New Advise-In Solutions Video: Why Taking the LSAT Can be Harder for “Smarter” People (and What You Can Do to Solve the Problem)

Last week, I exchanged e-mails and talked with a man who, like many considering taking the LSAT, raised the question of the relation between the LSAT and “intelligence.”  This question comes up a lot, in different forms, and I’ve talked about it on this blog a few times.  These particular conversations motivated me to put up a new public video, “Why Taking the LSAT Can be Harder for ‘Smarter’ People (and What You Can Do to Solve the Problem).”

My short answer to the question of whether the LSAT is an “intelligence” test is, No.  Understanding that the LSAT was not an intelligence test (beyond core abilities to read and process information in the English language) was a key step in my own LSAT preparation and my 180 score on my only try. Lots of people were telling me that the LSAT was a disguised intelligence test which, had it been true, would have made it impossible for me to get my highest LSAT score.  What I determined was that none of those people could produce a shred of convincing evidence in favor of the intelligence test thesis; it was pure assertion, mostly by people who’d never taken the test.  I didn’t know if it was or wasn’t a test of intelligence but decided to test the hypothesis by preparing for and taking the exam believing it wasn’t a test of intelligence as much as a test of what seemed more obvious, my ability to take this test.

This video discusses a related point of cognitive research, which is why, in high-stakes tests, people with higher cognitive abilities actually have more trouble that those with less such power.  That’s, of course, exactly the opposite of what you’d expect if the LSAT and similar tests tested intelligence.  Had I known about this research when I was preparing for the LSAT, I wouldn’t have had to wonder about whether the LSAT is an intelligence test; I’d have been much more confident that it isn’t.

At a minimum, that finding of cognitive research indicates that what high-stakes tests test is largely, well, the ability to just take the test.  That’s a theoretical point with practical implications—it changes how you should prepare for the LSAT, and the video focuses on these practical implications.  Theory can be interesting, I suppose, but the key for those who are actually going to take the exam is to be able to operationalize the theory so that it makes an actual difference in your ability to obtain your best LSAT score.  Otherwise, it’s just wind.

I hope the video is helpful to you.  The video is one of a series that I periodically produce (of course, clients have on-demand access to over 55 videos, most of which won’t be publicly available, but I think it’s important to try to give a little perspective and assistance to a wider audience as well).  You can access the videos by clicking on the “Watch our Videos” button on any page of the Advise-In Solutions website.  You can also subscribe to Advise-In’s videos once you’re on YouTube, so that you’ll be notified automatically of new videos.  Or you can visit Advise-In’s YouTube channel by clicking here.

~ by Kyle Pasewark at Advise-in Solutions on August 22, 2011.

One Response to “New Advise-In Solutions Video: Why Taking the LSAT Can be Harder for “Smarter” People (and What You Can Do to Solve the Problem)”

  1. Reblogged this on bajerry.

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