Should I Submit Addenda? (GPA, LSAT, TFA)

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Submit an addendum?

Only for the GPA
2
29%
Only for the LSAT
1
14%
Only for TFA
2
29%
For the GPA and LSAT
0
No votes
For the GPA and TFA
2
29%
For the LSAT and TFA
0
No votes
For all three
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 7

User avatar
girlmonster
Posts: 280
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 10:46 pm

Should I Submit Addenda? (GPA, LSAT, TFA)

Postby girlmonster » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:00 am

Firstly, thank you to everyone on this forum who patiently expends time and energy to help others.

There are a few situations which I'm wondering if I should submit addenda for:

1) My GPA, which was 3.58 (I graduated three years ago). I do believe this was affected by the fact that I was (and still am) taking care of my mother who has several serious health conditions, and was working to help financially support her.

2) My disappointing LSAT score. In preparing for the test, I completed all practice tests and only scored below 175 once. My average and median was 178, but I was sick when I took it the first time and scored a 167 (I briefly passed out in the RC section and the proctors were just staring at me). Should I explain that in an addendum? I re-took, but I think the stress from having to re-take and the 167 score got to me. I had never experienced test anxiety before, but now I understand what it feels like. I blanked out during LG (normally my strongest section) and scored a 172. Of course I wouldn't explain the 172 situation in an addendum. I don't think the admissions committee would like to hear me say I crumbled under pressure. My inquiry only refers to the 167; I'm just providing the information about the 172 to illustrate that it wasn't a substantial enough increase to explain itself.

3) I only completed a year of Teach For America. Several of my fellow corps members are in the same position, and many grievances against our regional office have been successfully submitted. I was dismissed with another corps member on the grounds that we were dismissed from our district, which is blatantly untrue. We continued to work in the district long after TFA dismissed us. However, the other corps member contacted a different person in the office than I did, and she was reinstated without filing a grievance. By the time it was apparent that I would have to file a grievance with the national office, it was too late for me to do so.

Thank you very much!

User avatar
El_Gallo
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:23 am

Re: Should I Submit Addenda? (GPA, LSAT, TFA)

Postby El_Gallo » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:18 am

Neither your GPA nor LSAT are addendum worthy. They are both respectable scores. The issue of your mother being sick could be a theme used in your personal statement.

The TFA thing may be an issue, I would submit an addendum on that. However, there are other people on this forum that only completed one year of TFA by choice and it didn't seem to alter their cycle much. I would be surprised if you didn't get at least 2 of the T6.

Ti Malice
Posts: 1955
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:55 am

Re: Should I Submit Addenda? (GPA, LSAT, TFA)

Postby Ti Malice » Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:12 pm

GPA addenda rarely make any detectable difference, but it certainly would not hurt you to provide some context for your GPA in this case. Keep it succinct, but be specific as to the demands on your time and energy during undergrad that taking care of your mother entailed.

LSAT addenda are almost always inadvisable. You haven't faced any unusual circumstances here. Test anxiety afflicts a large percentage of the applicant pool. Drawing attention to a lower score that you could have canceled is not going to help you (adcomms' first question would be why you didn't cancel your first score after passing out during a test section). Drawing attention to test anxiety when trying to enter programs of study where evaluation consists entirely of high-pressure end-of-semester exams is not a good idea. Because one can always retake the LSAT, addenda explaining suboptimal outcomes are pretty useless. You have an excellent score as things stand. Just let it be.

I'll let people who know more about TFA help you there. Received wisdom here seems to be that not completing TFA is a significant negative, but I think this is pretty questionable. I know more than one person at YHS who left TFA after one year; they are not uncommonly distinguished in ways that would outweigh such a negative, either (no Rhodes/Marshall, Ph.D., etc.). Several posters on TLS left TFA after one year without any apparent adverse admissions consequences. A very significant TFA negative would be exiting the program before completion of a given school year, which you did not do.


El_Gallo wrote:Neither your GPA nor LSAT are addendum worthy. They are both respectable scores.

While true, this isn't really the main criterion for whether or not an addendum is a good idea.

User avatar
girlmonster
Posts: 280
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 10:46 pm

Re: Should I Submit Addenda? (GPA, LSAT, TFA)

Postby girlmonster » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:52 pm

Thank you very much, you both have been tremendously helpful! To clarify about the LSAT, I was not going to submit an addendum regarding the test anxiety. I was only going to submit an addendum regarding the original score, during which I was sick. Also, the reason I didn't cancel was because (1) most of the information I found on TLS regarding score cancellation said that admissions committees view a canceled score as a 165, and (2) being sick, I wasn't sure exactly how poorly I did. But from my understanding, I still should not submit an addendum even for the 167.

Thanks again!

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Should I Submit Addenda? (GPA, LSAT, TFA)

Postby bp shinners » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:22 pm

girlmonster wrote: (1) most of the information I found on TLS regarding score cancellation said that admissions committees view a canceled score as a 165, and (2) being sick, I wasn't sure exactly how poorly I did.


I don't know where you read (1) - I've never seen that on these forums. It's also just not true.

As far as (2) goes, for posterity - if you pass out during a section, people, cancel your score.




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