Friday, October 27, 2006

Changing the LSAT

The LSAT is changing again, according to this article in the October 26th edition of Inside Higher Education. A section on comparative reading will be added in June 2007, in order to make the test more predictive of aptitude for the law. The new section will ask students to "read two passages and answer questions on how they relate to one another." The difference from the current test is that now students answer "questions on one single, longer passage." Even though this change will neither help nor hurt most students who take the LSAT, Kaplan, the big test-prep company, is recommending that students take the test now, before the changes go into effect. According to Steven Marietti, Kaplan's director of pre-law programs, "Anytime there is uncertainty in the exam, regardless of the magnitude, it should be avoided if you have the opportunity." The same argument was, of course, was made recently when the format of the SAT changed with the addition of a writing section and when changes in the scoring of the exam were instituted (1800 maximum points to 2400 maximum points). Princeton Review, on the other hand, is not suggesting that students consider changing the timing of when they take the LSAT. According to Jeff Meanza, Princeton's director of graduate programs, the changes are "only a slightly more sophisticated way of looking at these comparative passages; however, a lot of the passages that students see already require that kind of comparative logic to be used." Frankly, based on conversations I've had at law school recruiting fairs I've attended recently, students will panic about the LSAT despite all attempts to calm them down. They rightly understand that their LSAT score plays a large role in which schools accept them, and they want to be well prepared for the test.

No comments: