizations that can do so for them.

I've read several of LSAC's reports, it doesn't seem they've done enough to combat what will likely be a serious decline in LSATs administered if the GRE spreads to other law schools.

But...we'll see what happens.

There's a key difference between:

* GMAT vs. GRE

and

* LSAT vs. GRE



The GMAT and GRE both contain math, and GRE math is much easier than GMAT math.


The LSAT doesn't contain math, and many future law students are scared of math (that's part of why they opted for law school). So some students may choose the LSAT simply in order to avoid math.


(Of course, Logic Games might seem tough also, but applicants don't have prior exposure to them, while they do have prior exposure to math.)






Note: LSAC confirmed that the LSAT-India and LSAT-STL are not factored into the overall number of LSATs administered (probably since the test forms are slightly different).


Harvard Law Accepting GRE Scores: An LSAT-Style Logical Fallacy

Harvard Law Accepting GRE LSAT Logical Fallacy
In the days since Harvard Law announced their decision to start accepting GRE scores, I've wondered if perhaps I was being unfair in my analysis - maybe Harvard does really want more international applicants, engineers, etc. for the sake of diversifying the student body.

And, yes, it's true, the change will lead to a wider and more diverse pool...but I can't shake the nagging feeling that something's fishy going on here.

Because, despite all that:

They haven't adequately made the argument that the GRE is a valid predictor of 1L grades the way the LSAT is!

The study they used to support their claim that the GRE is an equally valid predictor of 1L grades was only based on a sample of current and former HLS students (details here). This is a population likely to do well on a variety of standardized tests and likely to do well in law school - and they didn't study any other group!

To describe it in more formal terms, their argument is strictly correlational within a group of high-achieving, high-aptitude Harvard Law students - there's no control group! As a result, there's no way we can to separate those with only great test scores on each exam from those with only high GPAs and predict each group's 1L grades.

In short, from the information they've released, there's no indication they've made a rigorous attempt to study the GRE's validity as a standardized test independently of their own population.


To me, this suggests they're doing this for more self-interested reasons - rankings, applicant pool size, etc. In fact, I believe HLS hasn't attempted to demonstrate the GRE's predictive validity because they know (or at least suspect) that the GRE isn't an equally valid predictor of 1L grades. My guess is they expect the ABA to allow it anyway because law schools need the applicants. (And, if so, they're probably right about this.)


Why does this all matter? Who cares if the LSAT's a better indicator of 1L grades?

Because while anyone Harvard admits will likely be fine in the end, this change will create a domino effect at other lower-tier schools as they take advantage of the opportunity to expand their class sizes without suffering in the US News rankings.

The LSAT is almost certainly a better indicator of 1L grades - it functions as a barrier to prevent the admission of students likely to flunk out.

Similarly, it's likely a better indicator of students' ability to pass the bar exam - acting as a barrier to prevent the admission of students who might waste 3 years of their lives and over $100,000 in tuition money, yet still not be able to practice law in the end.

Top-tier applicants will likely still opt for the LSAT because they want to show they can ace it, while those who find it more difficult will do their best on the GRE. And many students will likely take both exams just to see which one they have more initial aptitude for. While math-phobia may deter some students from trying the GRE, I can't help wondering whether "Games-phobia" will deter applicants from the LSAT. Only time will tell.



Harvard Law Accepting the GRE: Will Students Stop Taking the LSAT?

UPDATE: LSAT vs GRE: Will Students Choose GRE for Law School Admissions?

***

Harvard Law GRE Students Taking LSAT
I previously wrote about Harvard Law's frankly-BS (pardon my French) argument for adding the GRE option, but I wanted to briefly answer another pressing question:

(This one's especially for my colleagues in the LSAT biz, and fellow LSAT lovers.)


Will the LSAT's popularity drop significantly over the next few years? Is it time to start brushing up on random-ass vocabulary words and middle-school math?

Let's look at what happened to the number of GMAT exams administered after business schools started accepting the GRE:

* 265,613 GMAT exams administered from July 2008- June 2009.

261,248 GMAT exams administered from July 2015 - June 2016.

The bottom line: Despite the GRE's widespread adoption in that market (starting in 2006), GMAT test administrations are still around the recent baseline average from 2008-2013.


