Posted by: jdn9775 | November 17, 2008

An Illogical Logic-Based Test: Standardized Tests and Graduate School

Why is it that standardized tests are accepted by schools and society as a means of measuring intelligence?

 

I recently took the LSAT, and I can admit that I do not excel at standardized tests. However, I have a really high GPA and have done outstanding work in my department. Yet, when law schools look at my application there will be a glaring three-digit number for my LSAT score that could cost me dearly in the future.

 

I realize that standardized tests are now thought to be a way of measuring aptitude on an equal playing field since not all schools offer the same level of curriculum. However, there are serious flaws with attempting to quantitatively evaluate intelligence.

 

For instance, standardized tests do not capture artistic abilities, creative talents, or any type of kinesthetic intelligence. Nope, these tests just see how “logical” or “analytical” a test-taker is and that only proves one thing; whether or not the test-taker is good at standardized tests.

 

I have yet to meet an attorney that believes the LSAT helps law students or practicing attorneys for that matter. So, why is it that I have to take this ridiculous test that can so readily open and close doors for my future?

 

Consider this example question from Kaplan LSAT preparation’s course:

            

3. Plant Y thrives in environments of great sunlight and very little moisture. Desert X is an environment with constant, powerful sunlight, and next to no moisture. Although Plant Y thrives in the areas surrounding Desert X, it does not exist naturally in the desert, nor does it survive long when introduced there.

Which of the following would be most useful in explaining the apparent discrepancy above?

A. Desert X’s climate is far too harsh for the animals that normally feed on Plant Y.

B. For one week in the fall, Desert X gets consistent rainfall.

C. The environment around Desert X is ideally suited to the needs of Plant Y.

D. Due to the lack of sufficient moisture, Desert X can support almost no plant life.

E. Plant Y cannot survive in temperatures as high as those normally found in Desert X.

 

 

The correct answer is E. If you feel compelled to try some more for free check out this site. Who knows, you may be a natural.

 

http://www.kaptest.com/Law/LSAT/Practice-LSAT/LSAT-5-Question Challenge/LS_lsat_qlogical.html?cid=151049

 

What does this have to do with law? I can see how it is a logical test, but it does nothing to predict how well I would do in law school.

Anyway, as I look to my future it disturbs me to know that our society is still administering standardized tests as a method of determining intelligence. To me, it seems illogical to ask someone to take a logic-based standardized test that really cannot prove intelligence. Isn’t that a contradiction and completely illogical?

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Responses

  1. I feel your pain. I took the June 16 LSAT at Camp LeJeune this past summer. Like you, I found that my GPA seems to better represent me as a learner than the dense and grueling LSAT ever could. And no matter how standardized these things are, at least some of it has to be luck. I remember taking the SAT twice, getting an easy Language section one time and an easy math section the next. Too bad you can’t have a combined LSAT score like I could back then with the LSAT, taking my scores on the two easy sections and telling colleges only THAT number.


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