“LSAT performance curve #6: the ‘zen master’ pattern” article published on the LEX test prep blog.
More Dangers of Practicing with Good Proctors
Practice and diagnostic testing is an important part of preparation for the LSAT, bar exam, and other standardized tests. Being able to perform during test-day conditions is, of course, crucial, and experiencing multiple rounds of “dress rehearsal” helps to improve such performance.
Test preparation companies, meanwhile, naturally want to impress their students by hiring proctors for practice tests who are dependably punctual, friendly, and otherwise professional.
Unfortunately, this habit may be good for a test preparation company’s image, but it’s not good for students.
The reality is that, on the day of the actual test, the proctor you get may not be at all like the proctor with whom you practiced. LEX students routinely report proctor-related disruptions on the day of the actual LSAT or bar exam. Some such problems include:
- hostile proctor who had a verbal argument during or immediately before the time the LSAT or bar exam clock was running
- late proctor who kept students waiting for the start of or return to the test
- proctor who smelled like smoke
- disorganized proctor who bumbled logistics of the test
- forgetful proctor who did not provide one (or more) of the time warnings upon which students tend to rely
At LEX, we half-jokingly tell students that test preparation companies should instruct their proctors to do everything wrong—or should simply hire people who are not able to handle the basic tasks of proctors, thereby ensuring that one or more of the above problems will arise. Such a practicing environment would prepare students more fully than does an atmosphere in which everything runs smoothly.
(Original publication date: August 8, 2011 (LEX))