Saturday, February 6, 2010

Standardized testing shouldn't determine educational worth!

As a whole, I think of myself as an intelligent, well-spoken and confident individual. Yet, today, I feel as stupid as I can feel, and it is all because of today's LSAT. After the test, I felt like vomitting.

For those of you unfamiliar with the LSAT, it is the Law School Admissions Test and consists of five sections and a writing sample (which isn't scored...of course, my best area isn't even scored!). There are three types of sections that make up the LSAT--reading comprehension, logical reasioning and, my personal enemy, analytical reasoning. Every LSAT has 2 logical reasoning, 1 reading comprehension and 1 analytical reasioning. BUT...there is one more open section that could be either another reading comprehension or an analytical reasoning.

Just my luck, today I had two analytical reasoning sections. It is truly my worst nightmare as my brain doesn't think in the confines of this section as quickly as the 35 minutes allots.

For the past two years, I've been contemplating, dreaming about and analyzing going back into graduate school. Going back and forth between music, advertising, business and veterinary medicine, I keep returning to law school as it has been a repeated calling of mine. Even my General Manager has stated to me a few times that "(I) should be lawyer."

Five years ago before graduating college, I took the LSAT but decided to move to Phoenix instead of going straight into school. When Phoenix didn't work out the way I wanted, I came home and immediately found a job in Chicago. I put off returning to graduate school, because I wanted to prove that I could make it in the real world, which I did. However, the pride I felt at paying my own bills was stifled by my repeated questioning if "sales" is really my professional calling. Quite frankly, I don't want to be in sales forever. Regardless of my success, it's not something I feel I could sustain for the next forty years and remain happy.

Still, the thought of sitting for the LSAT has really made me nervous due to its end-all decision whether or not law schools see you as a viable and deserving candidate for acceptance.

You see, every law school puts more stress on the LSAT score than it does on everything else a student and/or working professional has accomplished. So, when I realized that I had 2 analytical reasoning sections, I felt screwed from the start. On top of the analytical reasoning, there was a time during section 2 that I could not focus on the questions, which resulted in me spending 5 minutes reading and re-reading one page of questions. And not even attempting to answer them!

This frustration only reaffirms my hatred at the United States educational systems. More indubitably, standardized testing. From high school, my hatred of standardized testing has been a recurring theme of my life. What is that test that we had to take before college? The ACT (the one that scores up to 36)??? Yeah, that I got a 22...twice.

I had a 3.75 GPA in high school and was in English AP, which was the first time any AP class was offered at my high school. Do you think that the ACT concretely and accurately gauged my intelligence and capability? No, it obviously did not.

This fact is proven that in college, I became very active in organizations, residence life, IM's and graduated in honors with a 3.61 GPA.

When I was younger, I was clinically diagnosed with ADD. I was told that I could grow out of many of the prepubescent symptoms with proper dedication, teaching and focus. And I did. Nevertheless, I still could not focus during testing and quiet restrains of classes. I contribute this to be a leading factor at my overall impediments and shortcomings to my performance.

Leading into this LSAT as adult with involvement in two philanthropic organizations (one of which that asked me to be on its board-as the youngest board member), supportive upper management, successful professional experience and my previous collegiate GPA, I still don't feel confident that these components will be enough. Perhaps its the fact that I always think I could have done something better and different.

But I know that I'm better than what that test may be. I know my worth as not only a student but also as a formidable candidate for law school. I just hate that rejection or acceptance can be as impersonal and biased on a single score.

Furthermore, I hate the fact that those that scored well on the LSAT but had a much lower GPA than others will have an easier time of acceptance. Just because they scored well on a test. You can see this if you research some law school's acceptance requirements wherein the LSAT must be 155 or higher, but the GPA minimum could be 3.20!!!

Which is more important? The person or the test? It is my personal believe that a test should not be deeming one adequate.

My friends keep encouraging me to remain positive, and I will. My life isn't defined by this test. My life is defined by me, and me alone. And I choose to not let this LSAT be my end-all decision.


  1. Hang in there! I'm sure you did better than you're anticipating.

    I also, fully understand you! I had a 3.72 gpa at Millikin and scored a 147 on my LSAT. I was, then, rejected from 10 out of 11 schools that I applied to. SIGH.

    I love you!

  2. just completing the test is a great achievement.