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Horrible Testing Conditions

Sarah JaneSarah Jane Alum Member

I'm not sure if anyone else took the December LSAT at Long Beach Convention Center.

Everyone was in line checking in around 8 a.m., and they only had 3 people to check people in. They also put 400 of us in one ballroom, so people that checked in earlier were in for a treat. It took them 3 hours to check everyone in. Yes, our test did not even start until 11 a.m.

In the time that this center checked people in, the ones who were early were not able to drink water nor use the restroom. By 11 a.m. is when our first portion should be over! Everyone was annoyed due to the lack of the test center's preparedness. The proctor did not have a mic, so she also had to walk up and down the aisle to repeat the rules over 10x.

It doesn't end there. As the proctor was finishing up the rules, a girl kept raising her hand. She notified the proctor and other staff that she really needed to use the restroom. They would not allow her to go, and they haven't even distributed tests out yet. The poor girl tried to run past the staff, and they blocked her way. She ultimately peed her pants in front of 400 people.

In addition to that incident, there was a Miss California USA Pageant and Herbalife Employee Ceremony happening at the same time that we started our test. Loud music, bands playing, cheering, and people announcing employee of the month echoed throughout the room. It was as if our conditions were not already horrible.

I'm not one to complain, but honestly that day I became so detached from taking the test (as were many others). I was confident in my abilities, but the environment and unpreparedness took its toll on everyone. By the time we finished the first portion, it was 1:30 p.m. They didn't even let us out until 2 p.m. because they couldn't manage to count 400 tests. Also 400 people were dying to use the restroom. By the time we got to break, I was lucky enough to sit by the door, run out, and get to the restroom. When I finished, I saw the huge lines that most likely did not allow everyone to use it in the break time allotted. After we were all done, it was 4 p.m. 7 HOURS. The test center drained us more than the test did.

I know that many of us have complained to LSAC, and have no idea what LSAC will even do for us. February 2018 LSAT is not much of an option for me since most of the schools I am applying to do not accept February LSAT. I guess what I'd like to ask is whether it is worth writing an addendum about? I plan to turn in my applications before Friday, but feel that our circumstances were very unfair.

You would think that $180/person and 400 people would give them enough funds to provide adequate staff and testing conditions.


  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Free Trial Member
    edited December 2017 3072 karma

    On my test, proctors literally had to bump into the backs of our chairs to make their rounds, which is something they did often. I was blown away that it was happening. lol

    Oh, this was at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, MA. I stayed at the Omni Parker House Hotel, which was about a 2-minute walk from the test center. Despite the chair bumping, my stay in Boston was awesome, I can't lie. :)

  • akistotleakistotle Member 🍌🍌
    9366 karma

    I am so sorry to hear this. This was definitely one of the worst testing centers.

    While we don't know if it affected your score, I think you should write an addendum.

  • Maximus4Maximus4 Alum Member
    edited December 2017 206 karma

    I also took it at the same location (Long Beach) and they took away my watch 5 min before I entered the room, I agree the conditions were horrible. The bathroom rule is completely ridiculous; people were waiting since 8am and had to use the bathroom. I think it was a huge mistake to put all those people in one room; too many factors for them to be able to control and keep things organized.

  • TheMikeyTheMikey Alum Member
    4196 karma

    wow that sounds horrible :(

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    I can't believe some of these testing centers are so horrible... Sickening.

    I'm so sorry you had to deal with that @sarahjanebc :(

  • spitzy11spitzy11 Alum Member
    772 karma

    One of my classmates and good friends took the test here too and she said the same thing... I experienced similar conditions at the LA Marriott, but not nearly as bad as this. I estimate around 400 of us were in there or so. A giant ballroom as well. We didn't get out until 3. The music from LA Live made it so that you could hear the base while taking the test... so irritating.

    I'm so sorry you and the others had to deal with this :(

  • chicarysschicaryss Alum Member
    143 karma

    Wow, I can't imagine how awful that must have been. I vote for an addendum (if your application allows for it). You can also report the issue to LSAC if you want but that will do nothing for your score nor will you receive a refund. I'm not sure what they actually do but it might save future test-takers from enduring the same thing.

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Alum Member
    5244 karma

    Oh no! Sorry this happened. Also strange because they knew there would be a large number of people and they could have planned differently.

  • LSATcantwinLSATcantwin Alum Member Sage
    13286 karma

    @spitzy11 said:
    One of my classmates and good friends took the test here too and she said the same thing... I experienced similar conditions at the LA Marriott, but not nearly as bad as this. I estimate around 400 of us were in there or so. A giant ballroom as well. We didn't get out until 3. The music from LA Live made it so that you could hear the base while taking the test... so irritating.

