16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

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Samara
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Samara » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:36 pm

Curious1 wrote:
minnbills wrote:
Samara wrote:Yeah, but a lot of schools significantly decreased class size last cycle. There's only so far you can go. The top schools probably have large enough endowments to weather the storm longer without lowering medians, but maybe the state schools, MVB, will have less ability to cover for the lost revenue?


Yeah, it would be interesting to see how a comprehensive data set detailing how much schools decreased their class sizes, and what class sizes were before the applicant surge.


Man we are really on top of things. I hope the adcomms are watching this.

haha, maybe we can collectively write a research paper on it and put it on the Harvard app in that what papers have you written box.

Curious1
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Curious1 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:38 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

evian1212
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby evian1212 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:43 pm

Which year would this look like the most on LSN then? I looked at some of the top 10 schools and this seems to be about the breakdown for each year of june and october test-takers

11-12 72000
10-11 87000
09-10 93000
08-09 79000
07-08 75000
06-07 73000
05-06 75000
04-05 79000
03-04 81000

But the discrepancy lies with the fact that 03-06 cycles were significantly easier than say 07-08 or 08-09 even though the number of test-takers were about the same? That is what confuses me. However, i think its fair to say that this year will be easier than the past two cycles at the very least, but how much will cycle be more similar to 07-08s or actually the earlier easier ones?

Any thoughts?

tennisking88
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby tennisking88 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:47 pm

The whole we-take-the-highest-LSAT policy is relatively recent. It used to be that schools averaged multiple scores, which is why medians are so much higher in 2010 than 2003.

JPudding
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby JPudding » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:48 pm

evian1212 wrote:Which year would this look like the most on LSN then? I looked at some of the top 10 schools and this seems to be about the breakdown for each year of june and october test-takers

11-12 72000
10-11 87000
09-10 93000
08-09 79000
07-08 75000
06-07 73000
05-06 75000
04-05 79000
03-04 81000

But the discrepancy lies with the fact that 03-06 cycles were significantly easier than say 07-08 or 08-09 even though the number of test-takers were about the same? That is what confuses me. However, i think its fair to say that this year will be easier than the past two cycles at the very least, but how much will cycle be more similar to 07-08s or actually the earlier easier ones?

Any thoughts?


Keep in mind this is only June and Oct data, Dec '10 and Feb '11 also saw huge drops, which may also contribute to lower numbers this cycle. Might be another big drop this December as well

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Strange
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Strange » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:53 pm

tennisking88 wrote:The whole we-take-the-highest-LSAT policy is relatively recent. It used to be that schools averaged multiple scores, which is why medians are so much higher in 2010 than 2003.


You'd expect this recent policy to continue though, no? Given LSAT medians will be harder, not easier to maintain

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omninode
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby omninode » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:54 pm

evian1212 wrote:
But the discrepancy lies with the fact that 03-06 cycles were significantly easier than say 07-08 or 08-09 even though the number of test-takers were about the same? That is what confuses me. However, i think its fair to say that this year will be easier than the past two cycles at the very least, but how much will cycle be more similar to 07-08s or actually the earlier easier ones?

Any thoughts?


Cycles have been getting harder over the last decade because schools have been aggressively trying to improve/protect their rankings by raising their medians, made easier by the fact that they only have to report an applicant's highest LSAT score. This will not change, though the schools may have to get creative to fight for top applicants. I suspect any backslide will be gradual, at least for the first year or two.

JPudding
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby JPudding » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:15 pm

so am I the only one who is really bullish on these numbers? A 17% decrease in numbers of top scores would seem kind of drastic to make up for purely with class size decreases. I'd expect both, smaller class sizes as well as small median dips...

Curious1
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Curious1 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:17 pm

JPudding wrote:so am I the only one who is really bullish on these numbers? A 17% decrease in numbers of top scores would seem kind of drastic to make up for purely with class size decreases. I'd expect both, smaller class sizes as well as small median dips...


No most of us are expecting it to be a little easier, but don't want to get our hopes up too much. For now, I have the same expectations as before this data came out, based on last year's results.

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minnbills
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby minnbills » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:20 pm

Curious1 wrote:No most of us are expecting it to be a little easier, but don't want to get our hopes up too much. For now, I have the same expectations as before this data came out, based on last year's results.


I think the safe bet is that things will be just a bit easier than last cycle.

tennisking88
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby tennisking88 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:22 pm

Strange wrote:
tennisking88 wrote:The whole we-take-the-highest-LSAT policy is relatively recent. It used to be that schools averaged multiple scores, which is why medians are so much higher in 2010 than 2003.


You'd expect this recent policy to continue though, no? Given LSAT medians will be harder, not easier to maintain


Yes, there's no incentive for any school to report the average LSAT score. This should make the LSAT median much higher in 2012 than 2002, even if the same # of people apply.

