Question regarding "quantifying boosts"

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Question regarding "quantifying boosts"

Postby isuperserial » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:17 am

One of the big ones they list is "Major: English/Literature". As someone who's majoring in that can someone please explain to me why that would help? I seem to recall that English majors form a large part of the applicant pools for many schools.

I can understand it being a slight boost, maybe, but more so than being Native American? Maybe there's something I'm not getting here. If someone could explain, that'd be much appreciated.

Here's a link to their page for your reference:

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Re: Question regarding "quantifying boosts"

Postby Crowing » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:28 am

That data is built straight from info ripped from LSN profiles and doesn't represent any actual guidelines of schools. There's not much data available for many of those categories and they should be looked at very skeptically. That info also suggests that both males and females get a boost, but all this really means is LSN applicants who put their gender in their profile for whatever reason have done better in the past than those who don't list it.

Also to consider: it's possible that English majors might typically fare better not because of the perceived quality of their major. Perhaps due to self-selection and their specific course of study they tend to be better writers and more thorough proofreaders and ultimately construct more coalescent essays and applications. But idk; that explanation is just me talking out of my ass.

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Re: Question regarding "quantifying boosts"

Postby dr123 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:32 am

I'd take this shit with a grain of salt bro. limited sample size and all that.

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Re: Question regarding "quantifying boosts"

Postby LSATSCORES2012 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:36 am

Be sure to pay attention to the big red box at the top...

but regarding the question, it's probably a combination of a few things:

1) Small sample size... on LSN there are only records of 85 people applying to the T14 in the 2011-2012 cycle who majored in either english or literature
2) as a result of 1), outliers can have major affects - for example, if you look at the spreadsheet linked in the top part of that page, Harvard and Chicago both show massive boosts. if you take out those, then it drops to 3
3) as a result of 1), (likely) by random chance a greater percentage of people on LSN who majored in Eng/Lit are URM than in the general LSN population (for 2011-2012, 18% vs 15%)
4) people who majored in english and literature probably tend to write really good personal statements and probably have better recommendations because humanities courses tend to have smaller class sizes

My thoughts on this...

In general, I recommend taking that page with a huge grain of salt. It's probably one of the best ways we have to look at this kind of thing, but that doesn't mean it's very useful. It really exists as a kind of, "I wonder what would happen if we plugged all the numbers into the computer" type of thing. Practically speaking, your major isn't likely to have a huge affect on your chances of admission.

Though elterrible78, a TLS user, is in the process of trying to analyze this kind of thing using a different method... I'd chat with him if you're interested

ETA: Guess I was scooped on nearly all my points... But that's just because they're such good points! :)

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Re: Question regarding "quantifying boosts"

Postby LSATSCORES2012 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:57 am

Just as a point of interest, if I go through that spreadsheet and delete every value that is just obviously absurd, this is what it spits out:

Race: African American 7
School type: Ivy 6
Race: Mexican 5
ED 5
School type: HYPS 5
Race: Puerto Rican 4
Race: Latino 4
Race: Native American 4
Submitted: Early 3
Major: Religion/Theology 3
Military 3
Major: English/Literature 2
Major: Psychology/Sociology/Anthropology 2
Major: Biology 2
Major: Chemistry 2
Sex: Female 2
Nontraditional 1
International 1
Major: Business/Economics/Finance/Accounting 1
Major: Physics 1
School type: Liberal Arts 1

Sex: Male 0
Major: Philosophy 0
Major: Criminal Justice/Government/Legal Studies 0
Major: Engineering 0
School type: Public 0
School type: Large 0
School type: UC System 0
Race: Asian 0
Major: Communications/Journalism/Marketing 0
Major: Double 0
Major: Political Science/History/Public Policy -1
School type: Private -1
Race: Caucasian -1
Submitted: Middle -2
Submitted: Late -2

Also, remember that this isn't just saying that you can kind of add these numbers on to your LSAT score - perhaps the title of the page is misleading in that way. This is just the general difference between when the group in question and the overall group reaches a 50% chance of getting in to various T14 schools, according to the sample on LSN (which is of questionable accuracy).

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Re: Question regarding "quantifying boosts"

Postby isuperserial » Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:18 am

Alright, thanks for your help, everyone! That was quite illuminating.

The general consensus seems to be that I shouldn't put much, if any, weight on it. And I should probably study for the LSAT like I have nothing else helping me anyway, so that I really hit the highest score possible. So I suppose it doesn't really matter anyway.

Thanks though!


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Re: Question regarding "quantifying boosts"

Postby BigZuck » Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:56 am

If what you got out of all this is "get the highest LSAT possible" then you are dead on.

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