Eighty-three aspiring lawyers took the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) on December 5 at UCSB. But rather than anxiously opening their scores, they received a stomach-dropping email from the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), which administers the test, saying their answer sheets had been lost.
“At this point, we have declared the answer sheets to be lost,” the email sent around December 21 read. “To protect the integrity of the scores, we will not score these answer sheets even if they are found,” which, according to LSAC spokesperson Wendy Margolis, they have not. The law-school hopefuls will be refunded their $175 test-taking fee and have a chance to sit through a makeup exam on January 19.
However, many students took to media and social networking sites voicing their frustration about the setback. “I am beyond livid right now. I just received an email from LSAC that my test answers have not been received and my test scores are canceled,” one test taker wrote on Reddit. That student expressed thankfulness to have also taken the LSAT in October since those scores give the ability to apply to law school in February 2016.
The admissions council is holding accountable the United Parcel Service (UPS) workers who, according to Margolis, were responsible for mailing the paper answer sheets to the LSAC’s headquarters in Newtown, Pennsylvania, where they should have been graded. “They [the answer sheets] never reached us,” she said.
Margolis declined to comment on the LSAC’s shipping procedures, as well as whether or not the nonprofit council ever tried to locate the package via its UPS tracking number. Without a tracking number, UPS said, the company cannot identify when, where, or if the package went missing under its control.
“UCSB’s involvement went only as far as providing a room to serve as a test location. The LSAC handled everything,” UCSB spokesperson Andrea Estrada told The Santa Barbara Independent via email.
The last time LSAT scores went missing was in 2012, when approximately 54 tests taken at the University of Tampa disappeared, according to area media reports. In 1999, over 280 were lost in transit to Newton, the Los Angeles Times reported.