Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

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liammial
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby liammial » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:31 am

lawschool22 wrote:
liammial wrote:
+1 to LS22. Within my major, there were profs who were known to be easy graders and profs who were known to be hard graders. Some people purposefully took classes with the easy ones to pad their GPAs, while some students didn't do so. It would be extremely difficult and time-consuming for LS admissions officers to figure out which profs are which.

Many colleges post median grades on transcripts (mine did).

Except that the data we have suggests that when it comes to predictive ability, LSAT scores are better than GPA (as GPA is currently used). What's your evidence that the LSAT is "more flawed"?

As I've said already, obviously GPA is less predictive if you literally take raw GPA without accounting whatsoever for school or major (which is what the study you're referring to uses). It's quite easy to account for those, at least a bit.


Honestly I don't even know how this can be an argument. Grade inflation has almost completely killed the usefulness of GPA. Sure, it's still helpful if you have an applicant with a crappy GPA, because (barring some credible excuse) it means that they were either overmatched or unmotivated in college. But high GPAs are a dime a dozen these days. Something like 50% of all college grades are A or A- now. This is one of the reasons why so many high-GPA students get so frustrated w/ the LSAT. They assume that their 3.7 means that they are top-level smart. But the LSAT doesn't have grade inflation to save them, and it's a serious wake-up call.

Bottom line: neither GPA nor LSAT is a great predictor of law school success, but colleges have essentially killed the GPA as a useful measurement. So between the two, you have to trust the LSAT more.

Law schools have access to: median grades, average GPA for your class, LSAT scores for your class, etc. They have ample ways to account for grade inflation, if it does in fact exist. Further, you're not competing with applicants from 20 years ago--you're competing with current applicants, under the same grade inflation. (Further, I do not believe there is any justification for grade inflation even existing separate from Harvard (and other schools') kids being smarter than they used to be.) Does MIT not have grade inflation? Law schools need only to look at the school's LSAC report (like the already don't know).

Why do you think top 15 schools are wildly overrepresented at top law schools? The kids being brighter--and thus scoring higher on the LSAT--can't account for all of it.


Dear god man, don't you see why a median GPA for your school is not helpful?

Compare the following four students:

UG median GPA: 3.5

Student A: Journalism major, 3.8
Student B: Journalism major, 3.2
Student C: Engineering major, 3.4
Student D: Engineering major, 3.8

Who do you admit? Note that's not rhetorical. Pick one.

Sorry, I meant mine published median grades for every class (eg. In Bio I got an A- and the median grade was a B).

Kevinlomax
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby Kevinlomax » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:33 am

lawschool22 wrote:
liammial wrote:
+1 to LS22. Within my major, there were profs who were known to be easy graders and profs who were known to be hard graders. Some people purposefully took classes with the easy ones to pad their GPAs, while some students didn't do so. It would be extremely difficult and time-consuming for LS admissions officers to figure out which profs are which.

Many colleges post median grades on transcripts (mine did).

Except that the data we have suggests that when it comes to predictive ability, LSAT scores are better than GPA (as GPA is currently used). What's your evidence that the LSAT is "more flawed"?

As I've said already, obviously GPA is less predictive if you literally take raw GPA without accounting whatsoever for school or major (which is what the study you're referring to uses). It's quite easy to account for those, at least a bit.


Honestly I don't even know how this can be an argument. Grade inflation has almost completely killed the usefulness of GPA. Sure, it's still helpful if you have an applicant with a crappy GPA, because (barring some credible excuse) it means that they were either overmatched or unmotivated in college. But high GPAs are a dime a dozen these days. Something like 50% of all college grades are A or A- now. This is one of the reasons why so many high-GPA students get so frustrated w/ the LSAT. They assume that their 3.7 means that they are top-level smart. But the LSAT doesn't have grade inflation to save them, and it's a serious wake-up call.

Bottom line: neither GPA nor LSAT is a great predictor of law school success, but colleges have essentially killed the GPA as a useful measurement. So between the two, you have to trust the LSAT more.

