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Median calculation

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:47 pm
by Cicero76

Re: Median calculation

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:30 pm
by red8aron
The median number is the middle number. If taken from the following sample (1,1,2,3,8,9,9) the median is 3, while the mean is ~4.7.

In reality the students admitted with numbers above the 75th percentile or below the 25th percentile don't matter. They could be 1 point above the 75th or 4 points above and the same number will be reported.

However, at the same time, there is some randomness in selection because not everyone accept an admissions offer. So the office doesn't know where the 25th and 75th will necessarily be. Further, many admissions officials fear that an outlier student may not fit in well at campus or may struggle with the curriculum. Thus, most schools don't admit more than a few students significantly below the 25th percentile.

Re: Median calculation

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:34 pm
by TripTrip
Cicero76 wrote:if a school's median is 170, does matriculating a 175 help their median any more than matriculating a 171? Does a 169 hurt anymore than a 159?

This is actually exactly why so many people try so hard to break 170 on the LSAT; a bunch of the T14 has an LSAT median at or around 170. However, other rankings besides USNWR (e.g. Hylton) use the mean instead of the median, so a school can't just start accepting a bunch of 120s, 180s, and one 172.

The other factor to consider is that AdComms really do use the LSAT as an assessment of how well a prospective student will do in school; it's not ALL about the USNWR rankings to them like we pretend it is.

In re red8aron, I believe USNWR only uses the 50th percentile.