Advice - move test to December?

davidr1534
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Advice - move test to December?

Postby davidr1534 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:02 am

I have been preparing for the October LSAT for a few months now, and have been reaching into the 170s on the last few prep tests. However my passport and permanent residency card were recently stolen (I am a UK citizen) and now have no government issued card to show at the test center so it is pretty clear that I can't attend. My question is - how much of a disadvantage is it to take it in December both in terms of getting in to schools and getting money? Thoughts/comments/random abuse welcome.

Thanks,
David

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lifestooquick
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Re: Advice - move test to December?

Postby lifestooquick » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:05 am

That sucks! I'm so sorry! Is there anyway to get a rush delivery on new documentation? I'm guessing no since governments aren't known for being speedy :(

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure taking the December test puts you at a disadvantage because they've already given out so many acceptances and scholarships by the time you'll be able to get your application in.

whymeohgodno
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Re: Advice - move test to December?

Postby whymeohgodno » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:21 pm

Don't they also accept credit cards as acceptable ID (if there is a picture on them?)

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lawyeah
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Re: Advice - move test to December?

Postby lawyeah » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:34 pm

Wow...sorry. That really sucks for you. I can imagine how you feel. I'm a permanent resident as well. I would have a mental breakdown if some idiot stole my passport and green card. Unfortunately, credit cards are not a valid source of id for the lsat. You might want to take a look at the list of acceptable sources of id on the lsac website. Good luck!

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Jeffort
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Re: Advice - move test to December?

Postby Jeffort » Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:27 pm

That sucks that somebody stole your important ID/documents. I'm a US citizen and when I lost my DL a few years ago I couldn't even buy smokes or beer until I got the replacement. That really sucked!

Applying with a December score is not some sort of a scarlet letter that seriously tanks your admission prospects like a lot of people make it out to be. It's certainly not ideal with rolling admissions, but its negative effect on your chances of admission (assuming your numbers are good) is insignificant compared to how much your LSAT score and other things influence your admission chances.

If your numbers (LSAT & GPA) are at the higher end of the index ranges of accepted students at the schools you apply to (like if your LSAT and UG GPA put you into the 75% range of accepted students at your preferred LS's) and you have a good solid application (Nice polished PS, good letters of Req, etc.), you are not screwed and your chances of being accepted to those LS's is still very good with an application relying on a December LSAT score.

Contrary to popular misconceptions about Law School rolling admissions, LS's do not fill/offer acceptances for anywhere close to a majority of their available seats for admission prior to January.

LS's are smart and know that year after year they receive the majority of complete applications ready for review per cycle after January 1st. Therefore they do not hand out enough acceptances to fill half or more of their available seats for the next incoming class early into the cycle before they have received the majority of applications they know they are going to get and want to be able to pick and choose from.

davidr1534
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Re: Advice - move test to December?

Postby davidr1534 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:35 pm

Thanks for your kind comments. I called them up yesterday and they said that it had to be a government issued ID with photo and signature. I tried to get a NY state ID today but they needed the actual passport/permanent residency card (they refused my photocopies.) A pretty much classical Catch 22 situation. I am fairly resigned to not taking it in October but trying to work out whether taking it in December worthwhile.

Jeffert - thank you for the information. Do you know if the same holds for scholarships?

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St.Remy
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Re: Advice - move test to December?

Postby St.Remy » Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:37 pm

Jeffort wrote: LS's are smart and know that year after year they receive the majority of complete applications ready for review per cycle after January 1st. Therefore they do not hand out enough acceptances to fill half or more of their available seats for the next incoming class early into the cycle before they have received the majority of applications they know they are going to get and want to be able to pick and choose from.


Except that this isn't true. Check out the interview with Boalt Admissions: http://www.top-law-schools.com/tom-interview.html. Applications are getting in earlier and earlier, to the extent that most are in before December, let alone January. You're right that submitting applications in January isn't a death-sentence for a cycle, but it definitely hurts.

