Why does Boalt admissions treat LSAT this way?

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Dr. Strangelove
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Why does Boalt admissions treat LSAT this way?

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:09 pm

I was reading a book on law school admissions at Borders and saw some quotes about splitters from deans.
Some were positive and reassuring (e.g: UVA (which gave valid reasons as to why a GPA or LSAT could be low), Northwestern (which basically said WE trumps low GPA).)
Boalt's response made me wonder if its Dean of Admissions holds a grudge because he didn't do well on the LSAT.

The Dean's response: "If an applicant has a high GPA and low LSAT, that applicant should also send his or her SAT- if the applicant has the history of not being the best test-taker, we'll take that in consideration. The high LSAT/low GPA case is less convincing to me- since that person could of easily taken a prep course."
(Note: Not quoted verbatim but this is the jist of what he said.)

No matter how I do on the LSAT, I didn't take any prep course. Based on this dean's logic, should I go and write an addendum about how I didn't take a prep course to get my LSAT score? :roll: As far as I was concerned, that was his reasoning to why he doesn't like high LSAT/low GPA splitters.. he might have been misquoted in Ivey's book- but I don't think so. I believe that people can be this dumb.

Boalt is an incredible law school and anything I read about its environment makes me enthusiastic about the school- too bad the admissions process is so shitty.

P.S: The addendum comment was sarcastic, I don't think it'd help me get into Boalt.

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romothesavior
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby romothesavior » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:10 pm

I read none of your post, but going off of the title alone I believe TCR is yes.

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tru
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby tru » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:21 pm

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clintonius
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby clintonius » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:25 pm

Daytukrjabs wrote:Just Ed Tom.

--ImageRemoved--

sumus romani
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby sumus romani » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:26 pm

That quote or something like it is suggested by several deans, not just the one from Boalt (but Boalt does have to try to justify its TTT median LSAT somehow). Having said that, the thought is incredibly stupid. Around one quarter of all law school applicants take a LSAT prep class, yet only (sorry in advance for how I put this) one percent of all test takers score in the top ninty-ninth percentile. Also, of those who score in the top percentile, a least a significant number did so without a class, or took the class to get into the 160's and then got above 171 on his or her own. Now, none of this indicates that Boalt admissions is retarded either literally or figuaratively.

09042014
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:28 pm

The UC system is very anti-standardized testing.

Though IMO LSAC should put all the PTs online in PDF format for free.

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Rock Chalk
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby Rock Chalk » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:28 pm

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Last edited by Rock Chalk on Wed May 16, 2012 3:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:29 pm

Rock Chalk wrote:I think I kind of get what he's saying. The LSAT is too learnable to be an aptitute test so he takes GPA to be a more accurate predictor of ability. Not saying he's necessarily right, but I don't see why it's controversial.


Because GPA is vastly more "learnable".

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Rock Chalk
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby Rock Chalk » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:38 pm

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Dr. Strangelove
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:42 pm

Daytukrjabs wrote:No. (Met in person wonderful ppl at Berkeley admissions)

Just Ed Tom. (I am biased. Never liked the guy)


I can agree with that!

09042014
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:45 pm

Rock Chalk wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Rock Chalk wrote:I think I kind of get what he's saying. The LSAT is too learnable to be an aptitute test so he takes GPA to be a more accurate predictor of ability. Not saying he's necessarily right, but I don't see why it's controversial.

Because GPA is vastly more "learnable".

GPA is composed of hundreds of tests, most of which probably involved preparation. Why weigh the preparation for one test over the preparation for 100? As I said, I don't necessarily agree and I see the benefits to a standardized test for comparison. I just understand why someone would lean more heavily on 4 years of preparation than 3 or 4 months.

And I definitely agree that all practice tests should be available for free. I also think that prep materials should be subsidized to help eliminate socioeconomic bias, but that's another discussion.


Because being good at school in one study, doesn't necessarily make for a good law student. GPA has less predictive value than the lsat.

Also not all GPA's are born equal. It's hard to compare a physics major to a poli sci major who were at different schools with different grade scales.

I think GPA should definitely be considered but, you can't dismiss the LSAT because you can raise your score with effort, when ones GPA is almost entirely based on effort.