See below graph from this article:



(Note: Top business schools began accepting GRE scores as an alternative to the GMAT in 2006, so this chart reflects the competition between the two exams. And, for those wondering, the GMAT spike in 2011-12, and subsequent drop, was due to students taking it early to avoid an impending change to the test that occurred in the 2012-13 cycle.)


It'll likely take a few years for the full consequences of this change to play out, and if anything, it'll most likely lead to more law school applicants overall (not necessarily a significant decline in LSAT takers). Many people will take both, or at least look at both, and see where they do better percentile-wise...

Ironically, if anything, this will lead students to spend more on test prep, since many will take both the LSAT and the GRE. By "increasing access to legal education," law schools are the only winners here.


Further Reading:

LSAT Blog: Harvard Law Accepting GRE Scores: An LSAT-Style Logical Fallacy


Harvard Law Drops LSAT Requirement, Takes GRE for Law School Admission

Harvard Law LSAT requirement GRE
UPDATE: Harvard Law Accepting the GRE: Will Students Stop Taking the LSAT?

***

Lots of LSAT news lately:

1. The Khan Academy is coming out with an LSAT prep product next year.

2. Harvard Law will start to accept the GRE as an alternative.


The silver lining on Harvard Law taking the GRE:

I'm not happy about the Harvard/GRE change overall, but I suppose the silver lining for me is the schadenfreude of seeing LSAC (the people who make the LSAT) get some serious competition from the GRE.

LSAC has been slow to computerize the LSAT and, as a result, still only offers it 4 times a year!

So, if something goes wrong with one test administration, students have to wait several months.

This has hurt an ENORMOUS percentage of students over the years.

Additionally the policies on test postponement/withdrawal/cancellation (and associated fees) have been harsh - students who can't really afford all the fees still have to shell out money to the LSAC monopoly as they postpone in their test dates, prepare for retakes, etc.

So, mayyyybeeee LSAC will loosen up a bit and become more consumer-friendly as a result. Could they increase the speed of computerizing the LSAT, be more flexible on test changes, etc.? We'll see.


Harvard's (flawed) argument for accepting GRE scores for law school admission:

LSAC is the bureaucracy we all love to hate, but their massive army of nerds does manage to consistently produce a great test year after year.

I'm very surprised to hear the claim that the GRE is an equally valid predictor of 1L grades as the LSAT - I think the LSAT is a much better test overall, and especially so for law school admission purposes.


Maybe I'm biased - after all, I do love the LSAT and am kinda obsessed with it - but no other test comes even close to the LSAT's sophistication.

AND, if one does, I'd begrudgingly admit it's the GMAT with its Critical Reasoning and Data Sufficiency questions.

I've often thought the GRE is a lazy test: re-using SAT-style content for all different grad school programs? Srsly?

Most of it has little relevance to legal reasoning. Could the GRE really apply THAT well to what's needed for such a large variety of graduate-level programs?


*** We're now living in a world where someone can get a JD/MBA from Harvard Law without taking either the LSAT or the GMAT - two of the best graduate school admission tests out there! ***


For Harvard, I think this is mainly an effort to get more high-achieving students, given the decline in 170+ applicants. It may spread across T14, then ripple down to the others. The biggest negative consequences would be for the students at the lower end of the spectrum who won't be able to pass the bar.

Harvard talked about "increasing access to legal education." I think this is code for "let's keep low-end law schools in business by allowing 'access' to customers who shouldn't be going at all."


So...."access to legal education" = "access to law school debt"


At the same time, higher-end schools will have more access to smart students in the arms race for a leg up the rankings, and potentially allow them to increase their class sizes, bar passage rates, and tuition $$$ as well.


More reasons why the "access to legal education" argument doesn't work:

There's more free LSAT content out there than ever before - the rate at which it's added has increased significantly over the past few years as companies offer free content to attract students to their paid offerings. Khan Academy for LSAT will be yet another addition, but it would've had a much bigger impact if it came out 5-10 years ago.

It's always nice to have another option, but it's much less "necessary" than ever before. Free LSAT prep is widely available. An Internet-savvy student could fully prepare without spending a dime.



What will the future bring?

