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Reasons the LSAT FLEX is harder than the original, five-section test

SufficientConditionSufficientCondition Alum Member
in General 311 karma

The remote version was harder for me because:

  1. RC makes up a larger portion; not only did I do significantly better on LR, my 2nd LR was almost always better than my first (more warmed up, I guess).

  2. I enjoy walking into a testing environment and feeling pressure to perform in that space. It's just not as easy to get adrenaline/energy up alone in the area I've been captive in for hundreds of days.

  3. Reading on-screen can be an issue. Tracking with a finger on paper helps improve reading speed. Someone also quoted me that reading on screen is 33% slower on average. Circle back to point 1.

Chime in with your own reasons (disagreeing is ok, too!)!

Which LSAT would you rather take?
  1. I would perform better on the:356 votes
    1. LSAT FLEX (or upcoming remote LSATs)
      46.63%
    2. Tablet test at a testing center
      11.80%
    3. Original bubble-in test
      41.57%

Comments

  • JDream2023JDream2023 Alum Member
    588 karma

    I like and prefer highlighting and scribbling on paper with LR and LG. I hated taking the LSAT on the computer.

  • tonyahardzinskitonyahardzinski Monthly Member
    307 karma

    Gimme me a longer paper test any day of the week

  • SufficientConditionSufficientCondition Alum Member
    311 karma

    Nice--didn't expect so many responses to the poll. At this point, it's tilted towards preference for the FLEX!

  • 2 karma

    According to LSAC statistics, applicant LSAT scores are way up this year, so I’m guessing that the shorter test is preferable to most people.

  • Burt ReynoldsBurt Reynolds Alum Member Sage
    952 karma

    I was honestly pissed when I heard they cut the second LR and I still feel the same way.

  • SufficientConditionSufficientCondition Alum Member
    311 karma

    @rhumphreys1015 said:
    According to LSAC statistics, applicant LSAT scores are way up this year, so I’m guessing that the shorter test is preferable to most people.

    Not be a pain, but that's assuming causation from correlation ;-)

    (Sorry, once you learn you can't get it out of your head!)

  • infamousdingoinfamousdingo Alum Member
    30 karma

    Interesting. It's the opposite for me. I really struggled on the paper test, but have seen my score go up +8 on the Flex. Totally just depends on the person I think.

  • canihazJDcanihazJD Alum Member Sage
    7970 karma

    Personally I prefer not to have to worry about bubbling. I also find the digital interface much quicker for identifying questions to hit in subsequent rounds. I do wish you could see what answers you picked for the rest of the section.

  • SufficientConditionSufficientCondition Alum Member
    311 karma

    @canihazJD said:
    Personally I prefer not to have to worry about bubbling. I also find the digital interface much quicker for identifying questions to hit in subsequent rounds. I do wish you could see what answers you picked for the rest of the section.

    Grass is always greener. Looks like the results switched back to bubble-in!

  • happy_omelethappy_omelet Alum Member
    edited March 2021 24 karma

    Wow, I had never thought about the adrenaline part but that's a great point. I have no doubt that for so many people, the LSAT-Flex taking place in the controlled, familiar environment of one's home really helps to reduce test anxiety and improve performance. But OP, I think I'm in the same boat as you; I love the adrenaline rush and the acute pressure brought on when the high stakes are palpable. I really think that it makes me read faster, think sharper, and perform better. Too bad that I can't replicate that feeling while taking the LSAT at my desk.

  • yang9999yang9999 Alum Member
    413 karma

    the proctoring system online has tended to throw me off my game -- but I'm slowly getting used to the idea that it's a factor out of my control lol. (I'd prefer a test taken at a testing center with non-remote proctors but given the panini we're in...)

  • SufficientConditionSufficientCondition Alum Member
    311 karma

    Omigosh! This is like a horse race; the "winner" keeps switching back and forth!

  • noonawoonnoonawoon Alum Member
    3481 karma

    @rhumphreys1015 said:
    According to LSAC statistics, applicant LSAT scores are way up this year, so I’m guessing that the shorter test is preferable to most people.

    This might also be because people had more time to study (no social life due to covid and internships, study abroads, etc being cancelled). It might also be that people don't necessarily perform better because the test is shorter but because it is taken from the comfort of home, rather than at a test center where other people in the room are coughing and sniffling.> @happy_omelet said:

    Wow, I had never thought about the adrenaline part but that's a great point. I have no doubt that for so many people, the LSAT-Flex taking place in the controlled, familiar environment of one's home really helps to reduce test anxiety and improve performance. But OP, I think I'm in the same boat as you; I love the adrenaline rush and the acute pressure brought on when the high stakes are palpable. I really think that it makes me read faster, think sharper, and perform better. Too bad that I can't replicate that feeling while taking the LSAT at my desk.

