LSAT Kung Fu Blog / The LSAT-Flex Exerience
The LSAT-Flex Exerience
Note: The following is Stephanie's* (a real Velocity LSAT student) story of her LSAT-Flex experience on Monday, June 15, 2020, as told to Dave Hall.
Registration for the LSAT-Flex so far has been a funny thing; since LSAC doesn't know for sure whether they're going to change a normal registration to a Flex test beforehand, I just registered for the June regular administration, then later found out it had been changed. It's not like you get to decide (at least so far) that you want to take a Flex test. [ed. note: As of this writing, the August 29th, 2020 test is still listed as a normal administration, although registration is open until July 15th. So if LSAC changes this date to Flex in the next two weeks, test-takers will have the chance to knowingly register for an LSAT-Flex test.] But, if LSAC cancels a test, and turns it into a Flex, they do give you the option of taking the Flex or else taking a rain check for any test in the next year. I wanted to do the Flex option, so I was glad they changed my test to Flex.
Once the test turned into a Flex, they sent me a two-day window of possible testing times. They had options pretty much every hour, morning and afternoon and evening. I feel most awake and prepared in the morning, even though I don't like to get up super early. So I chose an 11 AM slot.
At 11 AM on my test day, LSAC had me do an online video call with a proctor from a company called ProctorU. The call lasted maybe 5 or 10 minutes. It was bananas! The person asked me to move my laptop all around my room so she could see the whole living space. She wnated to see under my desk, she asked me to hold the computer up to a mirror so she could see if I'd put any sticky notes on the computer. She asked to see my glasses, and made me take the wrapper off my water bottle.
Then she sent me a link to this crazy invasive software download that gave ProctorU access to my whole computer. She could move the mouse on her end and the cursor would move on my end. That felt pretty weird.
I was allowed to have five sheets of empty scratch paper, which of course the proctor wanted to look at, front and back. Maybe the funniest thing was at the very end of the test, the proctor made me rip up my scratch paper in front of her where she could see me do it.
I wasn't allowed to use the restroom at all during the test, which was not great, but not terrible. It was about the length of a movie, and I've watched plenty of movies without going to the bathroom. It was just knowing that I couldn't go that felt weird.
All in all, my test felt like all the practice I've done. I thought the LR section seemed harder than normal [ed. note: Everybody always says this after every test about at least one section. There may be some nerves involved in this assessment].
On test day, I woke up at 9:30, had one cup of coffee and a small breakfast. During the test, I wished I had eaten more for breakfast.
Then there was a while of sitting around waiting for it to start. But testing at home was WAY better for my nerves. I've taken the test before (prior to COVID) and there were a lot of ways it was nerve-wracking: finding the test center, knowing where to park, messing with cell phones (worried mine wasn't off, worried someone else's would ring and disrupt me), whether my seating arrangement is comfortable, whether I can find a bathroom and get back in time. I didn't have to deal with any of that. But I am pretty lucky to have a big-enough, private, comfortable space to work in at my apartment. Some people don't, and I could see that making test day much less relaxed than mine was.
All in all, I thought the process was pretty easy. The test interface was the same as the practice ones on LSAC's website (here). Even though testing at home was less nervous for me, I did feel like I was working on autopilot. Like just pure muscle memory. Even right after the test, if you had asked me what was on it I don't think I could have told you anything I did or read.
I don't know; all in all, I'm definitely glad I took the LSAT-Flex, although I have serious doubts about how fair the scoring is. [ed. note: We do, too! You don't have to know who it favors to recognize that it's unequal and therefor inherently unfair. People who take LSAT-Flex answer fewer questions and face a different scoring scale from those who take the regular test. LSAC may be able to concoct a close facsimile of the standard score, but by offering only three sections instead of five, they are certainly providing LSAT-Flex takers with a different test, with a different way of scoring it. We don't think that's fair, or standardized. But what do we know?]
*Not her real name, per her request.
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