LSAT Addendum Question!

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Brittany2012
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LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby Brittany2012 » Mon May 14, 2012 11:11 am

Hey All,

I'm planning on applying to law school this fall, and I'd like to write an addendum about my LSAT score. I didn't do as well as I had hoped on my LSAT - (took it three times - cancel, 161, 157) - but the reason I want to write an addendum is because I also did pretty bad on my SAT and ACT. I scored below the 25th percentile for my school in both the SAT and ACT, but I ended up graduating in the top 10% of my class. So basically, I want to make the argument that standardized testing has not been an accurate predictor of my academic performance in the past, which it hasn't. Here are my two sources for writing an addendum like this -- do you think they're legit? (not that I would ever apply to Penn...) --LinkRemoved-- http://www.top-law-schools.com/penn-law-school.html. I think they basically say that a good reason to write an addendum is it demonstrate poor standardized test performance but better academic performance...

For the addendum, I was thinking of including my SAT and ACT score reports (like the first link says), in addition to my official school document showing that those scores were both below the 25% for my entering class, but do you think that would be too much info for an addendum? I think the part that I write for the addendum will be pretty short - one or two paras - but I know that addendums are supposed to be short anyways so I don't want to include too much stuff.... Hoping to maybe break into the top 50 with this-- Baylor or American would be sweet. Thanks so much for your help!!!!!

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Ruxin1
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby Ruxin1 » Mon May 14, 2012 11:21 am

Brittany2012 wrote:Hey All,

I'm planning on applying to law school this fall, and I'd like to write an addendum about my LSAT score. I didn't do as well as I had hoped on my LSAT - (took it three times - cancel, 161, 157) - but the reason I want to write an addendum is because I also did pretty bad on my SAT and ACT. I scored below the 25th percentile for my school in both the SAT and ACT, but I ended up graduating in the top 10% of my class. So basically, I want to make the argument that standardized testing has not been an accurate predictor of my academic performance in the past, which it hasn't. Here are my two sources for writing an addendum like this -- do you think they're legit? (not that I would ever apply to Penn...) --LinkRemoved-- http://www.top-law-schools.com/penn-law-school.html. I think they basically say that a good reason to write an addendum is it demonstrate poor standardized test performance but better academic performance...

For the addendum, I was thinking of including my SAT and ACT score reports (like the first link says), in addition to my official school document showing that those scores were both below the 25% for my entering class, but do you think that would be too much info for an addendum? I think the part that I write for the addendum will be pretty short - one or two paras - but I know that addendums are supposed to be short anyways so I don't want to include too much stuff.... Hoping to maybe break into the top 50 with this-- Baylor or American would be sweet. Thanks so much for your help!!!!!


What is your LSDAS GPA?

Brittany2012
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby Brittany2012 » Mon May 14, 2012 11:23 am

3.81 -

Brittany2012
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby Brittany2012 » Mon May 14, 2012 11:23 am

3.78 from my school, 3.81 LSAC, to be exact...

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Ruxin1
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby Ruxin1 » Mon May 14, 2012 11:36 am

Brittany2012 wrote:3.78 from my school, 3.81 LSAC, to be exact...


Just petition for a 4th take, and get some counseling with the nerves, you could easily break 165

Brittany2012
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby Brittany2012 » Mon May 14, 2012 12:08 pm

Lol:) that would be fun... but seriously what do you guys think?

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Ruxin1
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby Ruxin1 » Mon May 14, 2012 12:10 pm

Brittany2012 wrote:Lol:) that would be fun... but seriously what do you guys think?


more fun than getting debt pwned/underemployed in 4 years...

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rinkrat19
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon May 14, 2012 12:14 pm

Sure, you can write it, but it won't help you much (if at all).

Brittany2012
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby Brittany2012 » Mon May 14, 2012 12:18 pm

blahhh I was hoping ppl wouldn't say that... why do you think that? I mean from the links in my original post it sounds like I fit pretty nicely into a description of someone who they would encourage to write an addendum.. I know it's not going to help a ton.. but a little???

