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Experimental Section Part II et al.

mark29
LSAT Apprentice
 
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Hi Powerscore!

I took the LSAT yesterday. My test had 2 RC sections. The first RC section was within the first 3 sections before the break. My last section (5) was also a RC. What I noticed was that the last RC section was much more difficult than the first. With my experience talking practice tests, this did not seem the norm to me. I definitely know that I did very well on the first RC section but I did not perform well at all on the last RC section. My hope is that the last RC section was the experimental section as previously indicated. I really hope so!

For background purposes, besides taking the virtual online course (which was outstanding!) I studied on average of 5 hours a day, everyday, for 6 weeks. During this time, I had construction going on on two sides of my house, construction vehicles, telephone interuptions, ice cream trucks going by, Mother-in-Law issues, constant honking of geese...and other distrupting situations. No problem...I dealt with it.

Here's my dilema:

While taking the LSAT yesterday, and on the 5th section (of course) the person next to me and the person right behind me decided to get sick and created a major disturbance for myself and others. I did not say anything, nor did anyone else. But, even though these individuals were a major distraction, the proctors did nothing either. I feel that I (and everyone else) should have a reasonable expectation to be able to take the LSAT in a relatively quite environment. The only one to blame here is obviously myself for not saying anything. I do not fault the proctors. Naturally, these individuals seemed to get a lot better when it came time to do the writing sample. Go figure!

If I am lucky then the 5th RC section will be experimental and I will be OK. If not, I will probably need to retake the LSAT and miss registering for this year. If the latter happens, how can I prevent this from occuring again? Lodge a complaint (but not at the test center or proctors)?
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
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Hi Mark,

Thanks for the message, and for the nice comments about the Virtual Course. I'm glad you liked it!

Let's address a few items in your message.

First, regrettably, LSAC is not going to provide any benefit to you over the two people who got sick during the test. There's no doubt it was a bad situation and surely affected your performance, but they would look at that as something beyond their control, and thus something they aren't liable for. I've known of some pretty extreme situations to occur--power outages, marching band going past the room, fire in a building down the street--that LSAC more or less wrote off to natural causes. At the most extreme they might allow a free retake, but they won't do much more than that. Sorry to convey that news :( The good news is that if you retake the test, you're not likely to encounter more people getting sick next to you!

Second, and equally bad, the fifth section on your test was almost assuredly not the experimental on this particular exam (I'd say 100%, but there's always a chance). It's become public knowledge that the scored RC section had passages on Bankruptcy, Public Art Subsidies, Sandstorm Fossils, and Heirloom Plant Genes. Was that your earlier section or your fifth section?

The other good news is that if you do retake the test, hopefully this time your study environment will be a bit calmer :D

Please let me know if that helps. Thanks!
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Test Preparation

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mark29
LSAT Apprentice
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:11 am
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Hi Dave,

Thanks for the reply and the information. I was thinking last night that there was probably a way to figure that out. Well, now I know. That was my fifth section so now I know it was a scored section. Ahhhhhh. Looks like the books will be staying out!

If a marching band passed by (and kept marching) that would not bother me. Sitting next to these individuals with their interruptions...one every minute, the other 3 every minute (I didn't count but I believe that is an accurate assessment) for the full 35 minutes is unacceptable.

I know you have seen (or heard it all) but I was surprised at what I saw at this test. Cell phones, electronic timers, no plastic bags, no photos on their tickets, and people walking in to take this test with un-sharpened pencils sticking out of their pockets. Before the test it was like I was sitting in High School, lots of noise, like a party, only no alcohol or music. The ones making all the noise were not the younger college students.

Looks like I will have to wait to see what my final score was. Do you think a letter explaining my "lack" of performance would help? Couldn't hurt right? or could it?
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
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Hey Mark,

Addendums can be useful, but it depends on the exact circumstances:

If you cancel your score: I'm a strong believer that an addendum for a cancellation is not only not beneficial, it's harmful (it looks frivolous and the committee does not look kindly on things they think waste their time). The only exception is if you have say three cancellations on your record--that may need to be explained.

If you keep your score: then it depends on what happens the second time you take the test. If there's a big jump in your score, you'll want an addendum to explain that score difference. If this is the direction you are going, write a complaint to LSAC--they won't do anything, but you will at least preserve a record of the complaint (you won't include it in your application, but it's good to have from a document standpoint, and then you can validly claim in your addendum that you lodged a complaint with LSAC about the situation).

Please let me know if that helps. Thanks!
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Test Preparation

Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DaveKilloran
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mark29
LSAT Apprentice
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:11 am
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Hi Dave,

Thanks for the excellent information! I will definitely follow your advice. As I do not plan on canceling my score I will get some documentation in order if it becomes necessary in the future. And who know, I may still get an OK score...maybe. Thanks again for a truly outstanding course!

Mark
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Staff
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Awesome, glad I could help! Feel free to come back with any other questions you have.

Thanks!
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Test Preparation

Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DaveKilloran
My LSAT Articles: http://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/author/dave-killoran
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Wombat
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Wow, that's some great advice Dave! I wonder if you can help me as well. I had two logic games sections, the first of which was very hard and the latter of which was extremely easy. Both came before the 15-minute break. Would you be able to help me figure out which one was which? Thanks
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Staff
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Sure Wombat. The real games sections for US/Canada regular Saturday tests was the section with the TV Commercials, Apartments/Pet owners, Wed/Fri AM/PM game, and Interviews.

Just so everyone knows, I'm not disclosing anything here that's not public knowledge at this point because there's been widespread discussion of the "real" games sections. If it wasn't public knowledge already, we wouldn't disclose it.

Please let me know if that helps. Thanks!
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Test Preparation

Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DaveKilloran
My LSAT Articles: http://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/author/dave-killoran
PowerScore PodCast: http://www.powerscore.com/lsat/podcast/