LSAT Curve (or lackthereof) Question

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
muskies970
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:28 pm

LSAT Curve (or lackthereof) Question

Postby muskies970 » Tue May 21, 2013 12:39 pm

On TLS I always read how 171 is top 99% for the LSAT and that number is then used to derive the number of applicants with said numbers for admission to top schools.

However, I also thought it was common knowledge that the LSAT "curve" is chosen before test day and in fact is not a real curve as defined by analyzing the results of test day to make a curve.

Source: http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/ls ... -lsac.html

I'm sure it's somewhat accurate, however isn't there a chance that in reality up to say 5% of test takers are really scoring 170+ without anyone (besides LSAC) knowing? Thoughts? Am I missing something?

User avatar
JamMasterJ
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: LSAT Curve (or lackthereof) Question

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue May 21, 2013 12:45 pm

enough people take the test that they can do this beforehand.
I think 99% is actually 172.
They also adjust the curve if they screw up - that's part of why it takes a month to grade.

User avatar
jrsbaseball5
Posts: 290
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:41 pm

Re: LSAT Curve (or lackthereof) Question

Postby jrsbaseball5 » Tue May 21, 2013 12:48 pm

muskies970 wrote:On TLS I always read how 171 is top 99% for the LSAT and that number is then used to derive the number of applicants with said numbers for admission to top schools.

However, I also thought it was common knowledge that the LSAT "curve" is chosen before test day and in fact is not a real curve as defined by analyzing the results of test day to make a curve.

Source: http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/ls ... -lsac.html

I'm sure it's somewhat accurate, however isn't there a chance that in reality up to say 5% of test takers are really scoring 170+ without anyone (besides LSAC) knowing? Thoughts? Am I missing something?


Without really thinking about it I suppose it is possible. However, the breakdown of scores is fairly consistent from year to year so you would have to have a class of test takers that was much smarter than every other year for it to happen.

muskies970
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: LSAT Curve (or lackthereof) Question

Postby muskies970 » Tue May 21, 2013 12:51 pm

I guess what I'm asking is if there's any actual real hard data for each test showing that indeed only 1% of the takers scored 172+, or is it merely conjecture based on a fake "curve" chosen by LSAT

ETA: I'm also curious because people say how some tests are harder/ easier than others and sometimes the curves seem fair or not. If the curve is chosen before isn't it entirely possible for LSAC (humans after all) to have made an error in choosing the curve?

User avatar
sinfiery
Posts: 3308
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:55 am

Re: LSAT Curve (or lackthereof) Question

Postby sinfiery » Tue May 21, 2013 12:55 pm

After you take the LSAT, I believe they give you a sheet with scores and their percentile equivalent based on the last 2 year's of data.


For your ETA, as said, they check afterwards too for any errors in their method thus the absurd 1 month grading period.

muskies970
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: LSAT Curve (or lackthereof) Question

Postby muskies970 » Tue May 21, 2013 1:00 pm

sinfiery wrote:After you take the LSAT, I believe they give you a sheet with scores and their percentile equivalent based on the last 2 year's of data.


For your ETA, as said, they check afterwards too for any errors in their method thus the absurd 1 month grading period.


I checked on LSAC and the percentile is from scored on the past 2 years of data. but that doesn't address my original inquiry about the possibility of them making an error. Even if there were errors what would they do? Change their predetermined curve? I don't see any signs of that...

User avatar
sinfiery
Posts: 3308
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:55 am

Re: LSAT Curve (or lackthereof) Question

Postby sinfiery » Tue May 21, 2013 1:15 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:They also adjust the curve if they screw up - that's part of why it takes a month to grade.

User avatar
Cobretti
Posts: 2560
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:45 am

Re: LSAT Curve (or lackthereof) Question

Postby Cobretti » Tue May 21, 2013 1:18 pm

muskies970 wrote:I guess what I'm asking is if there's any actual real hard data for each test showing that indeed only 1% of the takers scored 172+, or is it merely conjecture based on a fake "curve" chosen by LSAT

ETA: I'm also curious because people say how some tests are harder/ easier than others and sometimes the curves seem fair or not. If the curve is chosen before isn't it entirely possible for LSAC (humans after all) to have made an error in choosing the curve?

I think it is entirely possible that the curves aren't all created equal. I think many top scorers tend to miss most of their questions because of their own lapse in concentration or mistaken assumption, and not nearly as often because a question was more difficult than others. I think this tends to make top scorers score more consistently in their raw scores, but also makes them more likely to overperform a generous curve and underperform a tighter curve, since tests are equated to question difficulty.

User avatar
jrthor10
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:33 am

Re: LSAT Curve (or lackthereof) Question

Postby jrthor10 » Tue May 21, 2013 1:20 pm

Remember that the number wrong to get a 170 or 171, etc. changes from test admin to test admin. This is another way they adjust the "curve" although as many on here will tell you, it isn't really a curve...




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 3 guests