How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

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jtabustos
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How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby jtabustos » Thu May 09, 2013 12:39 pm

When looking at applicants, how thoroughly are transcripts scrutinzed vs. just focusing on the final numbers (GPA and LSAT)?

I mean....would a 3.8/172 get dinged somehow if they saw that the 3.8 included stereotypically weaker classes like childhood educational development or the history of football classes making up the bulk of a student's A grades? Also, what about uneven grades, where you have some awesome straight A terms and then some very low terms (but your average is still good)?

How deeply do adcoms dive into your transcripts and how much would certain factors afrfect your admissions chances vs. just those raw GPA and LSAT numbers?

drive4showLSAT4dough
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby drive4showLSAT4dough » Thu May 09, 2013 12:43 pm

It depends.

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jtabustos
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby jtabustos » Thu May 09, 2013 12:44 pm

drive4showLSAT4dough wrote:It depends.


On?

drive4showLSAT4dough
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby drive4showLSAT4dough » Thu May 09, 2013 12:50 pm

jtabustos wrote:
drive4showLSAT4dough wrote:It depends.


On?


-where your LSAT/GPA fall relative to school's medians
-whether school thinks it will hit/miss/improve its medians from prior year
-GPA trajectory
-work experience
-comparison to similar applicants
-whether the adcomm has a busy day
-your undergrad school
-if the adcomm has the shits a needs to review your file quickly before an 11AM meeting

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Thu May 09, 2013 1:01 pm

If your GPA is middle of the road for the school you're looking at, assume that they will scrutinize the transcript ... unless its NYU

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jtabustos
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby jtabustos » Thu May 09, 2013 1:06 pm

ManOfTheMinute wrote:If your GPA is middle of the road for the school you're looking at, assume that they will scrutinize the transcript ... unless its NYU


Interesting. Why the exception with NYU?

Sorry if this is being too detailed, but also just how deeply do you think they'd scrutinize and what factors would they penalize?

Example: Would they take a STEM person over a humanities person with relatively similar grades, but different perceived difficulty of classes?

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jtabustos
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby jtabustos » Thu May 09, 2013 1:09 pm

drive4showLSAT4dough wrote:
jtabustos wrote:
drive4showLSAT4dough wrote:It depends.


On?


-where your LSAT/GPA fall relative to school's medians
-whether school thinks it will hit/miss/improve its medians from prior year
-GPA trajectory
-work experience
-comparison to similar applicants
-whether the adcomm has a busy day
-your undergrad school
-if the adcomm has the shits a needs to review your file quickly before an 11AM meeting



Now, who would have known that diarrhea could affect your admissions chances.

I understand that adcoms are humans and probably have random things affect their decision-making, but I was sort of excluding that in my mind. :lol:

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jrsbaseball5
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby jrsbaseball5 » Thu May 09, 2013 1:39 pm

Since applications are looked at so quickly, think 5 minutes or less, I think TCR is that they will scrutinize it if you are somewhere in the middle of the pack. If your numbers are way high, or way low, they won't waste the time. I also imagine that if you were in a stupidly easy major with a 4.0 GPA they would look at it to see if you have done any substantially course work.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby Elston Gunn » Thu May 09, 2013 1:42 pm

Have I stepped into some alternate reality where TLS thinks applications are treated holistically?

No, they will not scrutinize your transcript. Maaaaaybe is you're right on the edge, but it will be tiny.

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jtabustos
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby jtabustos » Thu May 09, 2013 1:56 pm

jrsbaseball5 wrote:Since applications are looked at so quickly, think 5 minutes or less, I think TCR is that they will scrutinize it if you are somewhere in the middle of the pack. If your numbers are way high, or way low, they won't waste the time. I also imagine that if you were in a stupidly easy major with a 4.0 GPA they would look at it to see if you have done any substantially course work.



Is it really a 5-minute look (including essay/personal statement)?

I figured it wouldn't be very detailed, but danggg that's short!

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jrsbaseball5
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby jrsbaseball5 » Thu May 09, 2013 2:12 pm

jtabustos wrote:
jrsbaseball5 wrote:Since applications are looked at so quickly, think 5 minutes or less, I think TCR is that they will scrutinize it if you are somewhere in the middle of the pack. If your numbers are way high, or way low, they won't waste the time. I also imagine that if you were in a stupidly easy major with a 4.0 GPA they would look at it to see if you have done any substantially course work.