Law schools have access to: median grades, average GPA for your class, LSAT scores for your class, etc. They have ample ways to account for grade inflation, if it does in fact exist. Further, you're not competing with applicants from 20 years ago--you're competing with current applicants, under the same grade inflation. (Further, I do not believe there is any justification for grade inflation even existing separate from Harvard (and other schools') kids being smarter than they used to be.) Does MIT not have grade inflation? Law schools need only to look at the school's LSAC report (like the already don't know).

Why do you think top 15 schools are wildly overrepresented at top law schools? The kids being brighter--and thus scoring higher on the LSAT--can't account for all of it.


Dear god man, don't you see why a median GPA for your school is not helpful?

Compare the following four students:

UG median GPA: 3.5

Student A: Journalism major, 3.8
Student B: Journalism major, 3.2
Student C: Engineering major, 3.4
Student D: Engineering major, 3.8

Who do you admit? Note that's not rhetorical. Pick one.


easy.. D

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lawschool22
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby lawschool22 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:42 am

Kevinlomax wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:
liammial wrote:
+1 to LS22. Within my major, there were profs who were known to be easy graders and profs who were known to be hard graders. Some people purposefully took classes with the easy ones to pad their GPAs, while some students didn't do so. It would be extremely difficult and time-consuming for LS admissions officers to figure out which profs are which.

Many colleges post median grades on transcripts (mine did).

Except that the data we have suggests that when it comes to predictive ability, LSAT scores are better than GPA (as GPA is currently used). What's your evidence that the LSAT is "more flawed"?

As I've said already, obviously GPA is less predictive if you literally take raw GPA without accounting whatsoever for school or major (which is what the study you're referring to uses). It's quite easy to account for those, at least a bit.


Honestly I don't even know how this can be an argument. Grade inflation has almost completely killed the usefulness of GPA. Sure, it's still helpful if you have an applicant with a crappy GPA, because (barring some credible excuse) it means that they were either overmatched or unmotivated in college. But high GPAs are a dime a dozen these days. Something like 50% of all college grades are A or A- now. This is one of the reasons why so many high-GPA students get so frustrated w/ the LSAT. They assume that their 3.7 means that they are top-level smart. But the LSAT doesn't have grade inflation to save them, and it's a serious wake-up call.

Bottom line: neither GPA nor LSAT is a great predictor of law school success, but colleges have essentially killed the GPA as a useful measurement. So between the two, you have to trust the LSAT more.

Law schools have access to: median grades, average GPA for your class, LSAT scores for your class, etc. They have ample ways to account for grade inflation, if it does in fact exist. Further, you're not competing with applicants from 20 years ago--you're competing with current applicants, under the same grade inflation. (Further, I do not believe there is any justification for grade inflation even existing separate from Harvard (and other schools') kids being smarter than they used to be.) Does MIT not have grade inflation? Law schools need only to look at the school's LSAC report (like the already don't know).

Why do you think top 15 schools are wildly overrepresented at top law schools? The kids being brighter--and thus scoring higher on the LSAT--can't account for all of it.


Dear god man, don't you see why a median GPA for your school is not helpful?

Compare the following four students:

UG median GPA: 3.5

Student A: Journalism major, 3.8
Student B: Journalism major, 3.2
Student C: Engineering major, 3.4
Student D: Engineering major, 3.8

Who do you admit? Note that's not rhetorical. Pick one.


easy.. D


Not so fast :D.

This school has the best journalism program in the region, and the students in the j school are graded on a mandatory curve. Whereas student D took civil engineering with mainly jokes of professors that he found by relentlessly stalking ratemyprof, and the median engineering GPA at this undergrad is a 3.7. Unfortunately student C got screwed with the toughest engineering profs, and he took 1 extra class a semester since he switched majors and still wanted to graduate on time. Poor student B got the worst journalism profs and got screwed by the curve, but worked a lot harder than student C.

See, this little make believe example explains why GPA isn't a great standard metric or necessarily predictive. Multiply this across 100s of schools and thousands of students.