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top30man
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby top30man » Mon May 14, 2012 12:22 pm

Brittany2012 wrote:blahhh I was hoping ppl wouldn't say that... why do you think that? I mean from the links in my original post it sounds like I fit pretty nicely into a description of someone who they would encourage to write an addendum.. I know it's not going to help a ton.. but a little???

I'd write one but more than likely you will perform at your numbers. I think a fourth retake or going to a strong regional school with big $$ is the way to go.

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Ruxin1
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby Ruxin1 » Mon May 14, 2012 12:22 pm

Brittany2012 wrote:blahhh I was hoping ppl wouldn't say that... why do you think that? I mean from the links in my original post it sounds like I fit pretty nicely into a description of someone who they would encourage to write an addendum.. I know it's not going to help a ton.. but a little???


not as much as even a few points on the LSAT would, please don't be one of the thousands that does this every year.

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rinkrat19
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon May 14, 2012 12:28 pm

Brittany2012 wrote:blahhh I was hoping ppl wouldn't say that... why do you think that? I mean from the links in my original post it sounds like I fit pretty nicely into a description of someone who they would encourage to write an addendum.. I know it's not going to help a ton.. but a little???
It might be a tiebreaker between you and someone with identical numbers but without the addendum, but it's not going to help you outperform your numbers. Schools are obsessed with the USNWR ranking, and they have to report their median LSAT scores for the ranking calculation. They simply can't afford to take too many chances on applicants with numbers that hurt their median.

That said, if your GPA is high enough to be over a school's median, you are what's known as a reverse splitter. Schools do admit both high GPA/low LSAT and low GPA/high LSAT applicants to balance each other out. What is your GPA?

Brittany2012
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby Brittany2012 » Mon May 14, 2012 12:34 pm

Cool, thanks:) 3.78, 3.81 LSDAS, which should be around 75% for most of the schools that I want to go to. Also, if I'm right on the edge LSAT wise but toward the 75% of the GPA range, do you think applying binding ED would help? I'm asking because I've also heard that matriculation rates are a significant part of a school's USNWR ranking, so if I gurantee matriculation could that also help???

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rinkrat19
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon May 14, 2012 12:44 pm

Brittany2012 wrote:Cool, thanks:) 3.78, 3.81 LSDAS, which should be around 75% for most of the schools that I want to go to. Also, if I'm right on the edge LSAT wise but toward the 75% of the GPA range, do you think applying binding ED would help? I'm asking because I've also heard that matriculation rates are a significant part of a school's USNWR ranking, so if I gurantee matriculation could that also help???

Damn, if I had that GPA, I'd be at Stanford (well, maybe :P )
ED gives a different boost at different schools. It could be worth it. I don't know much about ED decisions myself.

Splitters and reverse splitters have unpredictable cycles. That GPA could grab you some surprising acceptances, or you could be really disappointed. I guess I'd tell you to apply everywhere from, like, USC on down to some of the better T2s. Where you have ties and where you want to practice will also come into play, since you're not going to get into any school with national portability.

But even just getting that LSAT up to 165 would be so huge in terms of your prospects.

Brittany2012
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby Brittany2012 » Mon May 14, 2012 2:16 pm

Haha :) Ok, so here are the points I'm getting from everyone -- 1) write the addendum, it may help but it can't hurt, 2) applying ED also may help, but it's different for each school, 3) since I'm a reverse splitter my cycle will probably be unpredictable.

So what about my question re. the addendum's attachments? Do you guys know about that? Should I attach my SAT, ACT, and SAT/ACT number for my entrering undergrad class? I just feel like that's alot, but I guess it couldn't hurt to include it right??? Plus I think that's pretty much what they say to do here: --LinkRemoved-- ... ndum.html

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rinkrat19
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon May 14, 2012 2:20 pm

Brittany2012 wrote:Haha :) Ok, so here are the points I'm getting from everyone -- 1) write the addendum, it may help but it can't hurt, 2) applying ED also may help, but it's different for each school, 3) since I'm a reverse splitter my cycle will probably be unpredictable.

