When is an LSAT Addendum Necessary/Advisable

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Dave Davely
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When is an LSAT Addendum Necessary/Advisable

Postby Dave Davely » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:00 pm

I have taken the LSAT twice. I was disappointed after my first LSAT to find that my score was...disappointing. My second time around I did exactly 10 points better. Does this 10 point jump merit an addendum? I don't have any fantastically airtight or credited reason that I screwed up on the test the first time.

Anna Ivey seems to think that, in most cases, a LSAT addendum is only necessary if a school application specifically requests that applicants explain any large score variations (See http://www.annaivey.com/iveyfiles/2010/03/addendum_for_multiple_lsat_scores). I have searched in vain for any LS apps that feature such requests though.

So, with all this said, what does everyone think?

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Nulli Secundus
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Re: When is an LSAT Addendum Necessary/Advisable

Postby Nulli Secundus » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:03 pm

Most schools take only the highest into account, so it will probably not matter. Also, after all, if something really went wrong on the first test day you had the option of canceling your score, so anything short of cancel-worthy would probably be disregarded as a valid excuse for scoring low, also by retaking LSAT you followed the golden advice of TLS, hence this board has nothing further to give you. Good luck in your future endeavours!

frost
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Re: When is an LSAT Addendum Necessary/Advisable

Postby frost » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:04 pm

If you don't have a good reason, don't write an addendum. It'd be a waste of your time and the adcomm's time for you to just say you screwed up the first time. A 10-point jump is significant but not so jaw-dropping that it warrants an explanation by itself.

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bk1
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Re: When is an LSAT Addendum Necessary/Advisable

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:05 pm

Most schools are moving away from this policy considering the fact that most of them no longer average and instead take the highest score. The request for an addendum before was basically asking applicants why their highest score should be considered rather than their average, just like a GPA addendum is saying why a school should take a 3.8 over 3 years rather than the 3.4 over 4 years due to something like an illness during 1 year. Thus since they don't really look at the lower scores any more an addendum is moot.

Most of the schools will have a FAQ on their website and that is where you might find them asking for an LSAT addendum. Also interviews are another source of them saying that sort of thing, TLS has a lot of adcomm interviews. Keep in mind though that schools like to portray the image that they are holistic when they are really not and that they evaluate candidates on all their LSAT scores when they really look at the highest.

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ChiButterfly
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Re: When is an LSAT Addendum Necessary/Advisable

Postby ChiButterfly » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:06 pm

It's interesting that you bring that quote up about writing an addendum if your score increases a lot. I never knew that, but I guess it's understandable since they would want to make sure you're not cheating or anything.

I think your best bet would be to call the admissions office and ask them if they require it for LSAT score variations.

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bk1
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Re: When is an LSAT Addendum Necessary/Advisable

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:11 pm

ChiButterfly wrote:It's interesting that you bring that quote up about writing an addendum if your score increases a lot. I never knew that, but I guess it's understandable since they would want to make sure you're not cheating or anything.

I think your best bet would be to call the admissions office and ask them if they require it for LSAT score variations.


The problem comes when admissions offices say something along the lines of "it isn't necessary but we highly highly recommend it." What do you do at that point? And how can you tell that they aren't trying to appear holistic in evaluation of all LSAT scores? The problem is that you can't.

There are two different camps that I've seen. There is the never have an addendum unless it is for a specific justifiable reason, i.e. death in the family, illness, etc, to which I fall into. And there is the adcomms say "all info is useful and if it was because you studied more, we want to know that" so you should include one. As noted, I think the latter falls prey to the illusion that adcomms paint about holistic admissions. But, make your own choice as to which you think is right.

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ChiButterfly
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Re: When is an LSAT Addendum Necessary/Advisable

Postby ChiButterfly » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:22 pm

bk1 wrote:The problem comes when admissions offices say something along the lines of "it isn't necessary but we highly highly recommend it." What do you do at that point? And how can you tell that they aren't trying to appear holistic in evaluation of all LSAT scores? The problem is that you can't.

There are two different camps that I've seen. There is the never have an addendum unless it is for a specific justifiable reason, i.e. death in the family, illness, etc, to which I fall into. And there is the adcomms say "all info is useful and if it was because you studied more, we want to know that" so you should include one. As noted, I think the latter falls prey to the illusion that adcomms paint about holistic admissions. But, make your own choice as to which you think is right.


But that doesn't necessarily hurt admissions chances. I mean, if the adcomms are saying these two different things, does that automatically translate into "If you follow their instructions, you'll be at a disadvantage?"

EDIT: I'm not trying to be obnoxious, I literally am just asking because I'm not sure myself. :)
Last edited by ChiButterfly on Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dave Davely
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Re: When is an LSAT Addendum Necessary/Advisable

Postby Dave Davely » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:23 pm

Thanks TLS forum for so many quick replies (especially bk1 and nulli).

At the risk of hijacking my own thread, does anyone else find it frustrating that both LS admissions offices and "admissions consultants" like Anna Ivey seem to give contradictory advice? In her book Ivey laments overstuffed application files that "land on the desk with a thud" yet much of her advice (as well as that of most admissions officers) would lead to just that for many students.

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bk1
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Re: When is an LSAT Addendum Necessary/Advisable

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm

ChiButterfly wrote:But that doesn't necessarily hurt admissions chances. I mean, if the adcomms are saying these two different things, does that automatically translate into "If you follow their instructions, you'll be at a disadvantage?"


Not necessarily, but it can still hurt. "I studied harder the second time" can make adcomms question why you didn't study hard or right the first time. Also, they may be annoyed if they find it superfluous and wonder why you bothered attaching worthless extra stuff for them to read. Extra information isn't always beneficial.

Dave Davely
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Re: When is an LSAT Addendum Necessary/Advisable

Postby Dave Davely » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:29 pm

ChiButterfly wrote: But that doesn't necessarily hurt admissions chances. I mean, if the adcomms are saying these two different things, does that automatically translate into "If you follow their instructions, you'll be at a disadvantage?"


On one level it's an issue of doing less work versus doing more. No one wants to write and submit and entirely unnecessary addendum. Also, submitting endless addendums and explanations for every possible weakness in your application might make you look a little immature and pedantic.




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