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[Test Center Review] University of South Carolina (Columbia)

chgunnschgunns Alum Member
edited December 2016 in Test Center Reviews 92 karma
Do NOT test in Columbia.

Due to the experience in the overflow testing room, LSAC offered a cancellation and free retake, but replied that:

"Your concerns have been noted for consideration at future administrations; however, we cannot guarantee the same room will not be used again."

Proctors: The proctors were very polite and quiet.

Facilities: About 85% of test takers were seated in one of two large lecture halls, with tiered seating and plenty of space. However, there is a 15% chance you could be stuck in an overflow classroom. This classroom was crowded, and offered only single unit desk-chairs combos with inadequate space for taking the test. The smaller desk offers less than 12 inches width writing space. The "larger" desk offers about 14 inches width of writing space. I have photos that confirm this, but could not figure how to post.

The desks also have an angle steep enough that round pencils will roll off if not propped up. However, that wasn't a problem since no one had room on their desk for any spare pencils. People were allowed and encouraged to pull other units to them, and to use that chair space to store sharpeners, watch, spare pencils, etc. On both sides of the room, people had their units pulled directly against the wall to get as much separation from nearby test-takers as possible. It was ridiculous.

What kind of room
: Lecture hall or small classroom

How many in the room
: 75 or 26

Desks: comfortable seating, or single unit that required you to crouch forward throughout the tests

Left-handed accommodation: yes, yes

Noise levels: if you sit in the back of the first floor lecture hall, you can hear the building doors open and close throughout, the other two rooms are quiet

Parking: nearby street parking is free on Saturdays

Time elapsed from arrival to test: I don't remember when we started, but it was within a reasonable timeframe

Irregularities or mishaps: The test center director acknowledged the inadequacy of the overflow room before the test began. Multiple test takers expressed concerns, and he arrived to explain that ""I know you don't have a lot of room and that it's tight. I get complaints about this room every time, but it's the only room I could get in the building. If you want to cancel, I'll let you."

Obviously, no one walked out of the December test to take it in February, but several people (myself included) became even more frustrated to learn that he had used the desks and room previously.

Other comments: A conversation with USC testing center staff the following week indicated that they were largely unaware of the magnitude of the test, or the need to make notes that one could refer back to on following questions, which, given the inadequate writing space, required one to flip a folded test booklet back and forth throughout the test.

Would you take the test here again? NO! Under no circumstances would I ever risk getting stuck with a room that, by the test center director's own admission, offered a testing environment so cramped and inadequate that he offered to email LSAC with an explanation and offer of a free retest. Even if you live in Columbia, drive to Greenville, Charlotte, Charleston, or Orangeburg. They bid on at least 176 spots (number comes from conversation with test center staff the following week) and offer adequate accommodations for only 150. The additional spots are a lazy money grab by someone at USC.

Date[s] of Exam[s]: December, 2015 (lecture hall) December, 2016 (overflow room)


  • chgunnschgunns Alum Member
    92 karma
    If there is a way to post photos in the forum, I returned to take some of the writing space offered. Could not get into the room used, but I found the same desk styles in a nearby open classroom.
  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma
    Great review! I love reading these even if I'll never take in S.C. haha :)
  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    edited December 2016 23929 karma
    @chgunns said:
    If there is a way to post photos in the forum
    Yeah, you just have to upload to a website like and then post the image link.
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