## What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.
dpk711

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### What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your honest opinion???

165----->170
or
170----->175
or
175----->180

jfb

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

I think going from 165 - 170 would open the most doors that would have been shut with a 165; more doors than a 170-75 or 175-80

NYCLSATTutor

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

165-170.

Once you are above a 170, a lot of it is luck of the draw. I find that the test is a marvelous predictor of how people will do....until the person is scoring above a 170, then there is oftentimes a 10 point spread.

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

This really isn't a matter of opinion... it is simple statistics.

165-->170 is about a 5 percentile point gain.

170-->175 is about a 2 percentile point gain.

175-->180 is about a .4 perentile point gain.

The higher you go, the less statistically significant the difference becomes.

The Gentleman

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

Between 165 and 170. No question about it.

175 to 180 = nothing more than vanity IMHO.

dpk711

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

Adjudicator wrote:This really isn't a matter of opinion... it is simple statistics.

165-->170 is about a 5 percentile point gain.

170-->175 is about a 2 percentile point gain.

175-->180 is about a .4 perentile point gain.

The higher you go, the less statistically significant the difference becomes.

Yeah, that was my opinion too... law of diminishing returns I guess...

pinkzeppelin

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

Adjudicator wrote:This really isn't a matter of opinion... it is simple statistics.

165-->170 is about a 5 percentile point gain.

170-->175 is about a 2 percentile point gain.

175-->180 is about a .4 perentile point gain.

The higher you go, the less statistically significant the difference becomes.

Haha, but you've only conflated the argument. The question becomes, is a 5 percentile gain from 92-97 more important than a 2 percentile gain from 97-99?

You could think about it this way: Assuming you're only really competing with people who score at or above your LSAT score, at the 92nd percentile you're competing with 8% or approximately 13,600 individuals. At the 97th percentile you're only competing with 3% or approximately 5,100 people. Finally, at the 99 percentile you're only competing with 1% or 1,700 people.

You can see that from 97-99 you are now competing with 1/3 as many people. Whereas from 92-97 you are competing with 3/8 as many people.

On this basis I would argue that 170==>175 is the larger jump.

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

pinkzeppelin wrote:Haha, but you've only conflated the argument. The question becomes, is a 5 percentile gain from 92-97 more important than a 2 percentile gain from 97-99?

You could think about it this way: Assuming you're only really competing with people who score at or above your LSAT score, at the 92nd percentile you're competing with 8% or approximately 13,600 individuals. At the 97th percentile you're only competing with 3% or approximately 5,100 people. Finally, at the 99 percentile you're only competing with 1% or 1,700 people.

You can see that from 97-99 you are now competing with 1/3 as many people. Whereas from 92-97 you are competing with 3/8 as many people.

On this basis I would argue that 170==>175 is the larger jump.

What is the basis for assuming this? Or how is this relevant to anything? Because that is clearly not the case.

The OP asked which is the "bigger" 5 point gap. Statistically, it is clear that 165-170 is the bigger gap.

pinkzeppelin

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

pinkzeppelin wrote:Haha, but you've only conflated the argument. The question becomes, is a 5 percentile gain from 92-97 more important than a 2 percentile gain from 97-99?

You could think about it this way: Assuming you're only really competing with people who score at or above your LSAT score, at the 92nd percentile you're competing with 8% or approximately 13,600 individuals. At the 97th percentile you're only competing with 3% or approximately 5,100 people. Finally, at the 99 percentile you're only competing with 1% or 1,700 people.

You can see that from 97-99 you are now competing with 1/3 as many people. Whereas from 92-97 you are competing with 3/8 as many people.

On this basis I would argue that 170==>175 is the larger jump.

What is the basis for assuming this? Or how is this relevant to anything? Because that is clearly not the case.

The OP asked which is the "bigger" 5 point gap. Statistically, it is clear that 165-170 is the bigger gap.

If by "bigger" you mean you are jumping more people, then yes. But there is still a larger proportional change in the people scoring higher than you with 170-175. I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm saying that there are different ways to look at the question.

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

I guess I just don't understand this:

pinkzeppelin wrote:Haha, but you've only conflated the argument. The question becomes, is a 5 percentile gain from 92-97 more important than a 2 percentile gain from 97-99?

You could think about it this way: Assuming you're only really competing with people who score at or above your LSAT score, at the 92nd percentile you're competing with 8% or approximately 13,600 individuals. At the 97th percentile you're only competing with 3% or approximately 5,100 people. Finally, at the 99 percentile you're only competing with 1% or 1,700 people.

