Is it ever worth it to write a LSAT addendum?

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MrSam

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Is it ever worth it to write a LSAT addendum?

Postby MrSam » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:40 pm

I've read through the forums, asked a few attorneys, and spoken with a couple of current law students. The results? 50/50 split between yes and no.
Short of unforeseen medical issues (e.g. spending 45 minutes in the bathroom, mid-test), is it really ever worth it to write an addendum?
Here's some BG info about me:
I didn't do well on the SAT. Busted my butt studying for it, and still scored almost 200 points below average. But, my UGPA is above a 4.0 (standardized by LSAC). I have no idea how well I did on the Dec test, but I'm pretty sure I didn't do all that great...testing anxiety kicked in, as usual, and threw me off. Before anyone says "You didn't study long enough," I studied for over a year. 6 hours/day, 5-6 days a week. Did I study smart? No clue.
In my case, assuming I didn't do well on the LSAT, should I write an addendum? I get the feeling that the AdCom might look at it and think, "what a whiny applicant."
P.S. I doubt it matters, but I was pseudo-diagnosed with ADHD. It wasn't an official diagnosis since my GP didn't feel comfortable making one.

Monday

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Re: Is it ever worth it to write a LSAT addendum?

Postby Monday » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:48 pm

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Last edited by Monday on Wed May 10, 2017 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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floatie

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Re: Is it ever worth it to write a LSAT addendum?

Postby floatie » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:23 pm

I've heard of instances where people wrote an addendum talking about how a standardized test (SAT/ACT) was not indicative of undergraduate success (they still got a high GPA despite a low test score suggesting they would not), hoping that a similar correlation can be made with LSAT/law school grades. Personally, I wouldn't write one, but I don't think writing one would hurt.

Regarding the GP who "pseudo-diagnosed" you with ADHD...first, what??? second, if you think that you have ADHD and need medication/accommodations for it, you need to see a psychiatrist and get a proper diagnosis and treatment. This goes beyond something to write an addendum about. If this is something that could potentially affect your performance in law school, you need to address it.

LawTweet

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Re: Is it ever worth it to write a LSAT addendum?

Postby LawTweet » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:48 pm

MrSam wrote:I've read through the forums, asked a few attorneys, and spoken with a couple of current law students. The results? 50/50 split between yes and no.
Short of unforeseen medical issues (e.g. spending 45 minutes in the bathroom, mid-test), is it really ever worth it to write an addendum?
Here's some BG info about me:
I didn't do well on the SAT. Busted my butt studying for it, and still scored almost 200 points below average. But, my UGPA is above a 4.0 (standardized by LSAC). I have no idea how well I did on the Dec test, but I'm pretty sure I didn't do all that great...testing anxiety kicked in, as usual, and threw me off. Before anyone says "You didn't study long enough," I studied for over a year. 6 hours/day, 5-6 days a week. Did I study smart? No clue.
In my case, assuming I didn't do well on the LSAT, should I write an addendum? I get the feeling that the AdCom might look at it and think, "what a whiny applicant."
P.S. I doubt it matters, but I was pseudo-diagnosed with ADHD. It wasn't an official diagnosis since my GP didn't feel comfortable making one.


I actually I was speaking in-person with a dean of admissions at a T14 school. He shared that individuals who are "bad test takers" should absolutely include an addendum and attach a copy of low SAT scores if possible. The purpose is to communicate that historically, your standardized scores have not been a good predictor of your academic performance. Write an addendum.

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sethnoorzad

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Re: Is it ever worth it to write a LSAT addendum?

Postby sethnoorzad » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:50 pm

Depends on the angle you take. If you write about how your GPA is a better indicator of your academic potential, that could be fine and may help your case. I wouldn't even mention any reasons as to why you didn't do so well on the LSAT. Just something short to show that you ARE a good student and have potential that is shown by other things than your LSAT score.

cavalier1138

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Re: Is it ever worth it to write a LSAT addendum?

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:08 pm

LawTweet wrote:
MrSam wrote:I've read through the forums, asked a few attorneys, and spoken with a couple of current law students. The results? 50/50 split between yes and no.
Short of unforeseen medical issues (e.g. spending 45 minutes in the bathroom, mid-test), is it really ever worth it to write an addendum?
Here's some BG info about me:
I didn't do well on the SAT. Busted my butt studying for it, and still scored almost 200 points below average. But, my UGPA is above a 4.0 (standardized by LSAC). I have no idea how well I did on the Dec test, but I'm pretty sure I didn't do all that great...testing anxiety kicked in, as usual, and threw me off. Before anyone says "You didn't study long enough," I studied for over a year. 6 hours/day, 5-6 days a week. Did I study smart? No clue.
In my case, assuming I didn't do well on the LSAT, should I write an addendum? I get the feeling that the AdCom might look at it and think, "what a whiny applicant."
P.S. I doubt it matters, but I was pseudo-diagnosed with ADHD. It wasn't an official diagnosis since my GP didn't feel comfortable making one.


I actually I was speaking in-person with a dean of admissions at a T14 school. He shared that individuals who are "bad test takers" should absolutely include an addendum and attach a copy of low SAT scores if possible. The purpose is to communicate that historically, your standardized scores have not been a good predictor of your academic performance. Write an addendum.


I was speaking in-person with a dean of admissions at a T14 school, and he told me that they don't mainly consider LSAT and GPA.