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drdolittle
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby drdolittle » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:47 pm

I don't think the public statements of deans in general are anything more than an attempt to brand their school to attract unique applicants, so I don't fully believe them. Nevertheless, I have read that UCs, especially Berkeley, now rely much more on GPA and less on LSAT to give a better shot to applicants who were previously admitted due to URM status before California's ban on affirmative action got passed.

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Rock Chalk
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby Rock Chalk » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:20 pm

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bilbobaggins
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby bilbobaggins » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:22 pm

Y'all need to stop talking shit about me before I get out my guitar and play you some tunes.

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NoleinNY
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby NoleinNY » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:40 pm

What it takes to earn you GPA is definitely way too varied than a standardized test could account for. For example, my gf has about a 3.4-3.5 GPA for UG at a respected private university. She had to write more 10-20 page analytical papers in one semester as a phil major than I had to do in all of undergrad for poli sci (which was still a decent amount) and media production (which was more technical proficiency and performance based than test and paper based). My GPA is 3.75. By that same token, my friend in our meteorological program doing scholarly and experimental research in said field has a GPA closer to hers than mine.

If all 3 of us pulled off like a 175 LSAT and applied to Boalt, my chances are still better despite the fact that gf's workload is more similar to law school work and friend's field of study is much tougher. Maybe I would be a better law student and lawyer than those two, maybe not.

Ultimately it's the school's prerogative whether they want to weigh admission decisions based on a standardized test that has been shown to be a less-than-stellar indicator of law school performance or a number that reflects an individual's ability to fulfill assignment/project/test requirements consistently in a specific way.

I guess that's a shaggy dog way of saying "Yeah, that's retarded but it is what it is."

09042014
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:51 pm

Rock Chalk wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Because being good at school in one study, doesn't necessarily make for a good law student. GPA has less predictive value than the lsat.

Also not all GPA's are born equal. It's hard to compare a physics major to a poli sci major who were at different schools with different grade scales.

I think GPA should definitely be considered but, you can't dismiss the LSAT because you can raise your score with effort, when ones GPA is almost entirely based on effort.

This is exactly why I just said I see the benefits of a standardized test for comparing applicants. And Boalt clearly does too, just less than their peers. Your last sentence reflects another point from my last post (if GPA and LSAT both measure effort rather than aptitute (according to Boalt), why weigh 3 months of effort more heavily than 4 years of effort?). Again, I'm not advocating this position, but I do find it completely reasonable.


Well because LSAT is mostly a measurement of aptitude, and only a small part effort. Also the LSAT is a test of what you can do now. Plenty of 4.0's aren't smart enough to pass the bar, and plenty of 3.0's reformed their ways.

I'd take GPA more seriously if the LSAC didn't have ridiculous rules about. They count classes from ten years ago to "standardize", but don't account for schools that massively grade inflate? Instead of being objective, its capricious.

I wouldn't have accepted me into law school, but there should be a path for someone like me to sanitize their GPA. I should be allowed to take a masters in history and have it be weighted into admissions.

daviddel03
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby daviddel03 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:52 pm

don't forget that GPA is a strong predictor, most of the time, of work ethic. Sure, you might be a genious and get an insane score on the LSAT, but are you willing to put in the hours and graduate?

Just my 2 cents

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Kohinoor
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby Kohinoor » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:56 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Rock Chalk wrote:I think I kind of get what he's saying. The LSAT is too learnable to be an aptitute test so he takes GPA to be a more accurate predictor of ability. Not saying he's necessarily right, but I don't see why it's controversial.


Because GPA is vastly more "learnable".

While both are learnable, a high GPA at least demonstrates tenacity.

09042014
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:01 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Rock Chalk wrote:I think I kind of get what he's saying. The LSAT is too learnable to be an aptitute test so he takes GPA to be a more accurate predictor of ability. Not saying he's necessarily right, but I don't see why it's controversial.


Because GPA is vastly more "learnable".

While both are learnable, a high GPA at least demonstrates tenacity.


I'd say knowing what it takes to succeed, and the ability to accomplish it.

I promise you I did more work than most 4.0's in social studies in my 2.8 in Electrical Engineering, but I knowingly did less than was necessary.

I very much think I should have to display that I'm ready to take school seriously. Northwestern considers work experience for example.