Is it really a 5-minute look (including essay/personal statement)?

I figured it wouldn't be very detailed, but danggg that's short!


Well that's what I have gathered from reading a bunch of the "former law school admissions dean" books. It would make sense considering the amount of files that they have to read. What I would imagine is more accurate though is that its probably an average of 5 minutes, so serious candidates get a bit more time while the auto-dings are just glossed over to make sure the person didn't win an Olympic gold medal.

I could be wrong though :D

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dawyzest1
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby dawyzest1 » Thu May 09, 2013 2:47 pm

If you're looking at a transcript, it can't take much longer than 90 seconds to get a general sense of what someone has taken. So, I'd imagine that unless you're auto-admit they are going to give it a little look.

Regardless, I think with the exception of Yale and maybe Stanford, it's not going to have a huge effect one way or the other. I'd guess Yale would want you to have shown your academic chops in some rigorous classes as an undergrad (seminar classes and the like). Just a guess though...

Stinson
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby Stinson » Thu May 09, 2013 3:14 pm

A few rigorous selections from my undergrad transcript, which got everything from H on down:

Mathematics of Powered Flight
Nordic Mythology
Practical Physics
Creative Writing
People, Plants, and Agriculture
Introductory Danish Language

If you have a high enough GPA I am fairly sure they don't care much. There are too many variables - professors, exams, curved v. not curved, etc - and they don't try to figure it out. So take what interests you!

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jrsbaseball5
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby jrsbaseball5 » Thu May 09, 2013 3:16 pm

Stinson wrote:A few rigorous selections from my undergrad transcript, which got everything from H on down:

Mathematics of Powered Flight
Nordic Mythology
Practical Physics
Creative Writing
People, Plants, and Agriculture
Introductory Danish Language

If you have a high enough GPA I am fairly sure they don't care much. There are too many variables - professors, exams, curved v. not curved, etc - and they don't try to figure it out. So take what interests you!


You sir, are a scholar

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jtabustos
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby jtabustos » Thu May 09, 2013 3:24 pm

Stinson wrote:A few rigorous selections from my undergrad transcript, which got everything from H on down:

Mathematics of Powered Flight
Nordic Mythology
Practical Physics
Creative Writing
People, Plants, and Agriculture
Introductory Danish Language

If you have a high enough GPA I am fairly sure they don't care much. There are too many variables - professors, exams, curved v. not curved, etc - and they don't try to figure it out. So take what interests you!


The first class actually doesn't sound easy to me - more like rocket science! :shock:

"Nordic Mythology" sounds like one though.

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jtabustos
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby jtabustos » Thu May 09, 2013 3:27 pm

Oh, and some foreign languages are pretty hard.

Chinese has some tough reading/writing requirements. I actually think foreign languages are sometimes one of the harder subjects to take personally. But very interesting list.

Stinson
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby Stinson » Thu May 09, 2013 3:41 pm

:D In my defense a lot of these are non-major classes used by humanities/SS majors to fill science and math requirements. (Math powered flight is notorious at my undergrad as the class all the student athletes use to fulfill the math requirement.) And Danish is far, far easier than Chinese; for example, each verb tense has only one conjugation. To say "was" is "var" no matter whether it's "jeg var" or "hun var" or "du var" - way less work than Spanish, I must say!

And yes, Nordic Mythology was badass x1000. My professor was seven feet tall Dane with an awesome beard who brought homemade mead to class. And he would share wisdom like this: "Many of the Nordic myths, you will notice, involve warriors decapitating one another in battle, and you must remember that these are just stories. If you speak to medieval combat experts, as I have, they will tell you it is incredibly hard, if not impossible, to cut off someone's head in just one stroke in battle, particularly with the rudimentary swords of the age. The spinal cord is a very sinewy thing, and the angle is just all wrong to strike off someone's head."

Sigh, I miss undergrad sometimes.

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Tekrul
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby Tekrul » Thu May 09, 2013 3:49 pm

I'm not sure if the conclusion of the NYU thing was to mean they scrutinize everyone's transcript or they scrutinize no-one's but I believe mine was looked at pretty closely by them.

