Very unusual LSAT addendum + do we REALLY have to send one?

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glacierfrost
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Very unusual LSAT addendum + do we REALLY have to send one?

Postby glacierfrost » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:22 pm

I read a ton of past topics already but didn't find a very satisfactory answer. Basically, it seems like LSAT addenda are generally unnecessary and possibly even detrimental, but at the same time a lot of T14 schools specifically ask for one:

Penn : "If there is a significant difference between an applicant's highest and lowest LSAT score (more than 4 or 5 points) the applicant should address this discrepancy in an addendum to his or her application.”

Michigan : "If you have a significant disparity between scores (six or more points), it would be very helpful to address any explanation for the difference in an optional essay or addendum.”

Virginia: "We encourage applicants with a significant difference in LSAT scores to include with their application any information that may be relevant to the interpretation of test results."

So given this situation, for those of you with a +5 score increase, are you still including an LSAT addendum in your applications even if your reasons are pretty bland, or are you just not including one opting for a less is more approach? Personally I'm inclined to include one just because they seem to very directly ask for one and I don't want them to be making up their own assumptions about my application.

That said, here's my LSAT addendum:

In October 2008, I took the LSAT in XXXXX. A week before the test I was robbed at gun point there in a nearby neighborhood and I underestimated the stresses and burdens that the experience would have on me. Due to this miscalculation, I ended up scoring far lower than what I felt was my real potential. I have since signed up and taken the LSAT again in December 2009, and I feel that score is more representative of my abilities.

I have a hard copy police report as proof that this really happened to me. Should I include this info or is it just too weird and if so I should just write a more 'normal' excuse for my first LSAT underperformance

Thanks in advance...

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nphsbuckeye
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Re: Very unusual LSAT addendum + do we REALLY have to send one?

Postby nphsbuckeye » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:16 am

Is "I studied more" an addendum?

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Veyron
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Re: Very unusual LSAT addendum + do we REALLY have to send one?

Postby Veyron » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:47 am

Say what you just said, no need to include the report unless asked for. I think schools will be sympathetic if your next score comes out much higher.

trudat15
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Re: Very unusual LSAT addendum + do we REALLY have to send one?

Postby trudat15 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:56 am

glacierfrost wrote:I read a ton of past topics already but didn't find a very satisfactory answer. Basically, it seems like LSAT addenda are generally unnecessary and possibly even detrimental, but at the same time a lot of T14 schools specifically ask for one:

Penn : "If there is a significant difference between an applicant's highest and lowest LSAT score (more than 4 or 5 points) the applicant should address this discrepancy in an addendum to his or her application.”

Michigan : "If you have a significant disparity between scores (six or more points), it would be very helpful to address any explanation for the difference in an optional essay or addendum.”

Virginia: "We encourage applicants with a significant difference in LSAT scores to include with their application any information that may be relevant to the interpretation of test results."

So given this situation, for those of you with a +5 score increase, are you still including an LSAT addendum in your applications even if your reasons are pretty bland, or are you just not including one opting for a less is more approach? Personally I'm inclined to include one just because they seem to very directly ask for one and I don't want them to be making up their own assumptions about my application.

That said, here's my LSAT addendum:

In October 2008, I took the LSAT in XXXXX. A week before the test I was robbed at gun point there in a nearby neighborhood and I underestimated the stresses and burdens that the experience would have on me. Due to this miscalculation, I ended up scoring far lower than what I felt was my real potential. I have since signed up and taken the LSAT again in December 2009, and I feel that score is more representative of my abilities.

I have a hard copy police report as proof that this really happened to me. Should I include this info or is it just too weird and if so I should just write a more 'normal' excuse for my first LSAT underperformance

Thanks in advance...


Only thing I would say is that your addendum is almost an exact copy of TLS's addendum on their addendum page. You can get the same point across in your own words.

NV53A
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Re: Very unusual LSAT addendum + do we REALLY have to send one?

Postby NV53A » Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:29 am

nphsbuckeye wrote:Is "I studied more" an addendum?


Yes.

"I took the LSAT and didn't prepare for it. So I scored low. I got my act together and studied for it. I got a significantly better score." - pretty much explains most cases.

glacierfrost
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Re: Very unusual LSAT addendum + do we REALLY have to send one?

