Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

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Tls2016
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby Tls2016 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:14 am

unicorntamer666 wrote:Might the ballooning number of high-scoring applicants have something to do with larger numbers of test takers finagling ridiculous amounts of extra time because of their "attention deficit disorder"?

LSAC settled an ADA lawsuit about this in 2014. The remedies - including a "streamlined process" for securing extra time - are probably just taking effect.

See: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/law-scho ... le-justice

Or does it not work that way, because of the curve ensuring score distributions remain stable year-to-year?

Either way, I mostly just wanted to bitch about the accommodations abuse that is surely occurring in the wake of this ADA suit's resolution.

That lawsuit was them being sued by the DOJ for their continued wrongful failure to give accommodations to disabled people. The cases were outrageous including not giving appropriate accommodations to a blind woman.
The streamlined process was designed to ensure people received accommodations that they deserve.
Iin the highly unlikely event the increase is due to this change, then it looks like disabled people were being totally screwed for decades.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:16 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
unicorntamer666 wrote:Might the ballooning number of high-scoring applicants have something to do with larger numbers of test takers finagling ridiculous amounts of extra time because of their "attention deficit disorder"?

LSAC settled an ADA lawsuit about this in 2014. The remedies - including a "streamlined process" for securing extra time - are probably just taking effect.

See: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/law-scho ... le-justice

Or does it not work that way, because of the curve ensuring score distributions remain stable year-to-year?

Either way, I mostly just wanted to bitch about the accommodations abuse that is surely occurring in the wake of this ADA suit's resolution.

Frankly this seems speculative and unfair.


Unlike the other theories raised in this thread, which are all based in reality...

Eh, I don't care about general speculation about why people are applying, I do care about people with disabilities getting screwed over and then getting looked at like they're getting away with something.

edcat
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby edcat » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:47 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
unicorntamer666 wrote:Might the ballooning number of high-scoring applicants have something to do with larger numbers of test takers finagling ridiculous amounts of extra time because of their "attention deficit disorder"?

LSAC settled an ADA lawsuit about this in 2014. The remedies - including a "streamlined process" for securing extra time - are probably just taking effect.

See: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/law-scho ... le-justice

Or does it not work that way, because of the curve ensuring score distributions remain stable year-to-year?

Either way, I mostly just wanted to bitch about the accommodations abuse that is surely occurring in the wake of this ADA suit's resolution.

Frankly this seems speculative and unfair.


Unlike the other theories raised in this thread, which are all based in reality...


First off, it seems clear that A. Nony Mouse wasn't comparing to other theories in the thread. I however am because I want a satisfying explanation for the rise in applications.

The idea that a rise in the use of accomodations lead to a sudden spike in scores from 175 to 180 is an irrational explanation. First of all, there hasn't been a rise in 175 to 180 scores(the percentiles lsac gives out with the test results have not changed substantially). Secondly, I have no evidence to suggest vast numbers of people are getting accomodations who don't need them for legitimate reasons which make them less likely to wind up in 175-180 score ranges. Thirdly, if they started to LSAC would notice and pull back on accomodations. This blame the accomodations explanation fits very neatly into the human tendency to blame a disadvantaged minority group for our problems.

The fact we actually have to deal with are the following. Applications have risen, especially among 175+ scorers. There has not been a corresponding increase in 175+ test takers.

Therefore one of two things is happening. This cycle is either collecting applications from prevous cycles or a higher percentage of 175+ applicants from this cycle are applying.

The Trump effect(while perfectly rational) fails to explain why the bump is concentrated at the top. Even granting that those opposed to Trump were more intelligent on average than those in favor of Trump, they would still have a mean LSAT score well below the 175-180 range since we are talking about so many people. Therefore, we wouldn't expect a rise concentrated among 175-180 applicants from this explanation.

The other explanation, an impending recession, is also not irrational. The current expansion is the third longest in US history and while they don't end like clock work, there is a substantial body of evidence that suggests recessions become more likely as expansions get older. It also has the merit of fitting the facts. Smart potential law school applicants who have high lsat scores find it suddenly harder to get rewarding jobs that otherwise might have drawn them away and instead apply to law school. Therefore, the applications of top lsat scorers both carrying high lsats from years past and scoring high this year spike as job outlook falls.

Maybe you were referring to other supposed non-rational theories, but I don't see any other than this blame the accomodated testers one.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:55 pm

I think extrapolating national economic trends based on one piece of data relatively early in this cycle is way jumping to conclusions.

cavalier1138
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:57 pm

I can't even tell who's being serious...

The answer should be "no one," but that's just my foolish optimism.

