The LSAT is a great test in many ways, but some students complain that the test is not entirely fair, and they do have some valid points:
- The LSAT is not like other tests. There are a lot of test takers who are very smart—and have the grades and plenty of other evidence to prove it—who nonetheless find the LSAT quite a bit more challenging than expected. It can be a very frustrating experience, even for good students (who also often tend to be particularly self-critical). The LSAT tests a set of skills that may not necessarily have been fully developed in high school or college, even by the very best students. That is why…
- …Students who take the test “cold” are often unknowingly putting themselves at a distinct disadvantage. LSAC has done a great job creating challenging tests—but no matter how clever the test makers are, a relatively consistent test must have many predictable aspects. Your LSAT score is not a simple measure of your natural ability, but rather a test of specific reading and reasoning skills that can be developed significantly by those who take the right approach. Whether or not you prepare, you will most certainly be competing with many test takers who have.
- Your LSAT score is more important (often significantly more) than your college GPA. Law schools, particularly top law schools, have thousands of applicants to consider each year, and the LSAT provides a standard by which all students can be compared, regardless of major or undergraduate institution. While the test does provide an objective basis for evaluation, ostensibly in the interest of fairness, many think it seems unfair that a single test would weigh more heavily in your application than your entire undergraduate GPA.
The moral of the story is this: Some consider it unfair that a single test should play such an important role in law school admission decisions, and the LSAT is not a perfect test. But some of the factors that seem less than fair can be turned to the advantage of the informed test-taker; a few weeks of preparation for the LSAT can have a more profound effect on your law school admission prospects than the results from four years of undergraduate effort.
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