    I'm so sorry you and the others had to deal with this :(

    Wow, note to self; never take this test in Southern CA! Up here in northern CA my test went just fine! haha

  • armyericsmitharmyericsmith Member
    10 karma

    The USC test was pretty terrible too but not quite that bad. There was some problem with the doors and air pressure so that there was a piercing whistling during the entire test except for when someone opened the door, which the proctors kept going in and out of. It was held in a lecture hall so I was shocked that we were expected to do the test on a tiny note taking desk that slides out of the arm of the chairs. You had to balance your book in your lap in order to write on the answer sheet.

  • Sarah889Sarah889 Alum Member
    877 karma

    I think if you write an addendum, you should 1) have filed a complaint with LSAC and 2) wait to hear how they respond and include that in your addendum. If you don't have LSAC to back up your claims, as horrible as the situation honestly was, it will just sound like a lot of excuse making and complaining. If you have evidence, it gives your addendum more credit. I'm sure you won't be the first to complain from this test center, so LSAC might be willing to at least email you an apology letter, which you may consider attaching as well to corroborate your story. Otherwise, just attaching an addendum complaining about the test center could come across differently than you intend.

    That really sucks though...I'm sorry about that.

  • Sarah JaneSarah Jane Alum Member
    49 karma

    Thank you all for your feedback, it helps to put things into perspective. @Sarah889 I understand that I should wait until LSAC finishes their investigation, but would a copy of their email stating they received my complaint and is currently investigating it, be enough? Many of my fee waivers expire tomorrow which is why I would like to get out my apps by then.

    Again, thank you all. I hope that no one else has to experience these testing conditions! It just seems like all the hard work for months down the drain :(

  • Sarah JaneSarah Jane Alum Member
    49 karma

    This is what LSAC has emailed to me so far:

    ____Dear Sarah,

    Thank you for writing. I have forwarded your email to the Test Administration department at LSAC to be your formal, written complaint about testing conditions at the December LSAT.

    Your file will be put on hold while we review your complaint and after the review is concluded we will send you a letter describing what considerations, if any, have been deemed appropriate to offer you. Unless you have already canceled your score, the option to do so will be extended until the review is complete. If you have canceled, a different set of options may be offered.

    While your file is on hold, your score will not be released. Please note that while most reviews are completed within 2-3 weeks, it is possible that it may take longer. You will be contacted as soon as the review has been completed. We hope this information is helpful, and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any additional questions that you may have. We are here to help!

    Candidate Communications Analyst____

  • Sarah889Sarah889 Alum Member
    edited December 2017 877 karma

    Sarah, I'm sorry I did not respond in time to answer your question. I'm not sure what you ended up deciding to do, but I would consider waiting, even if it means forfeiting your waivers. At least wait to submit your reach schools' applications or schools that don't have an expiring waiver date. 2-3 weeks is not very long and you might even hear back before then. You may even mention in your addendum that you submitted a complaint to LSAC and would be happy to update the school on LSAC's findings once they report them, if it would assist in reviewing your candidacy. I would then email the admission offices the findings. Whether or not they attach them onto your application is up to them, but at least you disclosed all the relevant information to assist your addendum.

    Furthermore, I'm relatively certain the schools will not even begin to review your application until they've received your Dec LSAT score. You have at least until then to include LSAC's findings.

  • Sarah JaneSarah Jane Alum Member
    49 karma

    @Sarah889 I just received LSAC's response yesterday! They received numerous complaints and confirmed with the site supervisor that there were many problems with this location and they will NOT use the testing center for the LSAT again. However, they didn't really give good options for me. They allow one of three options: 1) Release Score, 2) Cancel & obtain a free waiver for February LSAT, or 3) Cancel and obtain a refund. They allow the option to also send a certified letter to each school with any option that I choose.

    However, I did want to release a December score and be able to take the February LSAT for free since I wanted a score to report for the schools that do not accept February LSAT. They do not allow that option though. I am now stuck as to what to do as I cannot take any more time off work nor afford to...

  • Sarah889Sarah889 Alum Member
    877 karma

    @Sarah Jane

    Oh man- sorry to hear about that. You should definitely have them send the certified letter though, especially if you did submit an addendum with your applications about this. That way, if you scored well, you will be able to showcase your ability to test well, despite the compromised situation. Or, if you did not score how you would have liked to, this will provide a legitimate reason why. Best of luck on your retake and with your applications in general.

  • Tom_TangoTom_Tango Alum Member
    902 karma

    Doesn't the lsat ticket information say to anticipate being there for 7 hours?

    Sounds like a rough situation!

  • tanes256tanes256 Alum Member
    2573 karma

    Good Lord! I feel for the poor girl that wet her pants! What in the entire F??! Sorry, I don't have anything beneficial for the OP but my goodness! This is unacceptable. I can't even understand why they'd have that many ppl in one room anyway. SMH

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