Ps: this response wasn't really to you, Kevin
Last edited by lawschool22 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

indo
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby indo » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:46 am

vuthy wrote:Honestly I don't even know how this can be an argument. Grade inflation has almost completely killed the usefulness of GPA. Sure, it's still helpful if you have an applicant with a crappy GPA, because (barring some credible excuse) it means that they were either overmatched or unmotivated in college. But high GPAs are a dime a dozen these days. Something like 50% of all college grades are A or A- now. This is one of the reasons why so many high-GPA students get so frustrated w/ the LSAT. They assume that their 3.7 means that they are top-level smart. But the LSAT doesn't have grade inflation to save them, and it's a serious wake-up call.

Bottom line: neither GPA nor LSAT is a great predictor of law school success, but colleges have essentially killed the GPA as a useful measurement. So between the two, you have to trust the LSAT more.




1) GPA only
2) LSAT only
3) GPA and LSAT both

GPA and LSAT will better predicator than LSAT or GPA only

lastminuteuser
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby lastminuteuser » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:04 am

+1
Last edited by lastminuteuser on Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kevinlomax
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby Kevinlomax » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:00 am

^ I wondered about this as well. ALthough he doesent specifically say anyone can be successful from any law school , he simply states "there is a law school for everyone".

However, we all know going to cooley at sticker is a bad idea for anyone

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nothingtosee
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby nothingtosee » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:05 am

Sounds like indo should post up in the affirmative action thread:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=178724

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Lightworks
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby Lightworks » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:15 am

If you go to a TTT undergrad like I did, the LSAT is your best friend. A 3.7 from SUNY Oneonta is going to be beat by a 3.7 from 100+ other schools; virtually locking you out of the T14 if you didn't go to a fancy undergrad. For the most part, the LSAT takes undergrad prestige out of the equation, and -in my incredibly biased opinion- that is a very good thing.

GPA is also flawed in that it equally weighs your most recent grades with what you did when you were 17/18/19. I've heard more 'I had a terrible first semester, but turned it around' stories than I can count. I had one disaster of a semester that annihilated seven semesters of nearly perfect grades. The LSAT is a snapshot of where you are when you take it. At 23, if you bust your ass for 6 months and get a 175, that ought to count for more than the D you got in 'Orientation to Higher Education' as a 17 year-old moron.

You can be a gibbering idiot AND pull a 3.8+ GPA (my undergrad is the world's leading producer of such students). You can't say that about the LSAT.

I feel like most of the reasons people truly under-perform on the LSAT (learning disability, ESL, test anxiety, etc.) are also going to kill you in law school, and even after. It's unfortunate for those people, but that's reality.

lastminuteuser
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby lastminuteuser » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:49 am

+1
Last edited by lastminuteuser on Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:11 am

It seems like you are wishing that there was some standardized way to compare various GPA's and majors across schools. Have you heard of the LSAT? It is exactly such a standardized measure.

Also, any gaming that you are saying can be done on the LSAT can be done 10x more in undergrad.

lastminuteuser
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby lastminuteuser » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:16 am

+1
Last edited by lastminuteuser on Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:20 am

I guess I just don't understand what your point is.

lastminuteuser
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby lastminuteuser » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:24 am

+1
Last edited by lastminuteuser on Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vuthy
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby vuthy » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:26 am

lastminuteuser wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:It seems like you are wishing that there was some standardized way to compare various GPA's and majors across schools. Have you heard of the LSAT? It is exactly such a standardized measure.

Also, any gaming that you are saying can be done on the LSAT can be done 10x more in undergrad.



Please reference where I state that I am "wishing...there was some standardized way to compare...GPA's...across schools."

Also, by accepting that gaming can be done on the LSAT you are acknowledging the validity of my point. I never said you could not do it with uni. classes. On the contrary, I stated this was a similarity between the LSAT and GPA that people try to ignore.


