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

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john1990
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby john1990 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:13 am

a non-urm was accepted into U michigan with a 166/3.5 :D

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calidancer2
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby calidancer2 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:29 am

trying to decide if i should apply this cycle and defer for two years, or wait til my actual cycle to apply. so hard to tell which odds are gonna be better. FWIW i'm retaking in Dec (3.7/169 right now) and have peace corps for 2 years.

ahnhub
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby ahnhub » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:57 am

calidancer2 wrote:trying to decide if i should apply this cycle and defer for two years, or wait til my actual cycle to apply. so hard to tell which odds are gonna be better. FWIW i'm retaking in Dec (3.7/169 right now) and have peace corps for 2 years.


Why not just apply? All you need are 2 recs. If you get in somewhere you want ask for the deferment (although 2 years is a long time). If not, reapply later.

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calidancer2
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby calidancer2 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:16 am

true. i do think i might get fee waivers for being IN service so it might be better to wait $-wise since i'm fairly certain i don't get them now. but man, knowing if i was IN berkeley already and not fretting for a year or two...that would be nice.

theaether
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby theaether » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:22 am

your app will be waaaaaay stronger after 2 years peace corp, both the experience itself and the essay that results from it

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Cornelius
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Cornelius » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:04 am

mijenks wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:This may just be neurosis from having sent in most of my apps two months ago and hearing nothing since, but I'm starting to wonder if falling medians hurt splitters more than help. If the school realizes its median will fall from, say, a 171 to a 170, they are now more likely to let in a lot of 170 people with higher GPAs. That means the guy with, say, a 178/3.5 is hurt by the situation.


Unlikely. The number of 3.9s is an order of magnitude or two greater than the number of 171+s and, while the absolute number of 171+s has most likely decreased, the absolute number of 3.9s has most likely remained the same. You are still a hot commodity.

(edit: also, assuming you get waitlisted at CCN or MVPB or whoever is trying to maintain that 171 or 170 median, you can bet that if they are anywhere NEAR hitting that 1 pt higher median, they'll be knocking down your door to admit you because the subsequent 1 pt LSAT rise will massively offset the resulting 0.01 GPA drop)

Plus I feel like schools would be more likely to try and protect the LSAT median than the GPA median. Again, as others have pointed out, high GPAs are not in as short of supply as high LSATs.

Further, if there's enough fewer test takers to force the median down a point, I don't see there being more, for example, 170 LSATs this year with high GPAs than 171 LSATs last year with high GPAs. If the number of applicants is that much less than last year to force a median drop, I don't see their being substantially more of them available at 1 point lower.

bmili
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby bmili » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:12 am

My back of the envelope math for December increase/decrease in LSAT administrations is a conservative estimate of a decrease of 9.3%.

Logic is as follows. Over the past decade, the range for the difference between December and October LSAT administrations have been about 7-12k less December test takers than October. Assuming the trend holds true and if I take the lower bound of the range, there should be roughly 38k to take the December LSAT (45k took the October LSAT). Now the caveat to that is there was already a decrease of 16.5% for December last year (42k), so it is tempting to say you should see a flattening of the decreases. Though in my experience, corrections tend to be deeper than expected so I still expect a decrease of 10%+ in December.

addy11
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby addy11 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:15 pm

There's a lot of speculation going on (and damnit, I want it to continue!). We can all say what we think about the next six months, but don't we already have hard data for the previous cycle and resulting medians?

In other words, there were sizable drops (though they were smaller than between 2010 and 2011) between 2009 and 2010 (http://lawschooltuitionbubble.wordpress ... d-wonders/). Ignoring all of the calumny and conjecture about which tactics top law schools might pursue (e.g., letting in low GPA/high LSAT splitters; reducing URMs; slashing class sizes; letting in a few 172/4.0s at the expense of the Rhodes Scholar with a 168/3.9; encouraging convicted murderers with 170+ to apply; etc.), have there been any drops in LSAT medians between 2009 and 2010 at t14 schools?

We couldn't thereby conclude that any such drop was caused in whole or in part by the drop in LSAT takers between 2009 and 2010, but I think that it would be the strongest support yet for that contention.

