Saturday, June 4, 2011

NNT conquers the LSATs

So Y'all, I got news.

I'm taking the LSATs on Monday June 6th.

My current state
I've got other news.

I suck at standardized tests. Ever since I was little I've failed so hard at them. In high school, we had to take a test that was the determining factor in whether or not we graduated high school. The test was untimed, which was awesome, The test had three sections, and I knew I was going to be spending some time with the math section. I marched in to the middle of 400 other high schoolers to talk to the proctor on test day.

"I am going to be here until at least 4." Current time: 8 am.
"Most people finish up much sooner, I'm sure it won't take you that long." Witness me with two meals worth of food in my snack bag. I'm going to be here forever. You are a dunder head, I am certainly not most people and I will be here until 4.
So, do you know how long I was there? I was there until 4. I was the last one to finish the test by a good hour. And do you know who was annoyed, the proctor. But I told you I would be here until 4 it it hecka not my fault you can't plan when I told you I would be here forever. But I passed the test and graduated high school.

I have however, helpfully outlined some reasons why standardized tests are the worst.

Timed Tests

You guys, I hate this. Math minutes in elementary school? I hate them. They are dumb and stressful. Why yes, I do in fact, know how to add. I cannot, however do 30 problems in under a minute. Nor can I answer 25  complicated word problems in under 25 minutes. You either test accuracy or speed but not both. I can do things with accuracy, but not quickly. This doesn't mean I can't do it, it just means I can't do it quickly.

Bubble sheets.

You never use a bubble sheet except on a standardized test. I lack the skills needed to transfer my answers from the answer booklet to the bubble sheet and spend about a 5 of my time making sure I filled in the right bubble for the right answer. As previously mentioned, I don't do well with timed things.  Bubble sheets are dumb.

Lack of Technology 
I love spell check, spell check is my friend. My love for spell check is only second to my love of Microsoft Word. I have great ideas and can write about concepts, I cannot however, spell. This is because the English language is composed of French, Latin, German and Anglo-Saxxon. Their words became our words, and now I have to learn the spelling rules for all of them.

Do you know what the LSAT requires: A handwritten essay done in 35 minutes that will be sent to every law school you apply for. 

Dear LSAT people:
Do you hate me? Because I'm pretty sure you were all sitting around a big table looking smug when you came up with that one.

you guys, I have the best idea

My handwriting hasn't changed since I was 5, that is to say, that it looks like a five year old wrote for me. Also, do you know the last time I hand wrote an essay? It was the last time I took a standardized test. Before that: I was probably not even yet a teenager.  As soon as I could use a word processor to type my assignments, I did. Why: because it makes life easier. Because it's still my writing if I can type it and move sections around.

Non Mechanical Pencils
I love my pencils almost as much as I love spell check. They are soft, and have big grips that help me with my handwriting. They make a satisfying clicking noise when you push on them. They almost never run out of eraser.

Some schmuck decided to cheat and put answers in their mechanical pencil and now I can't take my favorite pencils in with me. 

Now I have to use regular pencils that hurt my hands when I use them for long periods of time. And they're less satisfying.

The application process. 
So, yeah. The LSAT would like for you to prove 6 ways to Sunday that you are who you say you and that who you say you are is a real person and that the real person is interested in taking the test and that you are not in fact, a robot. 
Please tell me I'm not an American, it was so funny the first time.
Getting Accommodations
So, if you thought that getting into the test center required a great deal of paperwork, then you have never applied to have accommodations on a standardized test. Please prove you are not a robot and prove that you aren't making up your disability that you've had since you were 5. Please retest and re-diagnose, because you know that it doesn't count unless you've had it done in the last 2 years.Because your disability might have disappeared and you could be totally fine now.

So is your paperwork.

The desks.
For some reason, every standardized test I've taken, students are required to sit at individual desks where the chair is attached. If you are a parent of a child who lacks the ability to sit still, then you are aware that these desks are no good. I'm also pretty sure they stopped making these desks in the 60s and now only pull them out to torture test takers. 

This is what sitting in those desks feels like

My fellow test takers

I do not like crowds. I do not like them in Disney World, where I am there to ride rides and have fun. Why would I like them when we are all nervous and getting ready to take a test that will determine our future? My fellow test takers are loud gum chewers, pencil tappers, loud breathers, non-bathers, and shoe squeakers. And since we all have to be quiet I cannot tell you that you're the most annoying group of people in the world.

Now here's the clincher:
I have major plans to rule the world

I just have to come up with a plan

And a major part of that plan is to take the LSATS and go to law school. I have excellent grades and I've got some pretty fantastic letters of recommendations from some impressive faculty. I have a diverse resume, including an internship in high school with a law firm. That law center worked on representing students with disabilities and was a major factor in me wanting to into law in the first place. My list of extra curricular activities is as long as my arm. I would be a fantastic candidate if I could just score high enough on the LSAT.

I'm pretty sure I would make a good lawyer. I'm a great public speaker and I don't get phased easily. 

This LSAT is just one more obstacle I'm going to have to climb over to get what I want. Which is nothing new.

I can do it


  1. *delurk

    Been reading for a while and love your posts. (you remind me a lot of me! only diagnosed. And. you know. functioning. heh.)

    Anyway, I hope you pwn those LSATs. I'll be cheering you on.


  2. Good luck with those LSAT's!! Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but can you not get an accommodation for a smaller testing group? We had that done for my son because just the sound of all of those pencils scritching drove him up the wall.

  3. Yes, I am eligible for accommodations but the process for applying for them takes as long as 6 months, and I didn't plan to take this test that far in advance. The accommodations can sometimes feel like an extra job, so I'm taking them without them.

    Thanks for the good wishes! I will need them!

  4. Hey, there. Long time no see. I was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder NOS (autism spectrum, but they can't really classify me) when I was 18. I never really had issues with standardized tests, but I totally agree with the handwriting and bubble sheet aspects. I was also thinking about going to law school as well. I was hoping to get into Constitutional Law, but I've been afraid of both the test and if I'd be good enough. It's great to see you pursuing your dream. Hope you do well!

  5. Fingers crossed for you today!

  6. Good luck today, NNT! I love reading your blog!!!

  7. You have strength, heart and determination, so you don't need luck. I will just with you good journey!!! :)

  8. Stupid typo...that was meant to say "wish you good journey"...not with. :)

  9. You'll do fine! Or you did fine, since it is now Tuesday. When I took the ACT, there was a guy with the sniffles behind me the whole test. I thought I was going to meltdown right there. I made it. I completely agree with you on the Math. I can do it, just give me time. Lots of time. Can't wait to hear how you aced it!

  10. Great read!

    Really struck chords with me, even though I left school many years ago.

    A lot of the things you pointed out I also experienced during school, but I was just classed as "excitable", "annoying", "naughty" or a "nuasanse" back then.

    Needless to say, I hated school and took little away from it, only to get diagnosed many, many years later after a lifetime of mishaps.

    Great read, anyway.

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. Good luck, sweetie!

    We just had my 7 year old's IEP meeting, and I was thrilled when one of the accommodations that were suggested by the school staff was to have someone fill in the bubbles for him when he starts standardized testing next year.

    My son has a different diagnosis than yours, but as a mom I love being able to get your perspective.

    I'm sure you'll be an amazing attorney!

  12. Anxious to hear how you did, but i'm sure you did fine!!! You have a fantastically written blog, and quite interesting! Keep up the great work!!!


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