    I'm not sure if you have taken the LSAT yet or have just taken practice tests, but it's definitely possible to feel the adrenaline/sharpened focus at your desk when it's a real test! I felt pretty relaxed while taking all of my PTs but felt heightened adrenaline and shakiness on the test day on the Flex, which I think helped out my score

  • LOWERCASE EVERYTHINGLOWERCASE EVERYTHING Alum Member
    1952 karma

    so.. did lsac get their money back for the tablets? lol

  • SufficientConditionSufficientCondition Alum Member
    311 karma

    @"LOWERCASE EVERYTHING" said:
    so.. did lsac get their money back for the tablets? lol

    @"LOWERCASE EVERYTHING" hahaha

  • rhansrhans Member
    9 karma

    I think once you are prepared for the Test, the results would take care of itself regardless of the format.

  • mariaye0604mariaye0604 Alum Member
    79 karma

    I'm the same as OP because LR is my strongest section. My LG is inconsistent depending on types of the games and my RC is a disaster. Took flex for the first time in Feb, did worse than my normal LSAT.

  • SufficientConditionSufficientCondition Alum Member
    311 karma

    @rhans said:
    I think once you are prepared for the Test, the results would take care of itself regardless of the format.

    Begs the question...

  • MartianmanMartianman Monthly Member
    211 karma

    To echo @rhumphreys1015 the data seem to indicate that the LSAT flex is considerably easier given the huge jump in scores.

    In my experience of 1, surely an unrepresentative sample, the full 5 section test is not even in the same ballpark as the 3 section LSAT FLEX. I have taken 4 full 5 section practice tests, and in my experience: by the 4th section my brain was fatigued, and by the 5th section it was all I could do to finish. The mental stamina required is not remotely comparable. I would see this alone as a reason to significantly prefer the FLEX.

    I have switched to the 4 passage and it feels a burden lifted to not have the 5th section. When I switch to the 3 section I imagine it may feel similar again.

  • TimeIsMoneyTimeIsMoney Alum Member
    495 karma

    I have heard many people really like the flex. I am the percent of people who it hurt. My score was significantly lower on the flex than all my standard practice tests. Pretty disappointing.

  • SufficientConditionSufficientCondition Alum Member
    edited April 2021 311 karma

    @TimeIsMoney

    Yeah! It would be interesting to see if the new test still tracks law school performance as well as the old. I understand that law school requires a measure of endurance, for instance, while the LSAT now requires less. Could it be that LSAC succeeded at maintaining scaled percentiles (ignoring a gaffe with the upper range of early FLEX tests) but lost some capacity to measure implicit capabilities?

    To me, the fact that LSAC opts to issue statements like this

    "Our questions and methodology will remain the same, meaning the LSAT will continue to be the most valid and reliable indicator of first-year law school success."

    hints at a concern that the test may not be as sound as it once was. (Are questions and methodologies sufficient conditions to being a reliable indicator of first-year law school success? Haha-there seem to be many assumptions there.) If something is true, (-->) it's unnecessary to keep saying it.

  • modelstudent101modelstudent101 Monthly Member
    6 karma

    @noonawoon said:

    @rhumphreys1015 said:
    According to LSAC statistics, applicant LSAT scores are way up this year, so I’m guessing that the shorter test is preferable to most people.

    This might also be because people had more time to study (no social life due to covid and internships, study abroads, etc being cancelled). It might also be that people don't necessarily perform better because the test is shorter but because it is taken from the comfort of home, rather than at a test center where other people in the room are coughing and sniffling.> @happy_omelet said:

    Wow, I had never thought about the adrenaline part but that's a great point. I have no doubt that for so many people, the LSAT-Flex taking place in the controlled, familiar environment of one's home really helps to reduce test anxiety and improve performance. But OP, I think I'm in the same boat as you; I love the adrenaline rush and the acute pressure brought on when the high stakes are palpable. I really think that it makes me read faster, think sharper, and perform better. Too bad that I can't replicate that feeling while taking the LSAT at my desk.

    I'm not sure if you have taken the LSAT yet or have just taken practice tests, but it's definitely possible to feel the adrenaline/sharpened focus at your desk when it's a real test! I felt pretty relaxed while taking all of my PTs but felt heightened adrenaline and shakiness on the test day on the Flex, which I think helped out my score

    This guy LSATs
    Correlation =/= Causation

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