Large difference in LSAt scores

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mjb77
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Large difference in LSAt scores

Postby mjb77 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:45 pm

How do schools view a huge discrepancy in LSAT scores? Let's say a 145 to a 165. It seems like most top schools don't average scores, however they do note that they look at all scores. I know that if an addendum is written that helps. However, would the large difference between the scores have a negative affect on an application?

Platopus
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Re: Large difference in LSAt scores

Postby Platopus » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:55 pm

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Last edited by Platopus on Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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icechicken
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Re: Large difference in LSAt scores

Postby icechicken » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:54 pm

By "look at all LSAT scores" schools literally just mean that they see all of your scores because LSAC compiles them into a single report. This part of the process is important because it allows the admissions committee to determine which number is the biggest and therefore has any bearing at all on their decision-making process.

You can maybe send a negative message by taking the test 4-5 times and assembling a spotty record of cancellations or erratic scores, and if your application gets read by someone other than an admissions professional (e.g. if you're under consideration for certain scholarships, or applying to Yale) then all bets are off. But in general, Plato is exactly right: the highest score is the only one that matters.

ShepherdJoo
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Re: Large difference in LSAt scores

Postby ShepherdJoo » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:29 am

icechicken wrote:By "look at all LSAT scores" schools literally just mean that they see all of your scores because LSAC compiles them into a single report. This part of the process is important because it allows the admissions committee to determine which number is the biggest and therefore has any bearing at all on their decision-making process.

You can maybe send a negative message by taking the test 4-5 times and assembling a spotty record of cancellations or erratic scores, and if your application gets read by someone other than an admissions professional (e.g. if you're under consideration for certain scholarships, or applying to Yale) then all bets are off. But in general, Plato is exactly right: the highest score is the only one that matters.


Sadly I'm that candidate with multiple cancellations and erratic scores... Can you please hear me out? This is my current situation:

I just recently took the December LSAT hoping that I'd score even a couple points higher than my September LSAT (163), but right now I'm feeling very uncertain as the test didn't go so well (have a feeling I might have bombed the Logic Games section).

I'm facing a major dilemma right now. In the event my December LSAT score came out to be lower than my previous September (say lower than 160), would it be better to cancel than keep it? The problem is, if I cancel it, it will be my THIRD cancellation on my record and I'm not sure how that would look to Adcoms. Now if I keep it, I'm not sure how that would look to Adcoms either especially given that now my previous September LSAT might look like a fluke(?) to the target schools where my September LSAT score would have fallen on their 50th percentile. Target schools, I mean schools like BU and BC.

What would you say in this case? Still the highest score matters or no?

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icechicken
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Re: Large difference in LSAt scores

Postby icechicken » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:21 am

ShepherdJoo wrote:right now I'm feeling very uncertain as the test didn't go so well (have a feeling I might have bombed the Logic Games section)


This is nowhere near a good reason to cancel, IMO.

The problem is, if I cancel it, it will be my THIRD cancellation on my record and I'm not sure how that would look to Adcoms. Now if I keep it, I'm not sure how that would look to Adcoms either especially given that now my previous September LSAT might look like a fluke(?) to the target schools where my September LSAT score would have fallen on their 50th percentile.


Let's look at the 2x3 matrix here, where the vertical is your decision to cancel or not (you control this) and the horizontal is your score relative to that 163 (you no longer control this):

                <161          161-164           165+
Cancel        applicant looks flaky   applicant looks flaky    applicant looks flaky
Don't Cancel      applicant looks flukey   literally don't care     wooo! party time


The bottom row dominates the top; it's obviously a better outcome in the middle and right columns and about the same on the left. Don't cancel.

ShepherdJoo
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Re: Large difference in LSAt scores

Postby ShepherdJoo » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:39 am

icechicken wrote:
ShepherdJoo wrote:right now I'm feeling very uncertain as the test didn't go so well (have a feeling I might have bombed the Logic Games section)


This is nowhere near a good reason to cancel, IMO.

The problem is, if I cancel it, it will be my THIRD cancellation on my record and I'm not sure how that would look to Adcoms. Now if I keep it, I'm not sure how that would look to Adcoms either especially given that now my previous September LSAT might look like a fluke(?) to the target schools where my September LSAT score would have fallen on their 50th percentile.


Let's look at the 2x3 matrix here, where the vertical is your decision to cancel or not (you control this) and the horizontal is your score relative to that 163 (you no longer control this):

                <161          161-164           165+
Cancel        applicant looks flaky   applicant looks flaky    applicant looks flaky
Don't Cancel      applicant looks flukey   literally don't care     wooo! party time


The bottom row dominates the top; it's obviously a better outcome in the middle and right columns and about the same on the left. Don't cancel.


Thank you for this very helpful 2x3 matrix and I really appreciate the time you've put into this.

But the problem is, I'm more certain I got <161 (and no it's not just based on a feeling because I guessed half of LG section, that's a legitimate reason), and so objectively speaking, scoring somewhere in the 150's on my fourth take is more plausible than not; doesn't that change the situation a little though? I'd like to really be able to protect my 163, that's all I'm saying in the worst-case scenario.




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