I'll be curious to see what happens with the GRE and law school admissions over the next few years, but I don't think anyone applying this cycle (or anyone working in the LSAT industry) has to worry too much about it for now.

It's easy to imagine the worst case scenario (massive drop in LSAT test-takers), but let's wait and see if other top schools actually start allowing the option as well.


Bottom line:

Could it simply be that even top law schools just don't care that much about which test they accept (assuming some minimal standard of quality)?

Do they just want the testing process to be as smooth as possible for consumers (errr...students) in order to increase:

* size of applicant pool
* selectivity
* yield
* US News rankings
* class size / tuition $$$

Sadly, I think "yes."

Khan Academy Offering Free LSAT Prep in 2018

Yes, it's true.

The Khan Academy will begin offering free LSAT prep videos starting in the second half of 2018.

I'm very excited about this - I've been a huge fan of the Khan Academy for a long time, and they're part of the reason I've been inspired to offer lots of free LSAT materials myself over the years.

They're partnering directly with LSAC, similar to what they've already done with the College Board for the SAT.

The formal writing we see in LSAC publications like the LSAT SuperPrep book is often inaccessible to the average student, so I'm hoping the Khan Academy will replicate what they've done for other exams, rather than just create a video version of SuperPrep.

I have high hopes, though - the Khan Academy has a great track record of making difficult concepts easier to understand.


Here's a video of the announcement from Salman Khan himself:




If you're looking for more details, LSAC's issued a press release about this.

I'm been in touch with the creator of the Khan Academy's LSAT course and gave some feedback on an early version of the course's curriculum a few months ago. I'm hoping to remain involved as they develop it.

If you're looking for free LSAT prep videos in the meantime, I've released nearly 200 of them. And I've also released a series of affordable LSAT courses.

As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need anything as you prep!










Tablet-Based Digital LSAT (on iPad?)

In the most recent issue of LSAC's newsletter (PDF, page 5), the interim president, Athornia Steele writes:

I am particularly excited about the progress of the research on the possibility of offering a tablet-based Digital LSAT. We anticipate moving into the field-testing phase of this research in spring 2017.

Looks like LSAC is moving ahead with administering a digital LSAT via tablet (maybe iPad?), rather than on a desktop or laptop computer.

But, as always, any statements they make about computerizing it for everyone are extremely vague. I still think  it'll be a LONG time (several years) before they release a computerized version. And when they do computerize it, I'm sure they'll announce far in advance.

While the GMAT, GRE, and MCAT are all administered digitally, I think it'll still be a long and slow road for LSAC to finally computerize the LSAT.


Previously:

Get Ready for a Computer-Based LSAT - LSAC Moving Forward with Digital LSAT

Digital LSAT? LSAC Studies LSAT Administration Via Tablet





Get Ready for a Computer-Based LSAT - LSAC Moving Forward with Digital LSAT

The LSAT is the only graduate-level standardized test still administered with pencil-and-paper.

But we're not in the 20th century anymore.

LSAC has played around with the idea of moving to a computer or tablet-based test for a while, but never done anything about it (possibly due to concerns about cheating).

That may be changing.

A pre-law advisor in the Dallas, TX, area just got the following email from a "User Experience Recruiting Manager" at Usability Sciences Corporation.

Usability Sciences, a user experience research firm located in the Las Colinas area, is currently working with the Law School Admission Council to conduct one-on-one usability sessions (similar to focus groups) in June and we need both those who are planning to take the LSAT and those who have already taken the LSAT. If you plan to take the LSAT in the future, the exposure to the LSAT question types during this study may be of value to you in your test preparation efforts. If you’ve already taken the LSAT, your feedback will be of great value to this research.

Sessions will be conducted in June (at Usability Sciences in Las Colinas) and will last approximately 90 minutes.  Those who qualify and participate will receive $100 for their time (you only need to attend one 90-minute session on one day).

This research is being conducted on behalf of the Law School Admission Council. If interested in participating, please send an email to recruiter@usabilitysciences.com and indicate that you are interested in the LSAC study.  Once more information and dates become available, Usability Sciences will contact you directly.

If you participate, please reach out and let us know what it's like!



Before LSAT Test Day, Upload Photo for LSAT Admission Ticket to LSAC

Starting with the June 2016 LSAT, the Law School Admission Council wants your selfies before Test Day.