TastyMango
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby TastyMango » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:33 pm

If we are speculating why the very high LSAT scores are increasing in applicants compared to everyone else I'll throw in my own wild speculation:

1) The possibility of GREs reducing the value of LSATs has spooked some people that have been sitting on high test scores. This could explain a small bump.

2) There seems to be a trend of applying earlier, and high test scorers may be 'ahead of the curve' on this trend, so to speak. If this is the case, the difference between % increase should decrease over the course of the cycle.

3) I haven't seen this mentioned yet, but random chance. Because there are substantially fewer people with 175+ compared to the general body of test takers, it is more vulnerable to large fluctuations. While this probably doesn't explain the discrepancy entirely, it probably contributes a good deal. It would also explain the dip at the 170-174 band.

Furthermore, if you look at the trends, with the exception of the 170-174 band, every band increases in % applicants with each increase in LSAT score. This seems to be strong evidence, to me, that people are becoming more aware of the importance of law school rank (or that the law school rank is becoming more important). This would explain the large jump starting at the 165-169 band, as that is where people start becoming seriously competitive at the T-14/T-20 level.

askclt
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby askclt » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:39 pm

What are some good signs you were accepted to a school without having them sent an acceptance letter?

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rowdy
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby rowdy » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:14 pm

askclt wrote:What are some good signs you were accepted to a school without having them sent an acceptance letter?


Sometimes if you're a borderline candidate there's double secret acceptance where only those smart enough to guess they were accepted are actually admitted.

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icechicken
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby icechicken » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:23 pm

askclt wrote:What are some good signs you were accepted to a school without having them sent an acceptance letter?


If the dean of admissions calls you, sighs wistfully when they hear your voice, and says they're "just calling to see how your day is going", I think that's a good sign.

mrorange242
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby mrorange242 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:26 pm

rictheruler wrote:
sharris2017 wrote:Everyone needs to calm down. You can't do anything about what will happen.


These people are causing themselves needless suffering, and this suffering is almost entirely a product of their own thoughts. Our goal as a species needs to be to put an end to this suffering by ridding ourselves the dogmatism and delusion of TLS.


Hoo boy

edcat
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby edcat » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:33 pm

TastyMango wrote:If we are speculating why the very high LSAT scores are increasing in applicants compared to everyone else I'll throw in my own wild speculation:

1) The possibility of GREs reducing the value of LSATs has spooked some people that have been sitting on high test scores. This could explain a small bump.

2) There seems to be a trend of applying earlier, and high test scorers may be 'ahead of the curve' on this trend, so to speak. If this is the case, the difference between % increase should decrease over the course of the cycle.

3) I haven't seen this mentioned yet, but random chance. Because there are substantially fewer people with 175+ compared to the general body of test takers, it is more vulnerable to large fluctuations. While this probably doesn't explain the discrepancy entirely, it probably contributes a good deal. It would also explain the dip at the 170-174 band.

Furthermore, if you look at the trends, with the exception of the 170-174 band, every band increases in % applicants with each increase in LSAT score. This seems to be strong evidence, to me, that people are becoming more aware of the importance of law school rank (or that the law school rank is becoming more important). This would explain the large jump starting at the 165-169 band, as that is where people start becoming seriously competitive at the T-14/T-20 level.


Speculation is what I came here for.
1. The GRE should spook people into applying this cycle. But an 86% increase in 175+ applicants is a lot. There is the increase in this year's apps to factor in too so maybe it is only a 60 or so% jump from this effect, but that is still a lot. That said, this could definitely be part of it. You can sit on a score for 5 years right? So we could have a few years of holdouts jumping in.

2. Applying earlier at high scores. Maybe, but why would that be significantly stronger this year? Just playing devil's advocate.

3. Random chance. Count me skeptical. There are still humdereds of applicants. Given normal statistical assumptions chance shouldn't play much of a role. Same with the 170-174 band.

4. People becoming more aware of the differences in opportunities based on rank could explain some of the numvers. But why would people be so much more aware this year than last year?

Let me toss in another two alternate explanations both of which could play a role, but I don't think explain enough.

It could be that specifically high LSAT job opportunities are waning. The rise of online classes may mean that people no longer can use their 175+ lsat score as effectively to score a lucrative tutoring gig. Online LSAT companies simply serve too much of the market with too few employees forcing these potential LSAT tutors into law school. This seems too small scale to explain the change though. It also suffers from the fact that it should have affected last year's cycle too.