You can see that from 97-99 you are now competing with 1/3 as many people. Whereas from 92-97 you are competing with 3/8 as many people.

On this basis I would argue that 170==>175 is the larger jump.

If you're only really competing with people who score at or above your own LSAT score, then at the 92nd percentile you're competing with the top 8%....but then, they're not competing with you in return, because you scored below them, right? So at the 92nd percentile you'd be competing with someone who scored in the 95th percentile, but he wouldn't "really" be competing with you in return; he's only competing with someone who scored 95th percentile or higher, but they might not be competing with him, either....

What is the meaning of this explanation, in the end?

pinkzeppelin

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

Well, I interpreted "bigger" to mean which gap leads to a bigger increase in law school prospects. I guess the way I said it didn't really make sense, but the main point of the assumption ( which I admit is dubious) was to argue that with a 165 you'll get into a good school, but somewhere around 13,600 students will get into a school as good or greater. At 170 you'll get into a great school, but somewhere around 5,100 students will get into a school as good or greater. And at 175 you'll get into an amazing school, because only around 1,700 students will get into a school as good or greater.

As far as the assumption goes with "competing:"

I meant competing with people at a top choice reach school. People below the applicant don't stand a chance, but people above can easily take his spot. Does that make more sense?

androstan

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

With a specific score you're competing with people who scored within an infinitesimal range around your score. The range is asymmetric in terms of numbers. You're competing with more people below you than above you. For instance, if a school decides that 165 +/- 2 standard deviations is an acceptable score, there are many more people from 160 to 165 than 165 to 170.

Unless, of course, you're right at 151, then the distribution around you is perfectly symmetric.

In any event, going from 175 to 180 probably doesn't matter as much as the other two in terms of your ability to get into the most highly rated law school you can.

Going from 165 to 170 puts you in t14 territory. Going from 170 to 175 brings you from the bottom of the t14 to the top of the t14. I donno which one is "bigger".

vanwinkle

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

androstan wrote:Going from 165 to 170 puts you in t14 territory. Going from 170 to 175 brings you from the bottom of the t14 to the top of the t14. I donno which one is "bigger".

This is the important distinction, and it's also worth mentioning that the top of the T14 require more than just a 175-range LSAT. You've also got to have a pretty strong GPA and possibly some decent softs to get in at that level.

However, the door to the lower T14 is opened by 170, even if your GPA is extremely low. A 3.0-3.1 GPA means you can ED to one (or more, if you strategize right) of MVP and get in with a 170, something you cannot do with a 165. With a 175 this is still your likely best strategy since your GPA is still just too low for the T6 or Berk. Even barring that, you could at least possibly get into one of DNCG with your 170 score. Thus the 175 doesn't make nearly as much of a difference there. It increases your odds of acceptance at lower T14, but not nearly as much as the 165-170 jump did.

The 170-175 distinction thus matters more for some people than others, and since nearly everyone has a shot at the T14, the 165-170 jump causes a huge increase in acceptance odds almost universally at T14. It's also what keeps people out of T14 if they don't hit it; barring a truly awesome GPA and ED or some epic softs, someone stuck at 165 has zero chance at the T14, especially not the MVP range. Therefore the 165-170 jump is easily the biggest and most important gap.

dpk711

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

vanwinkle wrote:
androstan wrote:Going from 165 to 170 puts you in t14 territory. Going from 170 to 175 brings you from the bottom of the t14 to the top of the t14. I donno which one is "bigger".

This is the important distinction, and it's also worth mentioning that the top of the T14 require more than just a 175-range LSAT. You've also got to have a pretty strong GPA and possibly some decent softs to get in at that level.

However, the door to the lower T14 is opened by 170, even if your GPA is extremely low. A 3.0-3.1 GPA means you can ED to one (or more, if you strategize right) of MVP and get in with a 170, something you cannot do with a 165. With a 175 this is still your likely best strategy since your GPA is still just too low for the T6 or Berk. Even barring that, you could at least possibly get into one of DNCG with your 170 score. Thus the 175 doesn't make nearly as much of a difference there. It increases your odds of acceptance at lower T14, but not nearly as much as the 165-170 jump did.