Previously, LSAC only required you to bring a photo to LSAT Test Day with your admission ticket. Now, they want to create a database of test-takers' photos.

(For those of you taking the December or February LSATs, remember to bring a passport-sized photo!)

Part of the change is probably for "test security" purposes - after all, people often try to cheat on the LSAT or get someone to take it for them. I wouldn't be surprised if some test-takers have gotten away with it.

However, they also want to print your photo on your admission ticket directly. This is probably because many people forget to bring a photo to Test Day, or bring one that's "unsuitable," like this:


LSAC says, "Head Too Big." I say, "serious eyebrows!"


Anyway, here are the full details from LSAC:

Notice Regarding Uploading Photo for the June 2016 LSAT and Beyond
Effective with the June 2016 LSAT administration, everyone wishing to register for the LSAT will be required to upload a photograph to their LSAC online account during the registration process. The photo will be inserted on the admission ticket, which must be printed out in order to gain admission to the test center. Admission tickets that do not display the uploaded photo will not be accepted on test day. Once a photo has been uploaded, it may be re-used for future tests, and for test date or center changes. In addition to the admission ticket, test registrants must produce a valid government-issued ID in order to gain admission to the test center. 
Registration for the June 2016 LSAT will open in mid-December 2015. Additional details about uploading photos will be available on LSAC.org at that time.

Source: Law School Admission Council website

Behind the Scenes with a Former LSAT Question-Writer | Free Book


If you’re reading this, you’re probably applying to law school. I know this process isn’t easy, and it can be incredibly frustrating at times. However, each year, many people overcome the hurdles and get into the law schools of their dreams. You ask yourself, how’d they do it?

What allows some to break into the 170s and achieve a top LSAT score?

I’ve found that it often comes down to these three things:

  • understanding not only how to use question-solving strategies, but why they work 
  • knowing how and why LSAC creates the LSAT the way it does
  • loving the LSAT, instead of writing it off as “stupid” because it “doesn’t test anything” 

To help you develop this understanding and appreciation, I’ve conducted several interviews with former LSAT question-writer and author of Mastering Logic Games, Stephen Harris.

In them, he shares all the details about his experience writing hundreds of the questions that appear in your LSAT PrepTest books.

Not only will you learn all about how LSAT questions get written, but you’ll also get answers to questions like these:
  • Can anyone master the LSAT? 
  • Is the LSAT relevant to law school? 
  • Is the LSAT culturally biased?

I've already published a series of interviews with Dr. Harris on LSAT Blog, but they were never organized in any kind of easy-to-digest, logical format.

I wanted to make it easier to benefit from the insights these interviews contain.


To that end, I've put together a new book, "Behind the Scenes with a Former LSAT Question-Writer."

You can get your copy on Google Drive for free.

Step 1. Click this link
Step 2. Click File --> Download As PDF

I hope this book helps you get a top LSAT score.

Blind Man Sues ABA over LSAT Discrimination

Imagine that you had to take the LSAT without being able to diagram Logic Games. Not because LSAC prevented you from drawing in the margins of your test booklet, but because you were blind.

Logic Games are hard enough as it is. I can't solve them without diagrams, and I spend all my time helping people improve their LSAT scores. I have no doubt that I'd bomb the section.

LSAC itself even admits at the beginning of each Logic Games section:
In answering some of the questions, it may be useful to draw a rough diagram.

If I were a law school applicant who found myself at a disadvantage because I couldn't benefit from diagramming like everyone else, I'd probably sue.

According to a local news station in Detroit, that's exactly what Angelo Binno, a blind law school applicant, has done:
The suit says it [the ABA] has told law schools that in order to maintain accreditation they need to only accept students with a 140 or higher LSAT score. 
Binno says this is a problem because much of the test requires that test takers answer questions using pictures or diagrams. 
This is not reasonable for a blind person. There is no alternative test or waiver to give them opportunity. 
“You prepare for it as best you can, but you walk in knowing you are going to fail,” said Binno. 
“I can tell you, as a lawyer, that I have never had to draw a diagram to win a case,” said Jason Turkish, his attorney.

