NEWS

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November 7, 2006

Pre-law students do not sweat test changes

The June 2007 Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) will slightly differ from its predecessors, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) announced recently.

The exam currently features four separate reading passages. The new version replaces one reading section with a comparison exercise involving two shorter readings.

Also beginning in June, all tests will feature “decision” prompts rather than randomly alternating between “decision” and “argument” prompts. Decision prompts offer test-takers two potential solutions to a hypothetical problem and ask for an essay defending one choice over the other. Argument prompts, which will make their last appearance on the February LSAT, present a position for test-takers to refute.

Fourth-year in the College Jason Novak, president of the U of C’s pre-law society Habeas Corpus, said “the changes will mean very little in the long run.”

The elimination of “argument” prompts “will save students some time in terms of studying,” Novak said.

Former HC vice-president Monica Iyer (A.B. ’06) agreed.

“The changes don’t sound very major,” she said. “A comparative reading section shouldn’t be much more or less of a challenge for the average LSAT taker than the reading comprehension sections already present on the test.”

U of C third-year Law School student Emily Glunz also said the changes were fairly unimportant. “They seem more like fine tweaking,” she said.

Other students, however, complained about a lack of information on the new comparative reading exercise.

Fourth-year in the College Jin Yan said he doubted “anyone knows exactly what to expect…. Everyone is going into that section blind.”

U of C second-year Law School student Grant Folland said he agreed.

“Since the test is standardized, the best way to prepare for it is through repetition, until it’s almost a matter of sense memory,” he said. “With changes, students will have fewer old tests to use for practice, as taking old tests is the best way to study.”

Debbie Chizewer, the pre-law advisor at CAPS, also emphasized the importance of practicing for the LSAT.

“This preparation involves substantial practice of the types of questions on the exam,” she said.

“Changes to LSAT preparation will likely involve practicing a new type of problem,” Chizewer said.

No samples of the new reading comparison problem are currently available. Test preparation material will be offered on the LSAC website (www.lsac.org) beginning in February.