The issue isn't "gaming." The issue is that GPAs are not standardized and are totally inflated. If the LSAT were as easy to "game" as GPAs, then a 170 would be like 50th percentile, not 97th. The fact that the majority of American college students have a GPA over 3.0, and a huge portion have a GPA over 3.5, should tell you everything you need to know about how meaningless GPA has become as a way of differentiating students from each other. Not sure why that's so hard to see.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:32 am

Yeah I agree. Unfortunately the US News rankings disincentivize it. I was just irked by the notion that GPA's could be compared in any way. There really are just way to many factors to account for; by the time you got the sort of granularity necessary for a useful comparison you'd have too small a sample size. In a lot of cases your sample size would just be 1.

Also, the LSAT cannot be gamed in the same sense that UG can. At 99% of UG's in the country a 4.0 can be yours in return for a decent amount of effort. Of course effort will pay dividends on the test, but there is a reason that so few people get 170's, let alone 180's.

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axel.foley
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby axel.foley » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:14 pm

lawschool22 wrote:VERY interesting and informative.

If anyone is curious, I solved for the "old" UVA weighting formula he describes, and came up with this:

Index = .194175*(LSAT) + 5.82524*(GPA), where LSAT ranges from 120-180 and GPA ranges from .01-4.3.

The range of index should be 40-60. For out of state he said a 55+ would get in.

Obviously this is old, so should not be taken to be currently in use. Although my index using this formula was a 54.39 and I was WL'd, so... :D


This is REALLY interesting stuff. I wonder who in the T14 currently uses an index like this one. Of course none would ever admit it, but I'm sure if UVA did it several others still do. Would love to know the magical formula for each school. I think one could roughly be determined using LSN and seeing at what point candidates become auto admits, but there would definitely be a margin of error...

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lawschool22
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby lawschool22 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:20 pm

axel.foley wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:VERY interesting and informative.

If anyone is curious, I solved for the "old" UVA weighting formula he describes, and came up with this:

Index = .194175*(LSAT) + 5.82524*(GPA), where LSAT ranges from 120-180 and GPA ranges from .01-4.3.

The range of index should be 40-60. For out of state he said a 55+ would get in.

Obviously this is old, so should not be taken to be currently in use. Although my index using this formula was a 54.39 and I was WL'd, so... :D


This is REALLY interesting stuff. I wonder who in the T14 currently uses an index like this one. Of course none would ever admit it, but I'm sure if UVA did it several others still do. Would love to know the magical formula for each school. I think one could roughly be determined using LSN and seeing at what point candidates become auto admits, but there would definitely be a margin of error...


Yeah, that's actually something I've been trying to work out. It shouldn't be too difficult, it just takes some stats knowledge. Hopefully one day I'll have something substantive to post about that :lol:

To your first point, though, Prof. Johnson mentions in the video that they all have indices like that, so I'm sure it's common, even if they don't want to to admit it. It's not nefarious, it just makes sense that you would want to be able to convert those scores to a standard point total that allows you to rank applicants by that basis before digging into the other facets of the application. I'm sure, though, that they also plug a potential admit into the current class and see how that effects medians, so I don't think it's as simple as just going off the index.

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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:55 pm

lawschool22 wrote:Also, if we're talking about predictive value, I think the high-stakes single-shot nature of the LSAT much more accurately reflects the way law school is. Every course grade is determined by one test that takes place on one day.

Very well said. The LSAT is much more like law school than undergrad for the most part.

liammial wrote:The dumb kid who studies hard is going to do better in law school than the unmotivated brilliant kid.

Not sure what makes you say this. Sounds like it should be true, but I'm not at all sure that it is.

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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby McAvoy » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:23 pm

axel.foley wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:VERY interesting and informative.

If anyone is curious, I solved for the "old" UVA weighting formula he describes, and came up with this:

Index = .194175*(LSAT) + 5.82524*(GPA), where LSAT ranges from 120-180 and GPA ranges from .01-4.3.

The range of index should be 40-60. For out of state he said a 55+ would get in.

Obviously this is old, so should not be taken to be currently in use. Although my index using this formula was a 54.39 and I was WL'd, so... :D


This is REALLY interesting stuff. I wonder who in the T14 currently uses an index like this one. Of course none would ever admit it, but I'm sure if UVA did it several others still do. Would love to know the magical formula for each school. I think one could roughly be determined using LSN and seeing at what point candidates become auto admits, but there would definitely be a margin of error...


