Some LSAT scores lost: bummer of all bummers

The LSAT is not just any test. It is a hard test. It is a very hard test. Many study for it for months. Scores are not just meaningful; they can be life changing. Ace it and you have a shot at getting into the nation’s best law schools.

So imagine sitting for the test, braving that mean sucker, pouring all of you mental energy into it and …

Your score vanishes. 

That’s what happened to more than 100 test-takers who sat for the July test. It’s online now because of the pandemic. And there was a glitch with the so-called Flex LSAT. It went smoothly for most of the 14,500 who took the test, but some are grappling with an extremely brutal break.  

Mike Spivey, a partner with the Spivey Consulting Group, which counsels law school applicants, said imagine you run your best race ever, but race officials failed to clock it. 

“You'll never get that chance and very possibly time again,” he said. “It would be crushing. Now take the stakes and not make it about running but your law school dreams.”

He made another analogy: 

“LSAC (Law School Admission Council) can and should do better,” he said. “They lost 120 tests out of about 14,000 takers. Now don't think test administration company. Think airline company.”

He’s not a lone voice. 

“The loss of a test-taker's answers on test day would often (and understandably!) be an absolutely devastating blow to a test-taker’s mental health. Especially now, when so many of us are hanging on to our sanity by the thinnest thread,” said Dave Hall, founder of Velocity Test Prep. 

“Students put so much work, thought, care, and time into being ready for this one day,” he continued. “For LSAC to destroy that is just a terrible shame. Life’s hard. LSAC shouldn’t be making it worse.” 

LSAC was nothing but apologetic. 

“We are very sorry for this problem and the added stress and frustration it has caused test takers,” said Mark Murray, a LSAC spokes person. “We know how much effort candidates put into preparing for and taking the test, and we recognize how frustrating it is to have worked so hard and not have a score due to an unexpected technical issue.”

It’s been working to recover some of the answers of the affected test takers and will continue to do so, he said. A retest was also held — free of charge. 

Hall wonders if students are up to it. It wouldn’t surprise him to learn that some of those students will take a break to mentally recover and reset, then prepare and test again. 

“And depending on how long that process takes, that could mean postponing their applications and putting off the start of law school,” he said. “That could be a real burden for some people.”

About 25 of the test-takers were planning to apply to law schools this fall.  LSAC is working with the students and their schools to note the error is on the organization, not the students. 

LSAC has also taken preventative steps. 

“We have made changes to our online testing platform including additional safeguards to make sure this issue never happens again,” Murray said.