Ever wonder where the LSAC gets their proctors? Some of them are just elderly people who have been proctoring the LSAT test for many, many years and know all the rules. They are interested in all the updates and nuances of what the test-taking environment should be and do everything in their power to create an optimal test-taking environment for you. Yeah, sure, some of them are like that. But, my newly logically savvy LSAT preppers, do you really think most of them are like that?
Both times I took the LSAT I had nightmarish proctor experiences. But, because I was well-versed in my LSAT-taking rights, I persevered in the end. My first unsavory proctor experience involved my right to have my analogue watch on my desk for a personal indication of how much time I had left. My genius proctor had a little slip of paper with images of what students were not allowed to have on their desks while they were taking the exam. The images included a water bottle, a pencil sharpener, food of any kind and a clock (no not a watch, but a clock). Why an image of a clock was on the slip and why LSAC felt that a student might bring a clock to the LSAT test is beyond me, but the old, blue-haired woman walked slowly up to my desk, pointed to my watch and told me that I could not have the watch on my desk. She told me that I either had to wear it on my wrist, or put it under the desk. It was not allowed on the desk. I don’t think I even heard her the first time she told me. I just stared at her. What do you mean I can’t have my watch on my desk?!?!
I refused to take the watch off of my desk and showed her the fine print on my testing ticket. Something you should start now if you haven’t already, is reading the small print. Small print is important. You want to be a lawyer right? You’re going to have to write the small print soon, so get used to reading it. The small print of the ticket tells you everything you can and can’t do. The small print clearly stated that I was allowed to have an analogue watch to help me with my time and nowhere did it indicate that I could not place the watch on my desk! We bickered for a while and she left the room to get her supervisor.
I could feel the room staring at me. Yes, I was delaying the exam by a few minutes, but this was my LSAT score we were talking about here! I was not going to give them an inch. She came back and begrudgingly said it would be okay. Proctor 0, Melody 1.
The second time I took the LSAT, the proctor was an old man. He seemed to have no interest in being the room with us and proceeded to crumple the newspaper he was reading very loudly during the entire exam. Needless to say, no one was quite fond of him. After the third section he told us we had a ten-minute break to stretch or go to the bathroom. I saw worried faces darting around wondering why he had stiffed us five minutes. But, to my shock and awe, no one protested. So, of course, my hand darted up and told him it was a fifteen-minute break. He looked appalled and re-read his instructions. He then said to me his papers told him that after the third section the proctor was to administer either a ten or a fifteen-minute break, and he chose ten. Still the room did not protest. Can you believe it?!? Little did Mr. Proctor-man know that Melody reads fine print and that in the fine print it says that if I ask for fifteen minutes, as a paying LSAT taker, I am entitled to my fifteen-minute break. I told him so, showed him the fine print and he begrudgingly agreed. The audacity! Proctor 0, Melody 2.
I tell you these stories not to scare you, but to empower you. Please go on the LSAC website and enlighten yourself. There are so many little things that my students will say, “But, no one ever told me.” You’re trying to be a law student, yes? No one is going to tell you things anymore. Go find out what rights you have as an LSAT taker and protect them. This is your first exercise in justice.
Now go be empowered. Happy Studying!