So, with my 3.6 GPA, it appears I would require a score above ~175 to reach 55. Let's hope they no longer use this...

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lawschool22
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby lawschool22 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:27 pm

Will_McAvoy wrote:
axel.foley wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:VERY interesting and informative.

If anyone is curious, I solved for the "old" UVA weighting formula he describes, and came up with this:

Index = .194175*(LSAT) + 5.82524*(GPA), where LSAT ranges from 120-180 and GPA ranges from .01-4.3.

The range of index should be 40-60. For out of state he said a 55+ would get in.

Obviously this is old, so should not be taken to be currently in use. Although my index using this formula was a 54.39 and I was WL'd, so... :D


This is REALLY interesting stuff. I wonder who in the T14 currently uses an index like this one. Of course none would ever admit it, but I'm sure if UVA did it several others still do. Would love to know the magical formula for each school. I think one could roughly be determined using LSN and seeing at what point candidates become auto admits, but there would definitely be a margin of error...


So, with my 3.6 GPA, it appears I would require a score above ~175 to reach 55. Let's hope they no longer use this...


I doubt they do. He claimed that under this formula they weighted GPA/LSAT roughly 60/40, which I would be surprised if that is still the case.

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metroidbum
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby metroidbum » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:37 pm

...
Last edited by metroidbum on Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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lawschool22
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby lawschool22 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:43 pm

metroidbum wrote:
Will_McAvoy wrote:
axel.foley wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:VERY interesting and informative.

If anyone is curious, I solved for the "old" UVA weighting formula he describes, and came up with this:

Index = .194175*(LSAT) + 5.82524*(GPA), where LSAT ranges from 120-180 and GPA ranges from .01-4.3.

The range of index should be 40-60. For out of state he said a 55+ would get in.

Obviously this is old, so should not be taken to be currently in use. Although my index using this formula was a 54.39 and I was WL'd, so... :D


This is REALLY interesting stuff. I wonder who in the T14 currently uses an index like this one. Of course none would ever admit it, but I'm sure if UVA did it several others still do. Would love to know the magical formula for each school. I think one could roughly be determined using LSN and seeing at what point candidates become auto admits, but there would definitely be a margin of error...


So, with my 3.6 GPA, it appears I would require a score above ~175 to reach 55. Let's hope they no longer use this...


I doubt it, because I am above the "55" threshold and got WL'd. And I am not underperforming my numbers this cycle by any stretch of the imagination. :lol:


I should have clarified, I believe he said 55, 56, 57 would get in. He didn't mention above that, so maybe that's their YP category lol

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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby liammial » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:59 pm

Still no response regarding colleges that list median grades for each class on their transcript? That solves most of GPA's problems.

As someone said earlier, the better your undergrad, the more GPA counts relative to LSAT.

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lawschool22
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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby lawschool22 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:06 pm

liammial wrote:Still no response regarding colleges that list median grades for each class on their transcript? That solves most of GPA's problems.

As someone said earlier, the better your undergrad, the more GPA counts relative to LSAT.


(1) Most schools do not do this
(2) I have already explained why it wouldn't help. One reason is variation among professors. Another is course load. See my prior posts on this topic.
(3) "The better your undergrad, the more GPA counts relative to LSAT" is ridiculous and not true. I don't know if you read anything I posted, but many of the so-called "top" undergrads are guilty of some of the most rampant grade inflation.

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Re: Alex Johnson, UVA Professor discusses problems w/ LSAT

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:19 pm

Median grades would not be helpful.

Different professors teach the same course. Perhaps you're meaning median grade "per class, per professor," so that each itineration of a specific class would have a median grade? I think even if this were put in place for every class, for every course, at every school etc it still would not be as useful as you think it would be. Grade inflation is one of the reasons.

There are also variably difficult course loads, work schedules, and circumstances. There is just no way to account for all of these things, which is why the LSAT was invented.




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