But the fact remains that even when the vast majority of a law schools class is within 7-10 pts on the LSAT (effectively a tie), GPA is still a a worse predictor of success than the LSAT.

miamiman
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby miamiman » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:14 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Rock Chalk wrote:I think I kind of get what he's saying. The LSAT is too learnable to be an aptitute test so he takes GPA to be a more accurate predictor of ability. Not saying he's necessarily right, but I don't see why it's controversial.


Because GPA is vastly more "learnable".

While both are learnable, a high GPA at least demonstrates tenacity.


I'd say knowing what it takes to succeed, and the ability to accomplish it.

I promise you I did more work than most 4.0's in social studies in my 2.8 in Electrical Engineering, but I knowingly did less than was necessary.

I very much think I should have to display that I'm ready to take school seriously. Northwestern considers work experience for example.

But the fact remains that even when the vast majority of a law schools class is within 7-10 pts on the LSAT (effectively a tie), GPA is still a a worse predictor of success than the LSAT.


I readily admit I would have died if I had done EE at Stanford but just out of curiosity, what was the mean GPA among EE majors at UIUC?

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drdolittle
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby drdolittle » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:46 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I'd take GPA more seriously if the LSAC didn't have ridiculous rules about. They count classes from ten years ago to "standardize", but don't account for schools that massively grade inflate? Instead of being objective, its capricious.

I wouldn't have accepted me into law school, but there should be a path for someone like me to sanitize their GPA. I should be allowed to take a masters in history and have it be weighted into admissions.


The path is a high LSAT and evidently it worked.

Schools essentially interpret GPAs however the hell they like, and this is tougher to do with the LSAT. Except maybe at Berkeley...

09042014
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:22 pm

miamiman wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Because GPA is vastly more "learnable".

While both are learnable, a high GPA at least demonstrates tenacity.


I'd say knowing what it takes to succeed, and the ability to accomplish it.

I promise you I did more work than most 4.0's in social studies in my 2.8 in Electrical Engineering, but I knowingly did less than was necessary.

I very much think I should have to display that I'm ready to take school seriously. Northwestern considers work experience for example.

But the fact remains that even when the vast majority of a law schools class is within 7-10 pts on the LSAT (effectively a tie), GPA is still a a worse predictor of success than the LSAT.


I readily admit I would have died if I had done EE at Stanford but just out of curiosity, what was the mean GPA among EE majors at UIUC?


3.01 of seniors, I dunno if some never graduate though, so it might be higher. I only know this because the College of Engineering accidentally emailed everyone's GPA to the entire department.

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im_blue
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby im_blue » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:25 pm

I agree that Boalt has a retarded viewpoint, but you've also got to understand their motives here. After affirmative action was banned in CA, Boalt emphasized their holistic admissions even more in order to keep their URM numbers up. Not surprisingly, this holistic evaluation favors GPA and softs over LSAT, which in their view is biased not only against applicants who didn't/couldn't take prep courses, but URMs as a whole.

I'm sure they're aware that LSAT has better predictive ability than GPA, but acknowledging that doesn't serve their goals as well as claiming that a high GPA/low LSAT splitter is somehow better than a high LSAT/low GPA splitter.
Last edited by im_blue on Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:27 pm

im_blue wrote:I agree that Boalt has a retarded viewpoint, but you've also got to understand their motives here. After affirmative action was banned in CA, Boalt emphasized their holistic admissions even more in order to keep their URM numbers up. Not surprisingly, this holistic evaluation favors GPA and softs over LSAT, which in their view is biased not only against applicants who didn't/couldn't take prep courses, but URMs as a whole.


I don't buy the "holistic because of URM" issue. They clearly have different cut offs for URMs and non URMs.

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im_blue
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Re: Is Boalt Admissions really this 'retarded'?

Postby im_blue » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:30 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
im_blue wrote:I agree that Boalt has a retarded viewpoint, but you've also got to understand their motives here. After affirmative action was banned in CA, Boalt emphasized their holistic admissions even more in order to keep their URM numbers up. Not surprisingly, this holistic evaluation favors GPA and softs over LSAT, which in their view is biased not only against applicants who didn't/couldn't take prep courses, but URMs as a whole.


I don't buy the "holistic because of URM" issue. They clearly have different cut offs for URMs and non URMs.

State law forbids AA, so they have to have something plausible to justify their decisions in case they get sued again and/or get a FOIA request.




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