A recent study by Kaplan Test Prep shows that not all classrooms are created equal.
The study – which surveyed over 7,000 people and spanned hundreds of universities – ranked the level of comfort provided to students during LSAT and MCAT examinations. The online survey was made available to all test-takers immediately after the test finished, asking questions about factors such as the temperature of the room, quality of the proctor and various other environmental factors.
Kaplan, a leading provider of test preparation books and courses, said it created the survey as a means to further help students improve their scores on tests.
“Most students don’t realize how important a factor the test site is and simply go to the location that is closest,” Executive Director of Kaplan Test Prep Justin Serrano said. “We want to provide students with information about the test site before they take the exam.”
UCSB received scores in the middle of the pack, ranking 159 out of 261 LSAT sites and 88 out of 192 MCAT sites. UC San Diego and UC Berkeley were in the lowest five ranked MCAT sites in the nation. Serrano said the MCAT and LSAT scores for UCSB indicate that it is an adequate place to take exams, although some complaints were persistent.
“The complaint that came across for the LSAT at UCSB was that it was taken in Buchanan Hall, which most people said was ‘way too dark,'” Serrano said. “Still, the reality is that overall it achieved a very respectable level and was certainly adequate.”
The test results show that the quality of a school does not necessarily equate to its quality as a testing site. In particular, few Ivy League schools received scores in the top 50 percentile.
Kaplan said comfort is a large factor in how a student scores on the test. The best example of a bad testing site came from City University of New York, Brooklyn College, where the LSAT started late and was administered by a proctor who not only used profanity, but talked throughout the exam and left her cell phone on. She also made a point of declaring her hatred for lawyers.
UCSB administrators said they had no idea the survey had been administered here and were unable to comment.
For more information regarding testing sites, visit www.kaptest.com.