The 170-175 distinction thus matters more for some people than others, and since nearly everyone has a shot at the T14, the 165-170 jump causes a huge increase in acceptance odds almost universally at T14. It's also what keeps people out of T14 if they don't hit it; barring a truly awesome GPA and ED or some epic softs, someone stuck at 165 has zero chance at the T14, especially not the MVP range. Therefore the 165-170 jump is easily the biggest and most important gap.

I think this was the best explanation so far... glad to be in the 170s range then... was thinking of retaking for the upper 170 range but this has prompted me not to

incompetentia

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

I think schools treat 17x vs 16x as much more significant than 170 vs 175.

Note that many people who score 170 have the concepts down and have put in the work, but may have frozen up on test day. The difference between a 171 and a 180 can easily be nerves and nerves alone. Going through any of the October threads should prove this point.

Places like Georgetown are giving out early acceptances to people as low as 3.3 GPA, but nearly all of their admits so far have 170+ LSAT scores. On the other hand, Harvard is JR1ing people with LSATs as low as 170, even though that's below their 25% for their class of '13. Seems like a 170 keeps most of your doors open - but even at 169 several of those might shut very quickly.

rayiner

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

vanwinkle wrote:
androstan wrote:Going from 165 to 170 puts you in t14 territory. Going from 170 to 175 brings you from the bottom of the t14 to the top of the t14. I donno which one is "bigger".

This is the important distinction, and it's also worth mentioning that the top of the T14 require more than just a 175-range LSAT. You've also got to have a pretty strong GPA and possibly some decent softs to get in at that level.

However, the door to the lower T14 is opened by 170, even if your GPA is extremely low. A 3.0-3.1 GPA means you can ED to one (or more, if you strategize right) of MVP and get in with a 170, something you cannot do with a 165. With a 175 this is still your likely best strategy since your GPA is still just too low for the T6 or Berk. Even barring that, you could at least possibly get into one of DNCG with your 170 score. Thus the 175 doesn't make nearly as much of a difference there. It increases your odds of acceptance at lower T14, but not nearly as much as the 165-170 jump did.

The 170-175 distinction thus matters more for some people than others, and since nearly everyone has a shot at the T14, the 165-170 jump causes a huge increase in acceptance odds almost universally at T14. It's also what keeps people out of T14 if they don't hit it; barring a truly awesome GPA and ED or some epic softs, someone stuck at 165 has zero chance at the T14, especially not the MVP range. Therefore the 165-170 jump is easily the biggest and most important gap.

+1.

I'd imagine that the bulk of competitive applicants to schools in the T50 have GPAs in the 3.4-3.7 range (the 25-75 percentiles throughout the T50 seem to be 3.3/3.4-3.7/3.8; eg: UW is 3.47-3.80, Alabama is 3.3-3.9, etc). These folks aren't getting into YHS regardless of LSAT, but have a decent shot at CCN with the right LSAT. For these people, the jump from 165 to 170 will mean T35 -> T14, and from 170 to 175 will mean T14 -> CCN.

Based on the data I've seen, from the point of view of career prospects, the T35 -> T14 jump is substantially bigger than the T14 -> CCN jump.

DreamShake

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

The above is credited for the most part, since T35-->T14 is almost definitely more important than T14-->CCN. However, I do think this thread has mistakenly trended toward an absolute answer (probably because of the question's wording, of course). The significance of the jump is relative to the individual in question. For somebody with a 2.8, 170 won't cut it for T14. 170-->175, though, might.

edit: spelling fail

doing_it_in_a_car

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

Somewhat related - where can you get info on how many 165s, 170s etc. are out there? Did you just calculate it using percentile and # of LSATs administered?

Saltqjibo

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

ITT: Law students try to do math

doing_it_in_a_car

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

In case anyone is curious, I found a cool chart that shows # of each LSAT score in a given application season (based on total LSATs administered, so it probably double counts people who took it twice)

2014

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

165-170 will cause more good schools to feasibly consider you than the other two jumps.
170-175 probably will cause more good schools to accept you.

If your goal is to get into just any t14, 165-170 is about the most important 5 point increase you could have.

If your goal is to get into multiple t14's, scholarship offers, 170-175 seems more important.

Just my opinion.

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### Re: What's the "bigger" 5 point gap in your opinion??

It depends on your career goals.

If you're going for biglaw, certainly 165-170. For academia or something else uber-competitive, 170-175/175-180.

But really, for law school to actually be worth it, I think the gap is 160-165. With a 165, you can get a very respectable scholarship to a T1. With a 160, meh...