So what about my question re. the addendum's attachments? Do you guys know about that? Should I attach my SAT, ACT, and SAT/ACT number for my entrering undergrad class? I just feel like that's alot, but I guess it couldn't hurt to include it right??? Plus I think that's pretty much what they say to do here: --LinkRemoved-- ... ndum.html
I wouldn't include the actual documentation. They don't want to get a pile of papers 3" thick from you. Mention the scores in your addendum, and say 'documentation available upon request'

bp shinners
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby bp shinners » Mon May 14, 2012 5:09 pm

Brittany2012 wrote:I scored below the 25th percentile for my school in both the SAT and ACT, but I ended up graduating in the top 10% of my class.


You probably don't want to give out too many details here, but can you give us some guidance for your SAT score overall percentage, and what caliber of undergrad you attend? Being below a school's 25th percentile doesn't mean that you received a low score on the SAT; you might just have overperformed your numbers for undergrad admissions for any one of many reasons.

To write this addendum, you don't need a discrepancy between your school's quartiles, your score, and your academic performance; you need a very low SAT compared to all test-takers, and then a very solid GPA (which you have). If you were just low compared to your school, but you still did fine on the SAT, that addendum won't say anything.

You also have another strike against you for this addendum - you scored a 161. That's nearly top 20%. That doesn't tell me you're a poor test-taker; it tells me you're an above-average test-taker who scored lower than she would have liked. While writing an addendum that says you're a bad test-taker won't look bad if there's a history, writing one when I have evidence that you are not a bad test-taker might negatively affect your application.

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dowu
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby dowu » Mon May 14, 2012 5:12 pm

:shock: :shock:
Last edited by dowu on Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

JohnDorian
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby JohnDorian » Mon May 14, 2012 5:38 pm

-
Last edited by JohnDorian on Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

Brittany2012
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby Brittany2012 » Mon May 14, 2012 6:56 pm

JohnDorian -- good point, I actually never thought about that... money is definitely a concern for me so this will definitely be a factor in my decision whether or not to apply ED...thanks:)

nmop_apisdn -- super helpful!!! I had always been interpreting "low standardized test taker" as a relative term, so I guess I would need to be careful with that if I write it. I'm going to try to respond and in doing so make the case for the addendum, so please respond back if you can!! Thanks again for your comments:)

I scored about the same percentile on my SAT as my LSAT (~75), and I went to a t75 private school. So to answer your question I guess I didn't score a 1000 on my SAT and still graduate top 10%, but from what I can tell from the links that encourage an addendum like this that's not really a necessary condition (shame on me...:)) for the addendum. I agree that I don't need to say that I'm a bad standardized test taker, but I don't think that's the point... The point would be to show simply that the "SAT [and ACT] was a poor predictor of my college performance." I also agree that I could have outperformed my SAT/ACT in undergrad for a number of reasons, but I think that identifying that reason is also not the point. For whatever reason, the SAT/ACT was not an accurate predictor of my undergrad performance. Further, I scored almost the exact same % on my SAT/ACT/LSAT, so if precedent holds, I should outperform my LSAT. I realize that there are TONS of differences between undergrad and law school that would make it a very loose precedent... But still, I think I can still point out that I have a history of underperforming on standardized tests. I realize that I will never be able to tie the knot here, but I think if I can give them a reason -- even a small reason -- to believe that maybe my LSAT will not be an accurate indicator of my law school performance, I think it may be able to help just a little and I don't really see how it can hurt. And also, I would definitely not do it in a whiny tone... just very matter of fact, here are the facts, and here's how my past performances on standardized testing have compared to my academic performance.

Brittany2012
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby Brittany2012 » Mon May 14, 2012 7:09 pm

Oops! I meant to address the last section to bp shinners... not that I don't think that nmop_apisdn's comment was also great:)

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dowu
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby dowu » Mon May 14, 2012 7:12 pm

Brittany2012 wrote:Oops! I meant to address the last section to bp shinners... not that I don't think that nmop_apisdn's comment was also great:)


Oh come on! Give me credit, then you dont. Make up your mind!

Also, Bp graduated from Harvard; he's a pretty smart dude.