Postby glacierfrost » Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:43 am

Yeah, but how many people actually write an "I studied more" addendum because for one it seems to imply you didn't take it seriously the first time thereby reflecting your poor judgment, regardless of whether it is true or not. Are people just not including the addendum even though the apps ask for one? Or fugit and include a very bland "I studied more" addendum?

tommynobody
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Re: Very unusual LSAT addendum + do we REALLY have to send one?

Postby tommynobody » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:59 am

glacierfrost wrote:Yeah, but how many people actually write an "I studied more" addendum because for one it seems to imply you didn't take it seriously the first time thereby reflecting your poor judgment, regardless of whether it is true or not. Are people just not including the addendum even though the apps ask for one? Or fugit and include a very bland "I studied more" addendum?

My score went up 8 points and I didn't include one. They didn't seem to mind. If I had, it would have read something like this:

"I got nervous the first time because I knew I had to compensate for my shitty GPA. Then the second time, I chilled out and did better."

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nphsbuckeye
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Re: Very unusual LSAT addendum + do we REALLY have to send one?

Postby nphsbuckeye » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:20 am

I suppose the logic could go a few ways. One could score 155 from not trying, and then score 174 from trying. Or, someone could score 166 from trying and studying, and then score 174 with further studying. Pick the student who didn't (know to) take the LSAT seriously, or take the student who worked to improve his or her score?

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ahduth
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Re: Very unusual LSAT addendum + do we REALLY have to send one?

Postby ahduth » Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:30 am

nphsbuckeye wrote:I suppose the logic could go a few ways. One could score 155 from not trying, and then score 174 from trying. Or, someone could score 166 from trying and studying, and then score 174 with further studying. Pick the student who didn't (know to) take the LSAT seriously, or take the student who worked to improve his or her score?


Is the student who scored 174 without trying an option?

rundoxierun
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Re: Very unusual LSAT addendum + do we REALLY have to send one?

Postby rundoxierun » Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:31 am

13 point difference between my two scores. Most apps submitted already with no addendum. So far, in at Duke.

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fragged
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Re: Very unusual LSAT addendum + do we REALLY have to send one?

Postby fragged » Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:14 pm

I don't see the point of an addendum for extreme differences in scores either... If you got a 155, then got a 168 next time around, who cares why it happened? You can't exactly cheat on the LSAT...

I had a large gap in my scores and I almost wanted to write an addendum that looks something like this:

"I had a bad day. I'm human. Please forgive me."

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nphsbuckeye
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Re: Very unusual LSAT addendum + do we REALLY have to send one?

Postby nphsbuckeye » Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:27 pm

ahduth wrote:
nphsbuckeye wrote:I suppose the logic could go a few ways. One could score 155 from not trying, and then score 174 from trying. Or, someone could score 166 from trying and studying, and then score 174 with further studying. Pick the student who didn't (know to) take the LSAT seriously, or take the student who worked to improve his or her score?


Is the student who scored 174 without trying an option?

Sure, but somewhat outside of the scope (whatever "without trying" means).

glacierfrost
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Re: Very unusual LSAT addendum + do we REALLY have to send one?

Postby glacierfrost » Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:10 pm

Soooo in conclusion...and correct me if anyone disagrees....don't send an LSAT addendum unless if you have a really valid reason or if the prompt specifically asks for one for score differences X or higher.

Kiwi917
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Re: Very unusual LSAT addendum + do we REALLY have to send one?

Postby Kiwi917 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:12 am

A few of my schools require scores from within the past 3 or 4 years, but they will still see my October 2005 score on my LSAC report. In that case, if a school asks for an explanation of a large score discrepancy, should I include one? My score went up 14 points from a 162 to a 176, but I do not have a particularly compelling reason ("I'm smarter now"). How about something like this:

Because my LSAT score from the October 2005 administration is not considered valid for application to XXXX in the 2010-2011 cycle, I took the exam again in June 2010. [I had known the score from 2005 did not accurately reflect my abilities at the time; however, I did not cancel my score because I decided to take time to work before applying to law school.] I currently feel that I have improved my analytical, logical, and reading comprehension skills through my work experience since graduation from college, and that this experience has furthermore reinforced my desire to practice law. Therefore, the more recent score is the most accurate indicator of my ability and I would like to request that only the June 2010 score be considered during review of my application.

I am inclined to cut the part in italics. Any thoughts? Also, is it worth submitting anything to T14 schools that do not specifically request an explanation? Thanks!




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