The quality of LSAT testing sites varies greatly and can impact students’ performance on the test, according to student feedback Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions collected and released last month.
“Students should know that while the overall quality of their preparation for the LSAT is the paramount factor in determining their success on the exam, some variables they have not considered may also influence their performance,” said Steven Marietti, director of Pre-Law Programs at Kaplan.
As students make preparations nearly two months in advance for this June’s law school admissions test, some may want take a second look at where they plan to take it.
On Kaplan’s test site rater, students can view feedback from those who have taken the LSAT at 349 test sites across the country. Additionally, the Web site includes an overall site rating on a scale of one to five, as well as separate ratings for test proctors, amount of desk space and level of quiet and comfort.
This year’s test site rater – a service Kaplan has featured since 2002 – took into account more than 10,000 test-taker responses. Among the lowest ranks were test sites at large Big Ten schools and some Ivy League schools such as Yale and Brown universities, according to a Kaplan press release.
Marietti said test sites at smaller schools often have fewer students testing on exam day and have a quieter, better environment.
The fourth-ranked test site overall is Maryland’s Hagerstown Community College, located more than an hour away from GW, with a score of 4.73. American University’s testing site scored a 4.53.
The site with the lowest rating in the District, notching a 3.55, is the University of the District of Columbia School of Law. Howard scored 3.56, Catholic scored a 4.18 and Georgetown scored a 4.2.
“LSAT test (sites are) far too hard to schedule in general,” said senior John Williford. “I had to pick the site that was open, which involved me flying home.”
Williford said he was not aware of Kaplan’s test site rankings, even though he took a Kaplan test prep course over the summer. He added that his course did address how to prepare for the actual test day and how to handle distractions at a bad test site.
“I think that signing up for a space close is more important than finding a good place,” said senior Evan Sills, a Kaplan test-prep course participant. “I don’t think it’s so important to fly across the country just to have a good location.”