Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Tamponymous
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Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby Tamponymous » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:56 am

If more and more people keep taking the LSAT and the class sizes at law schools remain the same, should we expect LSAT medians to rise? For example, could UVA's median next year be 171?

xmrmckenziex
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby xmrmckenziex » Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:31 am

Thats assuming that the influx of new test takers is causing the numbers in higher percentiles to increase. What if almost all new test takers are consistently scoring between 145-160? Then the median wouldn't increase at top schools. Also even if they were increasing across all percentiles, each law school could slightly increase the total size of their incoming classes without increasing their median lsat scores.

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Ragged
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby Ragged » Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:34 am

I think that yes. There are more smart people taking the LSAT now than there used to be. I mean 172 used to be 99th. Now its 173. Pretty soon it will be 175. 170 used to be 98th, not its 97th.

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St.Remy
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby St.Remy » Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:52 am

Looking at the medians for the class of 2013 (compiled here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=128236) there are several schools in the t14 that raised their LSAT median by a point. So yes, medians are on the rise. I don't expect any top schools are going to start pulling 175 medians anytime soon though, even with more people taking the LSAT than before.

Rawlsian
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby Rawlsian » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:02 am

Perhaps, or maybe just students who used to go to Boalt and Chicago are heading to NYU, Duke, and Vandy.

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Grizz
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby Grizz » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:05 am

Rawlsian wrote:Perhaps, or maybe just students who used to go to Boalt and Chicago are heading to NYU, Duke, and Vandy.


Egregious Vanderbilt trolling

Rawlsian
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby Rawlsian » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:09 am

rad law wrote:
Rawlsian wrote:Perhaps, or maybe just students who used to go to Boalt and Chicago are heading to NYU, Duke, and Vandy.


Egregious Vanderbilt trolling


I'm dedicated Vandy police. But for the sake of LSAT discussion: NYU's lsat median goes up a point while Chicago's goes down; Boalt's drops (167!) while Duke and Vandy's goes up by a point each.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby Lawquacious » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:13 am

LSAT scores are made to conform to an even distribution (Bell curve) as far as I know. Thus more test takers would= more high scores because the Bell distribution of scores stays the same (though I suppose it is possible that the performance which yields a certain percentile could shift systematically due to better test takers in addition to test-to-test variations).

In terms of 172 v. 173 being 99th percentile, I think that is something that can fluctuate from test-to-test to achieve the standard desired LSAT score distribution (which again, I understand to be constant), rather than a difference that necessarily reflects better test-takers. At least in terms of percentile scores, the more test takers overall will yield more in the top 1% even if those being added to the mix are mostly only scoring median. Willing to stand corrected on any of this though.

EDIT: to answer the main question, I think yes, with the increased amount of people taking the test (including the number of retakers) this would mean law schools have more high scores to choose from, and at least to a certain point, this should raise the medians of the schools. This is a different issue than how scores are determined and scaled on the actual test though.

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TLSanders
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby TLSanders » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:27 am

I agree with Lawquacious's analysis.

Wanted to add that the quality of personal statement drafts I am seeing for review this year is much higher than in the past. That's not directly responsive to the question, but I think it addresses the larger point about the new level of competition.

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sundance95
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby sundance95 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:39 am

TLSanders wrote:Wanted to add that the quality of personal statement drafts I am seeing for review this year is much higher than in the past. That's not directly responsive to the question, but I think it addresses the larger point about the new level of competition.


Careful with that; TLS is a highly self-selected sample.

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TLSanders
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby TLSanders » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:49 am

sundance95 wrote:
TLSanders wrote:Wanted to add that the quality of personal statement drafts I am seeing for review this year is much higher than in the past. That's not directly responsive to the question, but I think it addresses the larger point about the new level of competition.


Careful with that; TLS is a highly self-selected sample.


I haven't looked at any of the personal statements posted here. I provide personal statement review and other law school admissions consulting services and have intermittently since 1998. I'm definitely seeing a jump in quality this year compared with statements that have been submitted to me in the past. Nearly everything I've seen is coming in at the stage that would normally be a third or fourth draft in the revision process.

Tamponymous
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby Tamponymous » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:07 am

Lawquacious wrote:EDIT: to answer the main question, I think yes, with the increased amount of people taking the test (including the number of retakers) this would mean law schools have more high scores to choose from, and at least to a certain point, this should raise the medians of the schools. This is a different issue than how scores are determined and scaled on the actual test though.


