July 3, 2022

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Law for politics

Law school admissions test experiments with new ‘logic games’ section


Students attend a secondary school exam at the auditorium of Paul Natorp Gymnasium, under restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Berlin, Germany April 26, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

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  • For the first time, some recent LSAT takers were told which of the four test sections was experimental and unscored
  • Test makers used the section to evaluate a new approach to analytical reasoning questions

(Reuters) – A surprise modification to the Law School Admission Test administered June 11 rattled some test takers and has sparked predictions that a permanent change is in the works.

About half of the roughly 8,000 people who took the LSAT on Saturday were given an experimental fourth section comprised of reformatted analytical reasoning questions coupled with survey questions about their responses.

A spokesman for the Law School Admission Council, which designs the LSAT, said it was the first step in a potential update. But he cautioned that far more work remains before any significant changes go into effect.

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The trial questions were novel enough that the council disclosed to test takers that it was an experimental section that would not count toward their final score.

Dave Killoran, chief executive officer of LSAT prep company PowerScore, said the move could portend a revamp of the so-called logic games portion of the exam as early as 2024.

“My best guess is that they will try to simplify the [analytical reasoning] scenarios and have more of them,” he said, describing the experimental questions as shorter and easier than usual.

Law schools rely on the LSAT to help gauge academic aptitude, with four sections that include timed assessments of reading comprehension, logical reasoning and analytical reasoning. The analytical section, often referred to as logic games, tests the understanding of how rules affect decisions and outcomes, and how to apply logic to complex situations.

Typically, one LSAT test section is unscored because the council is evaluating if those questions are effective and free of bias, said spokesman Mark Murray. But test takers are not told which section that is.

Saturday’s experimental section was administered last and examinees were told it would not count toward their score, Murray said.

“We didn’t want to create stress or disrupt test takers,” he said, adding the council felt the approach was the most fair to examinees.

But some of Saturday’s examinees complained on social media and LSAT forums that it was unfair to give some test takers a disclosed unscored section last because they got the three scored sections early when they had the most focus and energy.

“While I applaud [the council] for trying to make a better test for the future, why have two different tests on the same day?” said law school admissions consultant Mike Spivey.

Read more:

End of the LSAT? Law school entry test is on the chopping block again

New law school admissions experiment would bypass the LSAT

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