Big increase in my LSAT; should I write an explanation?

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TheTallOne0602
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Big increase in my LSAT; should I write an explanation?

Postby TheTallOne0602 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:21 am

I took the February test in Pittsburgh, but it got cancelled due to torrential snow, I was not told when the makeup would be until two days before, and then even on that day it was snowing like crazy and I was not sure I would be taking the test. I was uncomfortable from the start and I only got a 169.

I took it again in October and got a 178, which was in line with where I had been PTing the whole time. Now my question is: should I send an explanation of why I did poorly on the February test to schools as a supplement, or should I just let the score speak for itself?

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ahduth
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Re: Big increase in my LSAT; should I write an explanation?

Postby ahduth » Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:52 am

I would write a brief one - not only the jump, but the fact that you jumped to the very highest tier will cause them to take notice. Congrats.

JurisDoctorate
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Re: Big increase in my LSAT; should I write an explanation?

Postby JurisDoctorate » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:14 am

May I ask how one would explain a jump in the teens?

Would you treat it like any other jump and just give your valid reason for your poor performance? Or should its tone convey the understanding of what an unusual jump it is?

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existenz
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Re: Big increase in my LSAT; should I write an explanation?

Postby existenz » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:20 am

No do write an explanation. The score jump speaks for itself.

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ahduth
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Re: Big increase in my LSAT; should I write an explanation?

Postby ahduth » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:23 am

TheTallOne0602 wrote:I took the February test in Pittsburgh, but it got cancelled due to torrential snow, I was not told when the makeup would be until two days before, and then even on that day it was snowing like crazy and I was not sure I would be taking the test. I was uncomfortable from the start and I only got a 169.

I took it again in October and got a 178, which was in line with where I had been PTing the whole time. which I feel is more representative.


It's an addendum, so I don't really think there should be any tone at all really. Here, this guy just explains what happened, and it makes sense, and that's it. They'll understand the size of the jump - when I mentioned it being unusual, I was just saying he might have further interest in writing an addendum since he jumped into the 99.7% percentile group or whatever a 178 is. But there should be no "tone," I don't think.

JurisDoctorate
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Re: Big increase in my LSAT; should I write an explanation?

Postby JurisDoctorate » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:29 am

I'm sorry, ahduth, I was piggybacking on his thread and hoping to ask about a more significant jump; especially one that moves from a more average score to an exceptional one - while his was from exceptional to even more exceptional.

siz
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Re: Big increase in my LSAT; should I write an explanation?

Postby siz » Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:37 pm

I'm sorry, I've been lurking too, and since my question is similar to this one, I thought I'd avoid starting a new thread.

I had a similar jump, 167 in June to 180 in October. I thought it might be worthwhile to write an addendum, but I'm not sure my specific reason will matter to ad comms or even reflect well on me.

I've had anxiety problems for a long time. I was planning to use a personal statement that describes how I've overcome them. I was PTing in the high 170s throughout May, but I was so anxious in the test that I sort of choked. (If it helps, I was also experiencing some hay fever/summer cold, but I assume a barrage of excuses really won't reflect well on me). Over the summer, I not only studied harder, but worked to confront my anxiety about the test and go into it with a positive frame of mind.

Would it be worthwhile to write an explanation of this, or will the fact that I had anxiety problems reflect poorly on me? Would it be better for my scores to speak for themselves?

If it's at all relevant, I'm not medicated for anxiety. I used to be, but the problems are largely in the past. I was really surprised by my reaction in June because I'm almost always a confident test taker.

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existenz
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Re: Big increase in my LSAT; should I write an explanation?

Postby existenz » Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:50 pm

You guys, trust me, DO NOT write an addendum. What are you gonna say, "oh I sucked before but now I'm awesome"? Let the score speak for itself.

At most you could briefly mention the score increase in a "Why X" essay, such as how your improved score made admission at this school a realistic possibility. But an addendum by definition involves making excuses for poor past performance and should be avoided. If anything you'll just sound like you are bragging.

*though I should note that some schools will request an addendum for very large score increases. Other than that, don't do it.

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The Stig
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Re: Big increase in my LSAT; should I write an explanation?

Postby The Stig » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:10 pm

I would definitely write an addendum - someone who interviewed with HLS this cycle who didn't write one and was asked specifically about his LSAT score jump during the 5 minute interview. Sure, the high score speaks for itself, but the low one definitely does not. Every dean I have heard speak on it (Duke, NYU, Cornell, Stanford, Michigan, Penn, etc.) specifically said they would want an addendum for a big score increase....

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queenlizzie13
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Re: Big increase in my LSAT; should I write an explanation?

Postby queenlizzie13 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:26 pm

existenz wrote:You guys, trust me, DO NOT write an addendum. What are you gonna say, "oh I sucked before but now I'm awesome"? Let the score speak for itself.

At most you could briefly mention the score increase in a "Why X" essay, such as how your improved score made admission at this school a realistic possibility. But an addendum by definition involves making excuses for poor past performance and should be avoided. If anything you'll just sound like you are bragging.

*though I should note that some schools will request an addendum for very large score increases. Other than that, don't do it.


What about for Davis though? They require explanations for 5 point + increases in LSAT scores. I am applying there and trying to think of how to explain a 9 point increase in my score...

Note that that was the only LSAT addendum I was going to write. And only because I have to. I agree though...if you don't have to write one, don't. Any explanation, if it is not a strong one, is just going to sound lame if you do.




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