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Jeffort
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Re: Advice - move test to December?

Postby Jeffort » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:30 pm

davidr1534 wrote:Thanks for your kind comments. I called them up yesterday and they said that it had to be a government issued ID with photo and signature. I tried to get a NY state ID today but they needed the actual passport/permanent residency card (they refused my photocopies.) A pretty much classical Catch 22 situation. I am fairly resigned to not taking it in October but trying to work out whether taking it in December worthwhile.

Jeffert - thank you for the information. Do you know if the same holds for scholarships?


I don't have specific reliable data about scholarship allocation over the application cycle time line, but based on lots of anecdotal information it appears that a lot of the 'free money' scholarship awards each LS has available to offer (depending on their endowment each LS has a different total amount of scholarship $$$'s to award to people) is awarded early in the cycle to the very best applicants the school really wants. (AKA bribe the student early on with $$$ so that they 100% commit to attending the school and forgo waiting out the cycle to see what if any other offers they may get)

Basically a cream of the crop type of thing. Since they have a limited amount of free $$$ to hand out as incentive to get the top applicants they really want to decide to matriculate into their J.D program, and due to the sheer volume/overabundance of qualified applicants to quality/top ranked LS's, it seems that the early birds that also have all their ducks in a row before everyone else get the majority of that.

With limited $$$'s to hand out and limited seats to hand out, having everything all together and submitted early in the cycle certainly stands out amongst the crowd of other applicants.

St.Remy wrote:
Jeffort wrote: LS's are smart and know that year after year they receive the majority of complete applications ready for review per cycle after January 1st. Therefore they do not hand out enough acceptances to fill half or more of their available seats for the next incoming class early into the cycle before they have received the majority of applications they know they are going to get and want to be able to pick and choose from.


Except that this isn't true. Check out the interview with Boalt Admissions: http://www.top-law-schools.com/tom-interview.html. Applications are getting in earlier and earlier, to the extent that most are in before December, let alone January. You're right that submitting applications in January isn't a death-sentence for a cycle, but it definitely hurts.


That interview does not disprove what I said. For anecdotal based support, see the accepted time line and whatever data charts from the last cycle that is on this website. Even though it is just a sample of TLS participants it still gives an indication of this by showing that most offers of acceptance were made to students after January 1st.

It has been and still is a fact that the majority of LS applications go 'complete' and ready for review with everything after January 1st. Of course the LS admission committees want to get all the applications earlier so they can get their job done to create the new incoming class sooner rather than later, but they know and deal with the realities of when they actually receive the applications.

Correct, competition for available LS seats (especially at top schools) has significantly increased recently. Just look at this:
--ImageRemoved--

Schools have to hedge their bets these days with acceptances due to the trend of people applying to, on average, significantly more LS's than applicant groups from previous cycles. That means that schools have to play some statistics to deal with the fact that many people they make an admission offer to, especially early in the cycle (except for binding EA/ED acceptances), are playing the odds and will have multiple good offers to choose from. Some students that apply early with a stellar application get accepted to many schools and then have to decide on one. They don't always decide right away because they may be waiting to hear from other schools they prefer that are taking longer to respond. So those students try to hedge their bets and the schools do the same thing, knowing that only a proportion of people they accepted early will actually commit.


A big important point I'm trying to make in this and other posts is that applying early by itself does not improve your admission chances if your index numbers and application is sub-par compared to the stats of people the school typically admits. You still have to have a great app with numbers in the range of accepted students at the school from prior cycles to have a chance of getting accepted.

More specifically for illustration, lets say you have a great GPA that is above the median (50th %) GPA of accepted students for the LS but your LSAT score is around the 25th% range of previously accepted students and that the school is one like Columbia or NYU that receives more applications from qualified students than they have seats to admit. Applying early is crucial in this type of instance.