Slightly similar idea LSAT discussion boards may have popularized the idea that you can keep improving all the way to the 175+ range which maximizes your score at all schools. This would explain why 170-175 applicants are holding off to get their scores up to near 180. It suffers from the same problem as many of the others, not explaining the radical difference between last year and this year. However, I like it because it and the GRE fear perfectly explain my own application and its timing took a 170-175 last cycle, held off for a retake, and am applying this cycle with a 175-180 from this cycle before the GRE makes too big of an impact.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:54 pm

edcat wrote:Slightly similar idea LSAT discussion boards may have popularized the idea that you can keep improving all the way to the 175+ range which maximizes your score at all schools. This would explain why 170-175 applicants are holding off to get their scores up to near 180. It suffers from the same problem as many of the others, not explaining the radical difference between last year and this year. However, I like it because it and the GRE fear perfectly explain my own application and its timing took a 170-175 last cycle, held off for a retake, and am applying this cycle with a 175-180 from this cycle before the GRE makes too big of an impact.

Alex, what is confirmation bias?

TastyMango
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby TastyMango » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:46 pm

edcat wrote:
TastyMango wrote:If we are speculating why the very high LSAT scores are increasing in applicants compared to everyone else I'll throw in my own wild speculation:

1) The possibility of GREs reducing the value of LSATs has spooked some people that have been sitting on high test scores. This could explain a small bump.

2) There seems to be a trend of applying earlier, and high test scorers may be 'ahead of the curve' on this trend, so to speak. If this is the case, the difference between % increase should decrease over the course of the cycle.

3) I haven't seen this mentioned yet, but random chance. Because there are substantially fewer people with 175+ compared to the general body of test takers, it is more vulnerable to large fluctuations. While this probably doesn't explain the discrepancy entirely, it probably contributes a good deal. It would also explain the dip at the 170-174 band.

Furthermore, if you look at the trends, with the exception of the 170-174 band, every band increases in % applicants with each increase in LSAT score. This seems to be strong evidence, to me, that people are becoming more aware of the importance of law school rank (or that the law school rank is becoming more important). This would explain the large jump starting at the 165-169 band, as that is where people start becoming seriously competitive at the T-14/T-20 level.


Speculation is what I came here for.
1. The GRE should spook people into applying this cycle. But an 86% increase in 175+ applicants is a lot. There is the increase in this year's apps to factor in too so maybe it is only a 60 or so% jump from this effect, but that is still a lot. That said, this could definitely be part of it. You can sit on a score for 5 years right? So we could have a few years of holdouts jumping in.

2. Applying earlier at high scores. Maybe, but why would that be significantly stronger this year? Just playing devil's advocate.

3. Random chance. Count me skeptical. There are still humdereds of applicants. Given normal statistical assumptions chance shouldn't play much of a role. Same with the 170-174 band.

4. People becoming more aware of the differences in opportunities based on rank could explain some of the numvers. But why would people be so much more aware this year than last year?

Let me toss in another two alternate explanations both of which could play a role, but I don't think explain enough.

It could be that specifically high LSAT job opportunities are waning. The rise of online classes may mean that people no longer can use their 175+ lsat score as effectively to score a lucrative tutoring gig. Online LSAT companies simply serve too much of the market with too few employees forcing these potential LSAT tutors into law school. This seems too small scale to explain the change though. It also suffers from the fact that it should have affected last year's cycle too.

Slightly similar idea LSAT discussion boards may have popularized the idea that you can keep improving all the way to the 175+ range which maximizes your score at all schools. This would explain why 170-175 applicants are holding off to get their scores up to near 180. It suffers from the same problem as many of the others, not explaining the radical difference between last year and this year. However, I like it because it and the GRE fear perfectly explain my own application and its timing took a 170-175 last cycle, held off for a retake, and am applying this cycle with a 175-180 from this cycle before the GRE makes too big of an impact.


You're probably right about the impact of random chance. I looked at the last two years of data ( 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 ) and it appears that, for whatever reason, high scorers seem particularly sensitive to changes.

Also looking at the 2016-2017 cycle, there was a large dip in the 175-180 band and a smaller, but still large, dip in the 164-169 band (compared to the other bands). These are the two bands with the largest change so far. Perhaps a lot of the people in those bands that didn't apply last cycle are now applying this cycle?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:18 pm

askclt wrote:What are some good signs you were accepted to a school without having them sent an acceptance letter?


If you show up for orientation without having been admitted (it happens) and security doesn't escort you out.

edcat
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby edcat » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:44 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
edcat wrote:Slightly similar idea LSAT discussion boards may have popularized the idea that you can keep improving all the way to the 175+ range which maximizes your score at all schools. This would explain why 170-175 applicants are holding off to get their scores up to near 180. It suffers from the same problem as many of the others, not explaining the radical difference between last year and this year. However, I like it because it and the GRE fear perfectly explain my own application and its timing took a 170-175 last cycle, held off for a retake, and am applying this cycle with a 175-180 from this cycle before the GRE makes too big of an impact.

