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What Does the LSAT Measure?

The LSAT is an aptitude test. Like all aptitude tests, it must choose a medium in which to measure intellectual ability. The LSAT has chosen logic. Other tests, such as the SAT, use mathematics and English.

OK, the LSAT is an aptitude test. The question is—does it measure aptitude for law school? Now if you think analytically and like to fiddle with crossword or logic puzzles, then you will probably warm up to the LSAT. On the other hand, if you think intuitively and synthetically, then you will probably find the medium (Logic) less palatable. Whether the ability to determine the possible arrangements of people around a circular table is an important skill for a lawyer is debatable. Nonetheless, the Law School Admission Council has chosen this type of question to test your aptitude for law school, so you must master their solution.

No test can measure all aspects of intelligence. Thus, any admission test, no matter how well written, is inherently inadequate. Nevertheless, some form of admission testing is necessary. It would be unfair to base acceptance to law school solely on grades; they can be misleading. For instance, would it be fair to admit a student with an A average earned in easy classes over a student with a B average earned in difficult classes? A school’s reputation is too broad a measure to use as admission criteria: many students seek out easy classes and generous instructors, in hopes of inflating their GPA. Furthermore, a system that would monitor the academic standards of every class would be cost prohibitive and stifling. So, until a better system is proposed, the admission test is here to stay.

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