If your GPA and/or LSAT or both are below the 25% percentile range of accepted students at the LS (meaning at least one of your numbers is below or at the extreme bottom end of their statistical range), just the fact that you applied early is not going to get them to look past that and admit you. Applying early gives a great advantage when you are applying to a school that receives more applications from qualified applicants that meet their criteria than they can admit (higher ranked and top ranked schools) and when your numbers and other stuff is in the range of what the school typically admits.

To restate it bluntly, if your numbers are not within the range of previously admitted students/students with the stats and qualities the school is looking for/typically admits, simply applying early is not going to overcome that. If you are within range but your numbers are marginal, applying early is super duper double dog important to increase your chances. LS's are still numbers/rankings/USNWR whores and guide their admission decisions to sustain and improve their own stats as well as to secure the best incoming class they can.

You guys getting the gist of what I'm trying to say?

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St.Remy
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Re: Advice - move test to December?

Postby St.Remy » Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:21 pm

Jeffort wrote:
St.Remy wrote:
Jeffort wrote: LS's are smart and know that year after year they receive the majority of complete applications ready for review per cycle after January 1st. Therefore they do not hand out enough acceptances to fill half or more of their available seats for the next incoming class early into the cycle before they have received the majority of applications they know they are going to get and want to be able to pick and choose from.


Except that this isn't true. Check out the interview with Boalt Admissions: http://www.top-law-schools.com/tom-interview.html. Applications are getting in earlier and earlier, to the extent that most are in before December, let alone January. You're right that submitting applications in January isn't a death-sentence for a cycle, but it definitely hurts.


That interview does not disprove what I said. For anecdotal based support, see the accepted time line and whatever data charts from the last cycle that is on this website. Even though it is just a sample of TLS participants it still gives an indication of this by showing that most offers of acceptance were made to students after January 1st.


After searching the internet it appears that you're right and I was incorrect about when people get their applications in. According to LSAC's latest edition of "National Applicant Trends" only 40% of people have applied by January 1st. According to the accepted time line of this site though, (http://www.top-law-schools.com/timeline ... chool.html) early December is really the latest that you should be applying, and it is recommended that you apply before this.

But to defend my other point that applying that late hurts you here's a graph from Duke: Image

Duke gives back a bunch of decisions (but not the vast majority) after new years, but a very large chunk of those decisions are not favorable. So I was wrong about when the majority of applicants apply, but I would still say to OP that your chances will be significantly worse applying after the December test than they would be if you could apply now. Again you aren't completely sunk, but to answer your original question it is a distinct disadvantage. As for the rest of your post Jaffort, I don't disagree with any of it. Applying early definitely won't give you a boost if you don't have at least kinda competitive numbers in the first place.
Last edited by St.Remy on Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

smizmar
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Re: Advice - move test to December?

Postby smizmar » Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:25 pm

I got my passport rushed to me in under a week. Obviously these are different documents and a different government in the case of your passport, but maybe you can find a speedier options. I would bet you could get something in time. If not the actual documentation than some kind of voucher. Talk to your embassy.

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Jeffort
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Re: Advice - move test to December?

Postby Jeffort » Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:09 pm

St.Remy wrote:
Jeffort wrote:
St.Remy wrote:
Jeffort wrote: LS's are smart and know that year after year they receive the majority of complete applications ready for review per cycle after January 1st. Therefore they do not hand out enough acceptances to fill half or more of their available seats for the next incoming class early into the cycle before they have received the majority of applications they know they are going to get and want to be able to pick and choose from.


Except that this isn't true. Check out the interview with Boalt Admissions: http://www.top-law-schools.com/tom-interview.html. Applications are getting in earlier and earlier, to the extent that most are in before December, let alone January. You're right that submitting applications in January isn't a death-sentence for a cycle, but it definitely hurts.


That interview does not disprove what I said. For anecdotal based support, see the accepted time line and whatever data charts from the last cycle that is on this website. Even though it is just a sample of TLS participants it still gives an indication of this by showing that most offers of acceptance were made to students after January 1st.


