Score Bands

User avatar
BioEBear2010
Posts: 745
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:05 pm

Re: Score Bands

Postby BioEBear2010 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:54 am

I know this isn't necessarily relevant to the discussion at hand, but I've heard from admissions deans that they do view LSAT scores in ranges. Sure, a 177 is better by definition than a 176, but the same test-taker could have easily gotten either score on test day due to variability.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Score Bands

Postby r6_philly » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:04 am

BioEBear2010 wrote:I know this isn't necessarily relevant to the discussion at hand, but I've heard from admissions deans that they do view LSAT scores in ranges. Sure, a 177 is better by definition than a 176, but the same test-taker could have easily gotten either score on test day due to variability.



I'd like to think that the school which has the luxury to choose between a 177 and a 176 has the luxury to choose between a 177 and 176. :wink:

User avatar
BioEBear2010
Posts: 745
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:05 pm

Re: Score Bands

Postby BioEBear2010 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:05 am

r6_philly wrote:
BioEBear2010 wrote:I know this isn't necessarily relevant to the discussion at hand, but I've heard from admissions deans that they do view LSAT scores in ranges. Sure, a 177 is better by definition than a 176, but the same test-taker could have easily gotten either score on test day due to variability.



I'd like to think that the school which has the luxury to choose between a 177 and a 176 has the luxury to choose between a 177 and 176. :wink:

Haha, true. I only mentioned 177 because the OP did. The same can be said of 167, 157, 147, etc :D

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Score Bands

Postby tomwatts » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:12 am

r6_philly wrote:if school take 3 168, median will be 168
if school take 3 172, median will be 172
if school take 2 168, 1 172, median will be 168
if school take 1 168, 2 172, median will be 172

so 6 students all within 2 points of 170 and are all capable of scoring 170 per their own score bands. If a school needs to choose 3, which three do you think the school will favor (probably a lot regardless of softs)?

You know, I heard a former admissions officer doing a talk on how law school admissions works, and he talked about the first thing he did being "building the median." So yeah, he'd take the two 172's first to establish that the median would be 172, and then he'd look at the best damn 168 he could find because it wouldn't change the median one bit. Now, with three people, it's a little forced, but when you're doing it with 150, it's a little less so. You say, "I want my median to be 170," for example, and then accept something like 80 people with that score or above (assuming that maybe a few of them will turn you down). Now, you pick out the best people you can with that score or above, so people with crappy GPAs are out, people with crappy softs are out, and people with good all-around applications are in. Then you do the same thing but with the people below the median.

So why is it advantageous to be above a school's median, then, if it just gets you compared to a whole bunch of over-achievers? I thought about this for a bit and came up with the answer: because there are a whole lot fewer of you above the median. If a school says, "We're going to accept the best 80 people above a 170 and the best 80 people below a 170," and they get 100 apps from people above a 170 and 1,000 apps from people below a 170, you have a hell of a lot better chance if you're in the 80/100 crowd than the 80/1,000 crowd.

So what relevance does this have to anything? Well, the question at hand is, do a few points here or there really make a huge difference in your chances of being accepted? The answer is, it depends on the points. If the school's median is 170, and you're comparing a 167 and a 169, those two points probably do nothing to your chances. But if you're comparing a 169 and a 171, those two points could do a lot to your chances.

Now, not all schools work the same way. Famously, Yale doesn't do anything even remotely like this, and a number of other schools don't either. But the really hardcore by-the-numbers schools do, and there are many of those out there.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Score Bands

Postby r6_philly » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:12 am

BioEBear2010 wrote:Haha, true. I only mentioned 177 because the OP did. The same can be said of 167, 157, 147, etc :D


I feel like
1. the lower ranked schools are under much heavier pressure to produce better numbers
2. when there are 10000 applicants within 5 points of each other, numbers start to lose meaning in a precise sense, but when you only have 400 people scoring higher than 172 in the feb administration maybe you do look at numbers a bit more.
3. on the other hand, it is very easy to misread 2 words and end up losing 3 points at the top of the range, so it is more abitrary than getting a 150.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Score Bands

Postby r6_philly » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:18 am

tomwatts wrote:So what relevance does this have to anything? Well, the question at hand is, do a few points here or there really make a huge difference in your chances of being accepted? The answer is, it depends on the points. If the school's median is 170, and you're comparing a 167 and a 169, those two points probably do nothing to your chances. But if you're comparing a 169 and a 171, those two points could do a lot to your chances.

Now, not all schools work the same way. Famously, Yale doesn't do anything even remotely like this, and a number of other schools don't either. But the really hardcore by-the-numbers schools do, and there are many of those out there.


Actually, I typed out how I perceived the admission process SHOULD work in the Mich YP thread in the other forum. It was pretty close to what you said here, and I don't know any admission officers. It is just the same way things are managed in the business world when numbers are used to correlate quality.

That's why I said the score band is pointless. You will fall into 1 of the 4 quadrants in the numbers game (actually 8 because GPA too). If 1 point improves you to the next quadrant then it matters. If it keeps you in the same then it probably not. (like what you said above)

That's why my target score is a "band" and if I get in there I will be happy regardless of where it falls in the band. The band is determined by my target schools.

User avatar
BioEBear2010
Posts: 745
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:05 pm

Re: Score Bands

Postby BioEBear2010 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:19 am

r6_philly wrote:I feel like
1. the lower ranked schools are under much heavier pressure to produce better numbers
2. when there are 10000 applicants within 5 points of each other, numbers start to lose meaning in a precise sense, but when you only have 400 people scoring higher than 172 in the feb administration maybe you do look at numbers a bit more.
3. on the other hand, it is very easy to misread 2 words and end up losing 3 points at the top of the range, so it is more abitrary than getting a 150.

You're right. The four admissions deans that attested to this practice were all from T14 schools. I agree that it is probably different for most schools.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Score Bands

Postby r6_philly » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:32 am

BioEBear2010 wrote:You're right. The four admissions deans that attested to this practice were all from T14 schools. I agree that it is probably different for most schools.


Ahh the joy of being at the top :) think Yale, after they take 150 people with the lowest score of 169 (their 25%), they can now take 50 people with a 140 if they want. It won't change their published 25/median/75 at all. At the same token, they can reject 50 people with a 180 and take 50 people with a 177 to keep their 75%. But that's not as important as the impact on the lowest 25%.

50-100 ranked schools are not going to have that luxury because they continue to have their >75% candidates syphoned off by higher ranked schools so they can't depend on their admitted 25/median/75 numbers to be the same as the actual incoming class numbers. They would be under heavy pressure to admit the highest numbered applicants as possible to try to maintain their numbers. This trickles down the rankings all the way to July and later until all WL applicants decide where to go.

yeff
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:32 pm

Re: Score Bands

Postby yeff » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:55 am

0-25 | 75-100 25-50 | 75-100 50-75 | 75-100 75-100 | 75-100
0-25 | 50-75 25-50 | 50-75 50-75 | 50-75 75-100 | 50-75
0-25 | 25-50 25-50 | 25-50 50-75 | 25-50 75-100 | 25-50
0-25 | 0-25 25-50 | 0-25 50-75 | 0-25 75-100 | 0-25




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Christinabruin, MSNbot Media, Yahoo [Bot] and 6 guests