Until 1997, LSAC had blind test-takers being assisted by readers who hadn't ever worked with a blind person before. It took a lawsuit to force LSAC to allow blind test-takers to bring their own readers.

One plaintiff in that lawsuit wrote:
"It's a high-pressure test, so trying to train somebody to read for the first time was a horrible distraction." 

It took another lawsuit a few years ago to get LSAC to make its website accessible to blind people (this is possible using screen reader software).

I'm sure LSAC doesn't have any special bias against those with disabilities. However, as an organization that serves as a gatekeeper to the legal profession, LSAC should think about whether its own policies are equitable and just, or whether they discriminate against a group that faces enough obstacles already.


LSAT Fee Waiver? Free LSAT Prep Book from LSAC

LSAT Fee Waiver? Free LSAT Prep Book from LSAC
If you're able to demonstrate financial need to LSAC's satisfaction, you can get an LSAT fee waiver (in other words, you get to take the LSAT for free, and you get some other free law school admissions services from LSAC's Credential Assembly Service.

However, LSAC doesn't make it obvious to everyone that if you get an LSAT fee waiver, you're also entitled to a free copy of LSAT SuperPrep. All you have to do is ask. 

If you got an LSAT fee waiver, email or call LSAC and ask for your free copy of LSAT SuperPrep.

However, make sure you get LSAT SuperPrep II (the newest edition of LSAT Superprep).

Details on this book in the May 2015 issue of the LSAC Report Newsletter (PDF p10):
New SuperPrep to Be Published
 A new LSAT preparation book, The Official LSAT SuperPrep II, is being prepared for publication and should be available by mid-June. Like its predecessor—the original SuperPrep— published more than 10 years ago, the book will include three previously administered tests with an explanation for each question. This amounts to 303 mini-lessons. This practice book will help users learn how to approach LSAT questions as they prepare to take the test.
 SuperPrep ll will replace SuperPrep as the test prep book provided to LSAC fee waiver recipients upon request (emphasis added).

Becoming an LSAC Test Specialist: Job Posting

Ever wondered how someone becomes an LSAC Test Specialist? I've conducted several interviews with a former writer of LSAT test questions, and, in them, he does talk about his background a bit.

However, I recently came across a job posting from LSAC. They're looking for a new test specialist to join their team. While it might be considered a conflict of interest to write test questions and then take the exam itself, if you're not sure about law school, this could be an alternate career path.

I'm including the job posting below.


LSAC Bans LSAT PrepTest PDF Sales

LSAC Bans LSAT PrepTest PDF Sales
Unfortunately, some bad news for LSAT test-takers:

I recently learned from LSAC that they are putting an end to LSAT PrepTest PDF sales.

This isn't a joke, and it's not an early April Fools' prank.

LSAC recently made some changes to its licensing policy for 2015. Because I sell LSAT PrepTest PDFs to the general public, I received word of these changes.

Via email, LSAC wrote to licensees:

Attached is our revised Rights Management Document regarding electronic distribution of LSAT content to your program students and the general public. All renewing and future licenses must comply with this policy.  
One important and necessary change is our preference that you do not use/distribute PDFs. [emphasis added. However, if you are able to demonstrate that PDFs can be made secure when sold to your course registrants only, it is possible we would approve this use.

In other words, LSAC will not allow licensees to sell LSAT PrepTest PDFs to the general public any longer. This change will go into effect as licenses come up for renewal. LSAT Blog's license expires this coming Monday, March 23rd, so if you want to buy LSAT PrepTest PDFs, get them now.

LSAC Not Reporting Old LSAT Scores

I just received the following announcement from LSAC:

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING LSAT SCORES EARNED BEFORE JUNE 2010 
As of July 1, 2015, LSAC will no longer provide scores older than five years plus the current testing year either to law schools or to candidates. Scores earned prior to June 1, 2010 will neither be reported to law schools nor available to candidates. Prior to July 1, test takers with scores earned prior to June 1, 2010 may use this link to determine the best way to obtain a copy of their older score(s) for their records.

