At some point, everyone pulled a mission accomplished and decided to act as if COVID isn’t a thing anymore. Restaurants are booming and theaters have been flooded with pink-coated customers. But not all venues have seen the same return to post-COVID normality. For this year’s August LSAT, a whopping 61% of the takers decided to take the test remotely. For the more math challenged of us, that’s over half! It’s understandable too, if I had the opportunity to go back in time and choose between the assigned testing area and doing it remote, I’d have been tackling logic games in Nicaragua.
I may have also come to regret it. See, this LSAT testing period isn’t just mired with the normal “I wonder what my grade was” anxiety. Don’t get me wrong — there’s plenty of that — but this year the technical difficulties made at least a couple people wish they just took the damned thing in person. Here’s one story:
I just read with interest your ABTL piece about August LAST students choosing to take the test from home. After transitioning to a predominantly virtual learning environment over the past few years my daughter elected to take the test remotely due to discomfort with banter, people with distracting habits etc. around her while she wrote.
The numerous issues she experienced throughout the entirety of her test last night (starting with the proctor arriving over 1 hour late while she sat at her computer on standby, “ready to write” at a moment’s notice), were beyond unacceptable, particularly as they were all a result of failures on the part on the Proctoring company ProMetrix. Apparently, she was not alone as a message on the LSAC site at the time of her test indicated that all affected test takers will be contacted with a free re-write option by Tuesday. We have no indication as to how they know who has been affected (i.e. will my daughter be included in this follow up?) or whether the alternate offered will be reasonable. Incredibly unprofessional and disappointing first test experience.
This reader’s daughter isn’t the only one hit with a bad testing experience. A poster at r/LSAT had this story to share:
I had everything prepared to take the exam remotely. I updated my computer, went for a run, and had the confirmation number written down and when I logged in it just checked my system and then took me back to the login page and said “Unable to find my exam”. Anyone else? What are our options? I want to apply to law school in September.
Prometric makes me want to bless ProctorU. This is so aggregating because I had to kick my family out of the house for a few hours just for this exam. I was so ready to get this exam over with and even treated myself to a Starbucks in the morning.
To make matters worse, there is a train of similarly situated testers in the comments. One person waited over 3 hours for a proctor to arrive. Knowing that one of the sections of your LSAT is fake is torture enough without the impromptu Waiting For Godot experience.
In-person testers would have at least had the benefit of being able to take bathroom breaks without worrying if it would ruin the sanctity of the test. Online? Read this poster’s story for yourself:
I took the first 2 sections of the LSAT but during section 2, my proctor distracted me for 5 minutes already taking 5 minutes of my test. Then, during the intermission I asked her if I could go to the bathroom but she wasn’t responding. I went to the bathroom that’s in my room, so if they were recording me the whole time they could watch me go inside the bathroom, but when I came back she said I wasn’t allowed to leave the camera. I knew of this during the test but I thought that the purpose of the intermission was for people to stand up, stretch and go to the bathroom. She threatened me by saying that my test could be terminated and then some random proctor started speaking through my computer and told me that I couldn’t be in a room where there was a bathroom inside or a closet. I looked it up and it didn’t say that anywhere. Both of my bathroom and closet doors were closed during the exam. The new proctor made me leave the app and go through the sign in process again which I did but then they had me waiting for 2 hours for a new proctor that never showed up. I decided to leave and file a complaint. Do you think they will let me retake the test on the 22nd?
I have a sliver of good news for the test takers. You now have something in common with the customers Barbri and Themis screwed over. Welcome to the profession.
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at email@example.com and by tweet at @WritesForRent.