Brittany2012
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby Brittany2012 » Mon May 14, 2012 8:52 pm

Lol, awesome! I'm looking forward to his and other responses:)

bp shinners
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby bp shinners » Tue May 15, 2012 1:50 am

Brittany2012 wrote:For whatever reason, the SAT/ACT was not an accurate predictor of my undergrad performance. Further, I scored almost the exact same % on my SAT/ACT/LSAT, so if precedent holds, I should outperform my LSAT. But still, I think I can still point out that I have a history of underperforming on standardized tests. I realize that I will never be able to tie the knot here, but I think if I can give them a reason -- even a small reason -- to believe that maybe my LSAT will not be an accurate indicator of my law school performance, I think it may be able to help just a little and I don't really see how it can hurt.


Not to beat a dead horse, and honestly your attitude is amazing, so I don't doubt that the tone of the addendum would be good...

But, I don't believe you do have a history of underperforming on standardized tests. Scoring at the 75% for the SAT doesn't mean that I expect you to go to college and end up at the same percentile; and going from a 75% SAT to top 10% of your T75 undergrad is, honestly, within the realm of what I'd expect. When people talk about a history of underperforming, they generally mean something more akin to scoring in the bottom quartile of the SAT, heading to a bad school, working their butt off to transfer to a good school, and still excelled. That person underperformed on a standardized test, and it might be the case that the LSAT isn't a good indicator of what they'd achieve in law school. Even then, the addendum probably wouldn't do much.

In your case, you scored at the 75% - that's a respectable score. Not exceptional, but certainly above average. Then, you went to a school and ended up in the top 10% of the class. That's not outside the realm of what I'd expect from someone who went to a T75 school with your SAT score.

I'm not trying to bring you down; I just don't want to see you write an addendum that actually will hurt you. Like I said before, I don't think you'll come across as whiny in the tone of your addendum. However, if you write an addendum about a history of underperforming on standardized tests when you don't have a history of doing so (or, at best, a marginal case), you'll be seen as making excuses, no matter how well-written the addendum is.

I would honestly council you to skip the addendum because I do think it will harm your chances. If you're not happy with your LSAT score, you need to petition for a retake, or wait it out and retake the exam. If that's not an option for you, you'll just have to apply with the score and no asterisk (in the form of an addendum).

Brittany2012
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Re: LSAT Addendum Question!

Postby Brittany2012 » Tue May 15, 2012 5:29 am

bp shinners: Thanks so much for the response:):) Again, you really are super helpful, and it's clear you know what you're talking about. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to have this dialogue!! I'm going to try one more time to respond, change a variable, and see what happens:) Thanks again for your response, and I'm looking forward to hearing back from you! (And from anyone else who wants to chime in!)

First of all, would it change anything if I told you I went to a t25? I didn't realize that my undergrad rank might be an important factor in considering whether or not to write this addendum, so I just was just trying to give out as few details as possible in my original post:)

I understand that scoring in the 75% is respectable and definitely not 'underperforming on a standardized test.' However, I don't see how that figure is really relevant in this case. The fact is that my 75% SAT and ACT scores were below the 25% of all entering students at my school. The 75% is simply a relative figure; it is of course a respectable figure when compared to all SAT and ACT test takers, but at my school it is well below par. In other words, if the college ad. com. (at my school) were to just look at my SAT and ACT scores alone, it would have been pretty farfetched of them to predict that I would have been able to graduate in the top 10% of my class. (I think it is important to note that the addendum would partially rely on a positive 1:1 correlation between standardized test performance and undergraduate academic performance. After all, what are the SAT/ACT if not predictors of how a student will do in college?). Given that I did graduate in the top 10%, the standardized tests alone were an "unreliable indicator of my academic performance." I also believe that 'underperforming' is a relative term. Again, I would never say that I am a 'bad standardized test taker', but just that one would expect someone with my academic record to have had better entering SAT and ACT scores. Isn't that the definition of 'underperforming'? All that I want the ad com. to consider is the fact that in the past, I was able to be successful academically at an institution where my standardized test scores were well below average. Since my GPA will be at or above the median for most schools that I apply to, perhaps the addendum could give them evidence they need to rationalize my acceptance (if I'm on the edge and being considered at a school where my LSAT is below median).




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