Curious1
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Curious1 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:26 pm

minnbills wrote:
Curious1 wrote:No most of us are expecting it to be a little easier, but don't want to get our hopes up too much. For now, I have the same expectations as before this data came out, based on last year's results.


I think the safe bet is that things will be just a bit easier than last cycle.


Also depends on what we're talking about. in the T6 this might be either more or less easier depending on how you interpret the data.

JPudding
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby JPudding » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:29 pm

Curious1 wrote:
minnbills wrote:
Curious1 wrote:No most of us are expecting it to be a little easier, but don't want to get our hopes up too much. For now, I have the same expectations as before this data came out, based on last year's results.


I think the safe bet is that things will be just a bit easier than last cycle.


Also depends on what we're talking about. in the T6 this might be either more or less easier depending on how you interpret the data.


Any predictions on the 13-22's? Are you thinking more splitters will be picked up by the T6/MVPB? If so, maybe that will force LSAT medians down at the lower T14-22

Curious1
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Curious1 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:38 pm

Any predictions on the 13-22's? Are you thinking more splitters will be picked up by the T6/MVPB? If so, maybe that will force LSAT medians down at the lower T14-22


Right, it all depends on what HYS does--then it filters down from there.

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SA1928
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby SA1928 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:38 pm

Anyone see the article on ATL? http://abovethelaw.com/2011/06/trendspo ... w-lawyers/

Beyond what the article says, wouldn't decreasing the size of the class be a strong option for law schools? Obviously there are fixed costs and other reasons that will prevent them from any dramatic decrease, but if they begin cutting back each year, couldn't it potentially help the school maintain their ranking? By having a smaller class, they will have less students potentially unemployed, thus making their school appear better. Also, a smaller class will allow the school to need less people with high scores/gpas in the future. Now it also seems that they will receive a positive goodwill boost since the public/potential law students may see this as the law schools responding to the massive debt problem of many law students who cannot find employment. I think on top of maybe seeing schools dipping more into the splitter pool (I hope at least!) I think we may also see schools dropping their class size over the next few years, even if it is by a very low percentage.

JPudding
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby JPudding » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:47 pm

SA1928 wrote:Anyone see the article on ATL? http://abovethelaw.com/2011/06/trendspo ... w-lawyers/

Beyond what the article says, wouldn't decreasing the size of the class be a strong option for law schools? Obviously there are fixed costs and other reasons that will prevent them from any dramatic decrease, but if they begin cutting back each year, couldn't it potentially help the school maintain their ranking? By having a smaller class, they will have less students potentially unemployed, thus making their school appear better. Also, a smaller class will allow the school to need less people with high scores/gpas in the future. Now it also seems that they will receive a positive goodwill boost since the public/potential law students may see this as the law schools responding to the massive debt problem of many law students who cannot find employment. I think on top of maybe seeing schools dipping more into the splitter pool (I hope at least!) I think we may also see schools dropping their class size over the next few years, even if it is by a very low percentage.


I think big decreases are most likely at TTT's tbh (as that article was based on). I have no idea what's going to eventually happen, but since the top schools will always have lower admission rates, there should be a shift upward in terms of GPAs and LSAT scores, leaving less for the lower ranked schools. While I'd still expect class sizes to decrease, top 20 schools cutting by 17% just doesn't seem likely to me.

Quick question by the way, since schools want to preserve LSAT and GPA medians to maintain rank and prestige, wouldn't they want to maintain class sizes for the same reason? I imagine less revenue would lead to less renovations and professor hirings, wasted fixed costs, etc.

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SA1928
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby SA1928 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:56 pm

JPudding wrote:
SA1928 wrote:Anyone see the article on ATL? http://abovethelaw.com/2011/06/trendspo ... w-lawyers/

Beyond what the article says, wouldn't decreasing the size of the class be a strong option for law schools? Obviously there are fixed costs and other reasons that will prevent them from any dramatic decrease, but if they begin cutting back each year, couldn't it potentially help the school maintain their ranking? By having a smaller class, they will have less students potentially unemployed, thus making their school appear better. Also, a smaller class will allow the school to need less people with high scores/gpas in the future. Now it also seems that they will receive a positive goodwill boost since the public/potential law students may see this as the law schools responding to the massive debt problem of many law students who cannot find employment. I think on top of maybe seeing schools dipping more into the splitter pool (I hope at least!) I think we may also see schools dropping their class size over the next few years, even if it is by a very low percentage.


I think big decreases are most likely at TTT's tbh (as that article was based on). I have no idea what's going to eventually happen, but since the top schools will always have lower admission rates, there will be a shift upward in terms of GPAs and LSAT scores, leaving less for the lower ranked schools. Of course I'd still expect class sizes to decrease, top 20 schools cutting by 17% just doesn't seem likely to me.