An addendum in this case only serves to point out that the OP is a bad test-taker, which isn't a good reason to write an addendum. There will be exams in law school, and all an addendum here would do is highlight that the OP will not do well on those either. And then there's the bar exam...

The only reason to write an LSAT addendum is for medical issues, and even then, you should be getting accommodations, not explaining yourself after the fact.

MrSam

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Re: Is it ever worth it to write a LSAT addendum?

Postby MrSam » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:35 pm

Thanks, everyone.
I'll probably forgo submitting an addendum, unless the school specifically states that they would like to know if I believe that my LSAT score is not indicative of my ability to succeed.

To address a few points made:

- I intend on speaking to a psychiatrist, once my new insurance kicks in. I did exceptionally well in UG, without any medication. That was primarily because I spent weeks studying for exams, rather than a day or two.

- If I wrote an addendum, it wouldn't be about why I did poorly on the LSAT (assuming I did poorly). Rather, I would attach my SAT score and show that it wasn't a good predictor of my ability to succeed in college.

- I don't get anxious on most exams. Anxiety tends to kick in only when I'm taking a standardized test. I have no idea why. Regardless, I wasn't planning on mentioning testing-anxiety in the addendum.

KDavis95

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Re: Is it ever worth it to write a LSAT addendum?

Postby KDavis95 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:36 pm

MrSam wrote:I've read through the forums, asked a few attorneys, and spoken with a couple of current law students. The results? 50/50 split between yes and no.
Short of unforeseen medical issues (e.g. spending 45 minutes in the bathroom, mid-test), is it really ever worth it to write an addendum?
Here's some BG info about me:
I didn't do well on the SAT. Busted my butt studying for it, and still scored almost 200 points below average. But, my UGPA is above a 4.0 (standardized by LSAC). I have no idea how well I did on the Dec test, but I'm pretty sure I didn't do all that great...testing anxiety kicked in, as usual, and threw me off. Before anyone says "You didn't study long enough," I studied for over a year. 6 hours/day, 5-6 days a week. Did I study smart? No clue.
In my case, assuming I didn't do well on the LSAT, should I write an addendum? I get the feeling that the AdCom might look at it and think, "what a whiny applicant."
P.S. I doubt it matters, but I was pseudo-diagnosed with ADHD. It wasn't an official diagnosis since my GP didn't feel comfortable making one.


I'm probably writing one as well. I have a really high GPA but I have historically not done well on standardized tests. That hasn't kept me from being accepted to the honors program at my college and having straight As three years in a row. I think it's worth writing one. I know two applicants who had scores in the 150's who got into Georgetown, Cornell, NYU and other T-14s. When I asked how they did it, they both admitted that they submitted an addendum. I think you should go for it. :D

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BlendedUnicorn

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Re: Is it ever worth it to write a LSAT addendum?

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:49 pm

It almost certainly won't help but it probably won't hurt either so might as well do it but really you should think about retaking the LSAT until your score is where you want it to be. If you think test anxiety for the LSAT is bad, consider that law school grading during your most important year consists of one high stress exam per class and, unlike the LSAT, you actually face consequences for doing poorly.

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Mr. Archer

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Re: Is it ever worth it to write a LSAT addendum?

Postby Mr. Archer » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:04 am

KDavis95 wrote:
MrSam wrote: I know two applicants who had scores in the 150's who got into Georgetown, Cornell, NYU and other T-14s. When I asked how they did it, they both admitted that they submitted an addendum. I think you should go for it. :D


With LSAT scores that low, there must have been other reasons (including really high GPA) that got them accepted to those schools. The addendum didn't hurt them, but the addendum is not "how they did it."

KDavis95

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Re: Is it ever worth it to write a LSAT addendum?

Postby KDavis95 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:16 am

Mr. Archer wrote:
KDavis95 wrote:
MrSam wrote: I know two applicants who had scores in the 150's who got into Georgetown, Cornell, NYU and other T-14s. When I asked how they did it, they both admitted that they submitted an addendum. I think you should go for it. :D


With LSAT scores that low, there must have been other reasons (including really high GPA) that got them accepted to those schools. The addendum didn't hurt them, but the addendum is not "how they did it."


No they also had other great softs. However, I also saw people with similar stats and good softs that didn't get in. So I would encourage OP to go ahead and write one. Like you said, it wouldn't hurt :wink:

cavalier1138

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Re: Is it ever worth it to write a LSAT addendum?

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:42 am

KDavis95 wrote:
Mr. Archer wrote:
KDavis95 wrote:
MrSam wrote: I know two applicants who had scores in the 150's who got into Georgetown, Cornell, NYU and other T-14s. When I asked how they did it, they both admitted that they submitted an addendum. I think you should go for it. :D


With LSAT scores that low, there must have been other reasons (including really high GPA) that got them accepted to those schools. The addendum didn't hurt them, but the addendum is not "how they did it."


No they also had other great softs. However, I also saw people with similar stats and good softs that didn't get in. So I would encourage OP to go ahead and write one. Like you said, it wouldn't hurt :wink:


Or they were, you know, URMs...

But the addendum really can hurt if it gives the impression that you're a bad test-taker, which is what most of those addenda read like. If you don't have a medical issue, there's no point in submitting an addendum, because it will not tell the adcomms anything they don't already know.



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