This was pretty much my thinking. I know LSAC says they attempt to make LSAT scores equal from one year to the next, but if there are simply more people getting LSAT scores across the board and class sizes remain roughly the same then rising LSAT medians seem inevitable.

And here I thought I was set with my 171. i really don't want to retake...

P.S. no flame. long time lurker. just getting terrified of all the bad news for 0Ls

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pppokerface
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby pppokerface » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:23 pm

Image
but at the same time the number of lsat takers has dropped-although the number in general increases, it does have patterns of rising and falling so that may have an affect on the cycle and lsat scores

Excel
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby Excel » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:49 pm

How the hell did folks back in the day score so high on this test? Were study materials even avail back in 70s and 80s?

The median will obviously rise as studying for the test becomes easier, then they will find some stealthy way to make the test harder; but it will be long after we have taken (and aced) it. 8)

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Sentry
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby Sentry » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:14 pm

Rawlsian wrote:
rad law wrote:
Rawlsian wrote:Perhaps, or maybe just students who used to go to Boalt and Chicago are heading to NYU, Duke, and Vandy.


Egregious Vanderbilt trolling


I'm dedicated Vandy police. But for the sake of LSAT discussion: NYU's lsat median goes up a point while Chicago's goes down; Boalt's drops (167!) while Duke and Vandy's goes up by a point each.

Chicago's stayed the same.

duckmoney
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby duckmoney » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:18 pm

The reason LSAT medians went up last year was simply due to the larger influx of test takers. If 172 is top 1%, and there were more test takers, then more people have 172s while the number of spots at law schools remains constant.

This year, there are fewer applicants and test takers, so the medians should remain the same (if not fall).

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arvcondor
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby arvcondor » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:02 am

Bumping this for continued discussion. Here's Vandy's numbers over the past decade: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/prospective-s ... index.aspx

Hurts to know I would have been a shoo-in once.

sighsigh
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby sighsigh » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:55 am

Here is a data chart of the number of people who have taken the LSAT every cycle:

http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Data/ ... stered.asp

Generally, LSAT and GPA medians correspond to the number of people taking the LSAT in a given cycle. Last year 171k took it; this year there was a 16k drop to 155k. It seems likely that both LSAT and GPA medians will drop as a result. In fact, you can already see that this will be so by looking at the LSN graphs.

Hopefully, the number of test takers continues to drop. And looking at past trends it seems that this will be the case, as historically the number of people taking the LSAT rises and drops in slow cycles spanning several years (even though the general trend has been upwards). This pattern probably corresponds to the state of the economy, lol.

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TheTopBloke
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby TheTopBloke » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:03 am

Is the consumption of Adderall on the rise?

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nylost
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby nylost » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:07 pm

probz

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minnbills
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby minnbills » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:31 pm

I wonder how the drop in application #s affects things. Does it make competition more pronounced at the most competetive schools?

oregon000
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby oregon000 » Thu May 26, 2011 12:34 pm

minnbills wrote:I wonder how the drop in application #s affects things. Does it make competition more pronounced at the most competetive schools?


anyone?

bdubs
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby bdubs » Thu May 26, 2011 12:38 pm

Judging by reported acceptances and WL movement, I would say that some of the T14 schools are struggling a bit to maintain the medians that they had last year. My guess is that most will end up maintaining, but a few will go up. It is possible that one or two might go down.

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sanetruth
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Re: Are LSAT medians on the rise?

Postby sanetruth » Thu May 26, 2011 12:47 pm

I'm shocked at how off-point everything in this thread is.

First of all, LSAT takers are not 'on the rise'. There has been a greater decline in LSAT takers over the last year than any year since 95-96.

Second of all, medians don't rise endlessly. That doesn't even make sense. It's a standardized test, the test will be altered to account for any broad change in the type of people that are taking it so that the 99th percentile is indeed the 99th percentile.

Lastly, it has been shown that medians swell (key work: swell) as applications rise, and then recede with falling applications. This happened in 2001-2005. Oh, what do you know? LSAC reports a 23.1% increase in test takers over the 01-02 cycle. Followed by three consecutive years of decline from 03 to 06. This is clearly happening again, but that means that they will fall again, because not only are test takers falling, but applications are falling too.

Anecdotally, it seems that there is a lot more waitlist movement this year than there was last year. This would confirm that schools are finding a general underperformance of their most recent medians. Thus, they will not rise next year. I don't know if they'll FALL, but they're not going to go up again.




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