There is no way my GPA made it 'on the merits'. Absolutely no way they accepted my numbers being that low without having looked at my stellar upward trajectory and masochistic selection of rigorous coursework.

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jtabustos
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby jtabustos » Thu May 09, 2013 4:01 pm

Stinson wrote::D In my defense a lot of these are non-major classes used by humanities/SS majors to fill science and math requirements. (Math powered flight is notorious at my undergrad as the class all the student athletes use to fulfill the math requirement.) And Danish is far, far easier than Chinese; for example, each verb tense has only one conjugation. To say "was" is "var" no matter whether it's "jeg var" or "hun var" or "du var" - way less work than Spanish, I must say!



Ha! I think many adcoms would probably look at the words "Math" + "Flight" and be like, "Wow! This guy earned an A in a class dealing with rocket science!" ....They could be fooled (I know I would) into thinking you took a massively hard class.

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jtabustos
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby jtabustos » Thu May 09, 2013 4:05 pm

Tekrul wrote:I'm not sure if the conclusion of the NYU thing was to mean they scrutinize everyone's transcript or they scrutinize no-one's but I believe mine was looked at pretty closely by them.

There is no way my GPA made it 'on the merits'. Absolutely no way they accepted my numbers being that low without having looked at my stellar upward trajectory and masochistic selection of rigorous coursework.



Cool to know.

I took some hard classes, but not a load that could be characterized as "masochistic" though.

Thankfully, I got A's in my harder classes. There was only one that I can think of that I bombed, however. I guess my transcript doesn't lean one way too much or the other in terms of rigor. It's not packed with all "survey of" ...."intro to....." type classes, nor is it all like Linear Alg, Ordinary Differential Equations, Quantum Mechanics, lol.

Kind of middle of the road.

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jrsbaseball5
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby jrsbaseball5 » Thu May 09, 2013 4:09 pm

Stinson wrote::D In my defense a lot of these are non-major classes used by humanities/SS majors to fill science and math requirements. (Math powered flight is notorious at my undergrad as the class all the student athletes use to fulfill the math requirement.) And Danish is far, far easier than Chinese; for example, each verb tense has only one conjugation. To say "was" is "var" no matter whether it's "jeg var" or "hun var" or "du var" - way less work than Spanish, I must say!

And yes, Nordic Mythology was badass x1000. My professor was seven feet tall Dane with an awesome beard who brought homemade mead to class. And he would share wisdom like this: "Many of the Nordic myths, you will notice, involve warriors decapitating one another in battle, and you must remember that these are just stories. If you speak to medieval combat experts, as I have, they will tell you it is incredibly hard, if not impossible, to cut off someone's head in just one stroke in battle, particularly with the rudimentary swords of the age. The spinal cord is a very sinewy thing, and the angle is just all wrong to strike off someone's head."

Sigh, I miss undergrad sometimes.


No need to defend yourself on this one. You got into the most prefstigious law schools in the country and if you needed to take a class where you learned that beheading in battle is a giant flame more power to you :D

On the other hand, your description of your professor makes it sound like he may very well have been the exception to the impossible beheading rule.

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TheBiggerMediocre
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby TheBiggerMediocre » Sun May 12, 2013 10:22 am

I take 6 upper level classes and 2 intro classes a semester. The intro classes really buffer my GPA.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun May 12, 2013 10:28 pm

Tekrul wrote:I'm not sure if the conclusion of the NYU thing was to mean they scrutinize everyone's transcript or they scrutinize no-one's but I believe mine was looked at pretty closely by them.

There is no way my GPA made it 'on the merits'. Absolutely no way they accepted my numbers being that low without having looked at my stellar upward trajectory and masochistic selection of rigorous coursework.

Don't you have a 174 LSAT? I think you give NYU too much credit. Looks like they're keeping that gigantic class size intact.

http://nyu.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/1213

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twenty
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby twenty » Mon May 13, 2013 4:18 pm

Buddy had a 173 and the best school he got into was UCLA. Yeah, if your transcript makes the adcomm do a double take, you might be in trouble.

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drawstring
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Re: How Thoroughly Are Transcripts Scrutinzed?

Postby drawstring » Mon May 13, 2013 4:29 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:Buddy had a 173 and the best school he got into was UCLA. Yeah, if your transcript makes the adcomm do a double take, you might be in trouble.


What was his GPA?




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