Yeah, I agree with what you're saying. I just meant long-term, I think it could be a logical step for top schools to even cut back, although obviously not by something as high as 17%! Sorry, probably the wrong place to talk about long-term trends since the discussion is about the current cycle :oops:

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omninode
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby omninode » Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:29 pm

In the short term I think it is possible that the lower TTTs will have to lower their (already low) standards to fill their classes. Scary.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby crumpetsandtea » Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:49 pm

Curious1 wrote:
Samara wrote:I'm very interested in this topic, but very uninterested in reading seven pages that may or may not be full of URM herpderp. Anyone willing to tl;dr this thread for me?


Fewer takers = good for splitters.

Image

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WhiteGuy5
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby WhiteGuy5 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:01 pm

Thank God I ignored the URM discussion directed at me. It was tough, not gonna lie. :D

Great analysis everyone. I only brought up the URM issue because it's unclear if the number of URMs taking the exam has gone up. If it has, that could have a significant impact. I'm sure the data is out there, someone should check.

Also, re: law schools having to choose between smaller class size vs. keeping their medians -- I DON'T think law schools will decrease their class sizes by an significant amount, if it all, even the T6. Less seats = less money. That would involve some major reshuffling in law school finances, and none of the schools signaled anything of the sort.

I think medians in the T6 will stay the same, and go down everywhere else.

(This is not me being hopeful, it's my honest opinion). 8)

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zozin
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby zozin » Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:47 pm

TTTs have no incentive to decrease class sizes. There might be a double digit decline in applicants, but half of those people still have a LSAT lower than 151, so there's plenty of poor scorers to choose from. And it's not like they care about maintaining medians/percentiles since they're just degree mills anyway.

ahnhub
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby ahnhub » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:49 pm

JPudding wrote:
evian1212 wrote:Which year would this look like the most on LSN then? I looked at some of the top 10 schools and this seems to be about the breakdown for each year of june and october test-takers

11-12 72000
10-11 87000
09-10 93000
08-09 79000
07-08 75000
06-07 73000
05-06 75000
04-05 79000
03-04 81000

But the discrepancy lies with the fact that 03-06 cycles were significantly easier than say 07-08 or 08-09 even though the number of test-takers were about the same? That is what confuses me. However, i think its fair to say that this year will be easier than the past two cycles at the very least, but how much will cycle be more similar to 07-08s or actually the earlier easier ones?

Any thoughts?


Keep in mind this is only June and Oct data, Dec '10 and Feb '11 also saw huge drops, which may also contribute to lower numbers this cycle. Might be another big drop this December as well


Yes, the fact that the cycles in the early part of this decade were so much easier (in 2003 every single non-T-6 had a 75th LSAT < 170---now only Cornell and Michigan among the T-14 have a median LSAT <170) is confusing, because A LOT of LSATs were being administered back in 2001-2004 as well. The truth is that the "explosion" in applicants of the past couple of years was actually a bit overstated--there was an equal, if not bigger "explosion" caused by the much smaller recession at the beginning of this decade.

A big contributing factor is the retake phenomenon. IMO allowing people to retake with impunity not only increases the number of tests administered (because more people are taking the test two or three times), it also slightly increases the aptitude of the test-taking population. Remember, the average taker improves by around 2 points if they take the test again. So LSAC has become slightly more generous in giving out high scores--ten years ago I believe a 170 usually put someone solidly above 98% of the test-taking population. It's closer to 97% now.

Last year still had a very high number of LSATs administered--second-most ever in history. There was an increase in last year's June administration. The declines only began in October.

Also, there's the simple fact that once a school achieves a median they will try to keep it, even if the face of decreasing applicants.

My guess is that there will be a significant difference this cycle--not earth-shattering, but a difference. The last four LSAT administrations have regressed to pre-2005 levels. Medians at even a couple of top schools may drop by a point.

EMZE
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby EMZE » Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:12 pm

72000 test takes for June and October 2011.

So, if a 170 is at the 97% of test takers, then .03 * 72000 means there are 2160 applicants with a score at or above a 170. Harvard and GULC together take about half of those up. The other 12 of the T14 will exceed the remaining 1100 or so applicants left by about another 1000.

So I guess the long and short of it is, there aren't enough 170's to fill the T14. If schools solely go by LSAT, there would be @ least 1000 or so applicants admitted to T14 without a 170.

For the 30 minutes or so this took me to process, theres nothing revelationary about it... Berkeley has a median of 167, and Mich and Cornell are also below.

I forgot where I was going with this. The math screwed me up.

advocate1
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby advocate1 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:03 am

I foresee a pretty epic game of wait-list dominos and scholarship negotiations this cycle. And potentially slower decisions on RD apps (looking at you lower t-14) while everyone plays the waiting game.

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Ti1Her0
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Ti1Her0 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:14 am

Any theories on how all this might affect ED applicants? I would think a smaller pool and less applicants would make ED splitters more attractive to adcomms desperate to lock in high LSAT #s but maybe that's just wishful thinking :lol:




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