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
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?
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.