Alex, what is confirmation bias?


I have never heard of confirmation bias causing someone to incorrectly reject a theory they liked.

edcat
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby edcat » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:07 pm

TastyMango wrote:
edcat wrote:
TastyMango wrote:If we are speculating why the very high LSAT scores are increasing in applicants compared to everyone else I'll throw in my own wild speculation:

1) The possibility of GREs reducing the value of LSATs has spooked some people that have been sitting on high test scores. This could explain a small bump.

2) There seems to be a trend of applying earlier, and high test scorers may be 'ahead of the curve' on this trend, so to speak. If this is the case, the difference between % increase should decrease over the course of the cycle.

3) I haven't seen this mentioned yet, but random chance. Because there are substantially fewer people with 175+ compared to the general body of test takers, it is more vulnerable to large fluctuations. While this probably doesn't explain the discrepancy entirely, it probably contributes a good deal. It would also explain the dip at the 170-174 band.

Furthermore, if you look at the trends, with the exception of the 170-174 band, every band increases in % applicants with each increase in LSAT score. This seems to be strong evidence, to me, that people are becoming more aware of the importance of law school rank (or that the law school rank is becoming more important). This would explain the large jump starting at the 165-169 band, as that is where people start becoming seriously competitive at the T-14/T-20 level.


Speculation is what I came here for.
1. The GRE should spook people into applying this cycle. But an 86% increase in 175+ applicants is a lot. There is the increase in this year's apps to factor in too so maybe it is only a 60 or so% jump from this effect, but that is still a lot. That said, this could definitely be part of it. You can sit on a score for 5 years right? So we could have a few years of holdouts jumping in.

2. Applying earlier at high scores. Maybe, but why would that be significantly stronger this year? Just playing devil's advocate.

3. Random chance. Count me skeptical. There are still humdereds of applicants. Given normal statistical assumptions chance shouldn't play much of a role. Same with the 170-174 band.

4. People becoming more aware of the differences in opportunities based on rank could explain some of the numvers. But why would people be so much more aware this year than last year?

Let me toss in another two alternate explanations both of which could play a role, but I don't think explain enough.

It could be that specifically high LSAT job opportunities are waning. The rise of online classes may mean that people no longer can use their 175+ lsat score as effectively to score a lucrative tutoring gig. Online LSAT companies simply serve too much of the market with too few employees forcing these potential LSAT tutors into law school. This seems too small scale to explain the change though. It also suffers from the fact that it should have affected last year's cycle too.

Slightly similar idea LSAT discussion boards may have popularized the idea that you can keep improving all the way to the 175+ range which maximizes your score at all schools. This would explain why 170-175 applicants are holding off to get their scores up to near 180. It suffers from the same problem as many of the others, not explaining the radical difference between last year and this year. However, I like it because it and the GRE fear perfectly explain my own application and its timing took a 170-175 last cycle, held off for a retake, and am applying this cycle with a 175-180 from this cycle before the GRE makes too big of an impact.


You're probably right about the impact of random chance. I looked at the last two years of data ( 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 ) and it appears that, for whatever reason, high scorers seem particularly sensitive to changes.

Also looking at the 2016-2017 cycle, there was a large dip in the 175-180 band and a smaller, but still large, dip in the 164-169 band (compared to the other bands). These are the two bands with the largest change so far. Perhaps a lot of the people in those bands that didn't apply last cycle are now applying this cycle?


That makes sense to me, but we still need a reason even if they are more sensitive. Why did they hold off last cycle? And why are they applying this cycle?

cavalier1138
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:06 pm

edcat wrote:That makes sense to me, but we still need a reason even if they are more sensitive. Why did they hold off last cycle? And why are they applying this cycle?


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UVA2B
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby UVA2B » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:17 pm

Also...

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doggozeg
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby doggozeg » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:55 am

My opinion on contributing factors:

1. There will always be a minimum number of people who want to go to law school, no matter what. It was only a matter of time before this happened.

2. Unlimited LSAT takes

3. The GRE now being admitted by many schools

4. The growing awareness that law school is heavily rank-dependent

5. The current political landscape

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Barack O'Drama
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Re: Applicants are up 14%, possibly around 50% with 170+

Postby Barack O'Drama » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:49 am

doggozeg wrote:My opinion on contributing factors:

1. There will always be a minimum number of people who want to go to law school, no matter what. It was only a matter of time before this happened.

2. Unlimited LSAT takes

3. The GRE now being admitted by many schools

4. The growing awareness that law school is heavily rank-dependent

5. The current political landscape


I can see all of these as contributing factors. I'm not sure why many people seem to be looking for one simple explanation to something that is likely more complicated.




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