To Addendum or Not to Addendum?

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Javert
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To Addendum or Not to Addendum?

Postby Javert » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:12 pm

I made a 162 on the LSAT, then a 173.

Does an 11-point gap with two takes justify an addendum? I truly believe that the quality of the testing center contributed to my lower score on the first test. I swapped centers (and admittedly studied a bit more) and improved drastically.

Thoughts?

Ti Malice
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Re: To Addendum or Not to Addendum?

Postby Ti Malice » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:48 pm

No addendum. Unless you have documentation from the LSAC that a major disturbance took place at the first testing center, talking about testing center conditions will do absolutely nothing for you at best, and it could come across as whining to some people.

lawschoolwannabee123
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Re: To Addendum or Not to Addendum?

Postby lawschoolwannabee123 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:01 pm

I went from a 162 to a 172, and I've been having the same question. There were a bunch of factors that contributed to my low score the first time around but none that were completely out of my control (drove 5 hours to the test site, had to leave the room to pee, had just started a new job the week before). I just truly didn't realize how different and how much more grueling a real LSAT experience would be from practice tests. None of these reasons seem very good for an addendum, but some schools explicitly ask for an explanation. What to do??

Javert
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Re: To Addendum or Not to Addendum?

Postby Javert » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:32 pm

It's definitely a predicament. Glad to know I'm not the only one facing such a decision.

Ti Malice, I definitely don't want to come across as a whiner. Thanks for the input.

Anybody else have thoughts? I've received mixed opinions.

Thanks, everyone.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: To Addendum or Not to Addendum?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:37 pm

I didn't write one (166-178) and things went about as expected.

Javert
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Re: To Addendum or Not to Addendum?

Postby Javert » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:24 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:I didn't write one (166-178) and things went about as expected.


I would think that 178 is so exceptional a score that perhaps it isn't comparable to my situation?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: To Addendum or Not to Addendum?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:27 pm

Javert wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:I didn't write one (166-178) and things went about as expected.


I would think that 178 is so exceptional a score that perhaps it isn't comparable to my situation?

I actually don't think it mattered all that much. I think my cycle went the same as it would have if I had scored a few points lower. Of course that counterfactual doesn't exist, but I only got into 3 T14 schools, and I'm 99% sure two of those (NYU and NU) would have accepted me with a much lower score.

lawschoolwannabee123
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Re: To Addendum or Not to Addendum?

Postby lawschoolwannabee123 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:11 pm

.
Last edited by lawschoolwannabee123 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: To Addendum or Not to Addendum?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:46 pm

lawschoolwannabee123 wrote:Right, so what was to be expected was that a lot of schools averaged your two scores, or at least didn't treat your app the same as a straight up 178? Could an addendum have altered that? For Javert and I, the difference between whether we're viewed as a 172 or a 167ish makes a HUGE difference (being at/above, or at/below). Any insight into whether an addendum could help nudge adcoms toward the 172?

I think you misunderstood my post. If I had scored a 175, I would have sat at a 170.5 average, below the medians for CLS and NYU at the time, and yet I'm nearly certain I still would have been accepted. In fact I would have been better with a lower score at a school like Penn, which hates accepting high LSAT splitters who they think will get into CCN. I really don't think any schools truly average, and only a few at the very top might look somewhat negatively on a retake. And even then only compared to someone with nearly identical numbers but no retake.

The addendum poses two additional problems. First, no one has yet found the magic formula for what to put in an addendum to make adcomms ignore the lower score. The closest we've seen is one guy who went 139-164-170 and got into NYU. His addendum was pretty straightforward: "I fell ill and left the test center early, tried to cancel my score but LSAC screwed up, so the 139 remains." Neither of you guys have that sort of clear need for an addendum or such a simple explanation for an obvious outlier score. The second problem is that it is possible an addendum can come across as complaining, whining, making excuses, etc., which is not a good look. So tossing in an addendum just to cover your bases is not a zero-downside play.

I don't know if the guy with the 139 also addressed the 164, but despite taking 3 attempts and never getting to the NYU median he still made it in. FWIW, his GPA was 3.9. That story as much as any suggests that schools just don't care about LSAT retakes.

doing_it_in_a_car
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Re: To Addendum or Not to Addendum?

Postby doing_it_in_a_car » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:35 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:In fact I would have been better with a lower score at a school like Penn, which hates accepting high LSAT splitters who they think will get into CCN.


Sorry to hijack - but does Penn really YP high splitters? I noticed that there is a pocket of acceptances in the area of 3.0 to 3.4 with 170 - 174 - then there's a waitlist wall from 175+.
http://penn.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/1213

I originally attributed this to insufficient sample size and other anomalies like late applications, other app weaknesses. Just curious if you have additional evidence behind your point.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: To Addendum or Not to Addendum?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:54 pm

doing_it_in_a_car wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:In fact I would have been better with a lower score at a school like Penn, which hates accepting high LSAT splitters who they think will get into CCN.


Sorry to hijack - but does Penn really YP high splitters? I noticed that there is a pocket of acceptances in the area of 3.0 to 3.4 with 170 - 174 - then there's a waitlist wall from 175+.
http://penn.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/1213

I originally attributed this to insufficient sample size and other anomalies like late applications, other app weaknesses. Just curious if you have additional evidence behind your point.


Image

Image

There's a good chance of a waitlist either way but it seems pretty clear to me that your chances go down as your LSAT goes up. It is possible that people with higher LSATs don't work as hard to get off the waitlist.

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midnight_circus
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Re: To Addendum or Not to Addendum?

Postby midnight_circus » Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:19 pm

lawschoolwannabee123 wrote:I went from a 162 to a 172, and I've been having the same question. There were a bunch of factors that contributed to my low score the first time around but none that were completely out of my control (drove 5 hours to the test site, had to leave the room to pee, had just started a new job the week before). I just truly didn't realize how different and how much more grueling a real LSAT experience would be from practice tests. None of these reasons seem very good for an addendum, but some schools explicitly ask for an explanation. What to do??


Normally, I'd be with Tiago Splitter and say just to let the higher score speak for itself. But if you have to write an addendum to comply with application instructions, would it be possible just to focus on the positives? That is, instead of saying you had to drive a long way or pee, which are weak excuses and sound like whining, say that you were unsatisfied with your initial score and over the next X months studied in such a way because you knew you really wanted to attend a school of [insert school name here]'s quality and a 162 simply would not suffice.

I'm going to stop and disclaim right here that I've never read an LSAT addendum, nor did I retake, nor have I even been accepted to law school. I have, in all reality, no idea if this is a good idea. If someone else on this thread says not to do this, don't. But I personally would rather see evidence of perseverance, adaptability, and improvement (and realism about chances of success) than excuses or complaint. Just my two cents.




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