New LSAT SuperPrep Book from LSAC

LSAT Blog New LSAT SuperPrep Book LSAC
Coming soon: A new LSAT SuperPrep book from LSAC

LSAC has announced that in Spring 2015, it will release LSAT SuperPrep II: a new LSAT book containing LSAC-written explanations for LSAT PrepTest 62 (December 2010 LSAT), LSAT PrepTest 63 (June 2011 LSAT), and a "never-before-disclosed test form."

Up to this point, LSAT SuperPrep was only book containing LSAC-written explanations for full LSAT PrepTests. That book contains the February 1996 LSAT, February 1999 LSAT, and February 2000 LSAT (PrepTests A, B, and C, respectively).

I'll update my day-by-day LSAT study plans to reflect the release of the Official LSAT SuperPrep II once LSAC releases it.

Aside from the SuperPrep books, you can get explanations for LSAT PrepTests here on LSAT Blog. There's a big list of them in Best LSAT Prep Books.

Digital LSAT? LSAC Studies LSAT Administration Via Tablet

LSAT Blog Digital LSAT LSAC Studies Administration Tablet
In the most recent LSAC newsletter, LSAC mentions it's looking into administering the LSAT via tablet (PDF, page 5). For those of you who don't know, the LSAT is the last major graduate-level exam to still be given only via paper and pencil.

But, at some vague point in the future, you (or your younger siblings, or your children) may be taking the LSAT on an iPad or some other type of computer-related device.

Here are the full details from LSAC:

Digital LSAT
LSAC is conducting research involving LSAT delivery options for the future. We are studying the feasibility of a tablet- based LSAT administration system, which will likely be field-tested sometime in 2015. No decision has been made regarding future implementation of such a system. In the 1990s, LSAC began researching the potential for electronic delivery of the test, and this is a continuation of those efforts.

Related:

If The LSAT Were A Computerized Test, Cheating, and Theft

Photo by smemon

Registration for September 2014, December 2014, and February 2015 LSATs Now Open

LSAT Blog registration september december 2014 february 2015 lsats
LSAC opened registration for the September, December, and February LSATs late this year.

Many of you wanted to register but weren't able to.

Now, you can.

So, just in case you haven't registered since LSAC recently opened the floodgates, do it now.

LSAT test centers fill up quickly, and you don't want to be stuck traveling far the day before or morning of.


Photo by egfocus

Getting Extra Time on the LSAT Will Get Easier | Lawsuit Settled

LSAT Blog Getting Extra Time Easier Lawsuit Settled
Getting extra time on the LSAT is about to get easier than ever.

Last week, LSAC agreed to pay nearly $8 million to settle a lawsuit with the Justice Department over its notoriously strict LSAT accommodations policy.

2 big changes that will affect you:

1. LSAC will automatically grant most test accommodations if you've gotten them for another standardized test like the SAT or ACT.

2. LSAC will no longer flag the LSAT scores of test-takers who received extra time. In other words, law schools won't know whether you only got 35 minutes to complete a section or got twice as much time.

What do you think?

Was LSAC's existing policy on granting test accommodations like extra time been fair?

Should law schools know whether someone received accommodations when considering their application?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Does the LSAT Discriminate Against Minorities?

lsat blog does lsat discriminate against minorities
Many have argued that the LSAT unfairly prevents racial and ethnic minorities from getting into law school.

However, one law school professor recently defended the LSAT from those who argue it's a form of racial discrimination. While he admits that the LSAT may not be a perfect predictor of ability in law school, he argues that it serves a valuable purpose, and in the absence of anything better, we'd might as well keep it.

Here's a key excerpt:

While we do need supplemental measures for prediction to get students who can make it through law school into the profession, we also need to know about those who cannot. Hard as it is to take in, there are apparently 150,000 law school graduates who have never passed the bar exam, and they deserved the law schools’ best judgment regarding their likely success as much as do those more likely to succeed. Ethical issues are not the only ones in play. Who is going to defend the law schools when these students sue, claiming that they were taken advantage of much like the borrowers in the housing debacle who succumbed to the blandishments of the mortgage brokers? The larger point is that law schools need to think harder about these students. Test critics, only somewhat understandably, completely ignore their existence.

See pages 378-388 of the PDF for the entire section about the LSAT. He also discusses some potential alternatives to the LSAT.

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What do you think? Does the LSAT racially discriminate? What real alternatives, if any, do we have?

Photo by enviied