After searching the internet it appears that you're right and I was incorrect about when people get their applications in. According to LSAC's latest edition of "National Applicant Trends" only 40% of people have applied by January 1st. According to the accepted time line of this site though, (http://www.top-law-schools.com/timeline ... chool.html) early December is really the latest that you should be applying, and it is recommended that you apply before this.

But to defend my other point that applying that late hurts you here's a graph from Duke: Image

Duke gives back a bunch of decisions (but not the vast majority) after new years, but a very large chunk of those decisions are not favorable. So I was wrong about when the majority of applicants apply, but I would still say to OP that your chances will be significantly worse applying after the December test than they would be if you could apply now. Again you aren't completely sunk, but to answer your original question it is a distinct disadvantage. As for the rest of your post Jaffort, I don't disagree with any of it. Applying early definitely won't give you a boost if you don't have at least kinda competitive numbers in the first place.


Wow, according to that graph the Duke adcomm seemed to really want to wrap it all up and get it over with right after the holiday season ended! A whole bunch of people getting slammed in early January... Geeze, 'Happy new year applicants, application denied, please go away now, yours truly, Duke LS admissions.'

Yeah, I'm with you that applying early is important and helpful if feasible for the applicant (meaning good numbers and a quality application, especially that PS!).

I just get frustrated with the unfortunate frequent notion that applying early might get a school to look past crappy numbers and/or a crappy half-arsed application. That is why, when people ask about October vs December LSAT, I always stick to my general rule of thumb that applying later with a 3+ points higher LSAT score is better than applying earlier with a 3 or more points lower score that puts the applicant below/at the bottom of the accepted index range for the school(s).

No matter when you apply you have to have the numbers and a great application with the rest of it nice and polished to convince the adcomm of any good LS to say yes. The decisions are always based mainly on the merits of the applicant/application.

I've seen far too many people rush into taking the October test unprepared and sending in not well polished/constructed applications (like with a PS that totally sucks!) just to get it in early with the hope of getting in based mainly on the fact that their app came close to the top of the stack. It sounds like a silly foolish move, cuz it is, but tons of people rush into it and submit crap every year hoping that they will be given lots of credit/consideration solely because they got everything in first/early.

davidr1534
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Re: Advice - move test to December?

Postby davidr1534 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:21 pm

I will try and add another 3 points to my score between now and December then!

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Maury Levy
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Re: Advice - move test to December?

Postby Maury Levy » Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:28 pm

Thanks to St.Remy and Jeffort for taking the time to write up all that. Good discussion and plenty of valuable information.

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St.Remy
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Re: Advice - move test to December?

Postby St.Remy » Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:30 pm

Maury Levy wrote:Thanks to St.Remy and Jeffort for taking the time to write up all that. Good discussion and plenty of valuable information.


Thanks :D . I hope it helps someone.

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Jeffort
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Re: Advice - move test to December?

Postby Jeffort » Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:58 pm

St.Remy wrote:
Maury Levy wrote:Thanks to St.Remy and Jeffort for taking the time to write up all that. Good discussion and plenty of valuable information.


Thanks :D . I hope it helps someone.


Cheers to that, I hope it does too! Image

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penguin
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Re: Advice - move test to December?

Postby penguin » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:44 pm

I am from outside the United States as well. When I thought I lost my passport, I contacted the Embassy who advised me to get a police report for reissueing my passport. So I got a police report (I went down to a nearest police station and talked to the front person. That person gave me the police report right there).

I went to the Embassy to get my new passport, and it only took about 1 week for me to get it. As it turned out, I just misplaced my passport (yeah, stupid) but I was impressed with the people and speedy service of the Embassy.

For a state issued ID (in CA, anyway), I remember it took about 2-3 weeks to receive it. So, overall, you might need about 4 weeks to get your new passport and new state ID (depending on how fast those government workers work...omg). As everyone here suggesting, it would be better for you to reschedule the test date to a later date so that you only have to worry about your LSAT. You don't want to worry about your ID/passport while you are preping during the final month to LSAT.




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