On the flip side, if there were no drop, neither could we conclude that the shrinking pool doesn't have any affect on numerical probability of getting in... the accusations listed above (with wildly varying likelihood and degree of influence) could have conspired to halt the dips, and the more pronounced drop in 2011 (in combination with the previous year's drop) could have an affect that a single year itself wouldn't.

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JoeMo
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby JoeMo » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:19 pm

addy11 wrote:There's a lot of speculation going on (and damnit, I want it to continue!). We can all say what we think about the next six months, but don't we already have hard data for the previous cycle and resulting medians?

In other words, there were sizable drops (though they were smaller than between 2010 and 2011) between 2009 and 2010 (http://lawschooltuitionbubble.wordpress ... d-wonders/). Ignoring all of the calumny and conjecture about which tactics top law schools might pursue (e.g., letting in low GPA/high LSAT splitters; reducing URMs; slashing class sizes; letting in a few 172/4.0s at the expense of the Rhodes Scholar with a 168/3.9; encouraging convicted murderers with 170+ to apply; etc.), have there been any drops in LSAT medians between 2009 and 2010 at t14 schools?

We couldn't thereby conclude that any such drop was caused in whole or in part by the drop in LSAT takers between 2009 and 2010, but I think that it would be the strongest support yet for that contention.

On the flip side, if there were no drop, neither could we conclude that the shrinking pool doesn't have any affect on numerical probability of getting in... the accusations listed above (with wildly varying likelihood and degree of influence) could have conspired to halt the dips, and the more pronounced drop in 2011 (in combination with the previous year's drop) could have an affect that a single year itself wouldn't.


You had me until
doesn't have any affect
it's effect.

addy11
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby addy11 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:29 pm

Even more TTT - I used "e.g." in combination with "etc."

Ugh. Thank god my essays are all done.

ahnhub
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby ahnhub » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:42 pm

addy11 wrote:There's a lot of speculation going on (and damnit, I want it to continue!). We can all say what we think about the next six months, but don't we already have hard data for the previous cycle and resulting medians?

In other words, there were sizable drops (though they were smaller than between 2010 and 2011) between 2009 and 2010 (http://lawschooltuitionbubble.wordpress ... d-wonders/). Ignoring all of the calumny and conjecture about which tactics top law schools might pursue (e.g., letting in low GPA/high LSAT splitters; reducing URMs; slashing class sizes; letting in a few 172/4.0s at the expense of the Rhodes Scholar with a 168/3.9; encouraging convicted murderers with 170+ to apply; etc.), have there been any drops in LSAT medians between 2009 and 2010 at t14 schools?

We couldn't thereby conclude that any such drop was caused in whole or in part by the drop in LSAT takers between 2009 and 2010, but I think that it would be the strongest support yet for that contention.

On the flip side, if there were no drop, neither could we conclude that the shrinking pool doesn't have any affect on numerical probability of getting in... the accusations listed above (with wildly varying likelihood and degree of influence) could have conspired to halt the dips, and the more pronounced drop in 2011 (in combination with the previous year's drop) could have an affect that a single year itself wouldn't.


I'm not sure I completely understand what you're saying. Also, you're off on the years--2009-10 was the record cycle for LSAT takers. The only evidence for a drop would be if medians fell from 09-10 to 10-11.

Largely, medians held steady at the top schools last cycle. (There was maybe a very, very slight downward movement--I think NYU's median fell from 172 to 171, and UMich's 25-75th fell from 168-171 back to 167-170.) I think schools did go to extra lengths to maintain medians--class size may have been slightly cut, splitter-friendliness increased, whatever. But I suspect during the last cycle, which had a 10% drop in apps, there were still an unusually high number of applicants with T-14 type numbers, because of the drag effect (I would guess a considerable portion of high-scorers in December and February wait out a cycle, and the Dec. and Feb. administrations in 2010 were still at a high).

The number of administered LSATs in play for the current cycle will almost certainly be at the lowest level in almost a decade. BUT--we now live in the age of the retake, so the medians will definitely not go back to 2002-2005 levels, when the numbers were drastically lower (only the top 6 schools had LSAT 75ths in the 170s).

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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby addy11 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:20 pm

I'd say you understood me pretty well, and your response was helpful.

As for the cycles, when I say 2009 I mean 2009-2010... so even though this is the 2011-2012 cycle, I would call this 2011 (because that is the year in which I am applying). Apologies if this is not the convention of TLS; I will make an effort to change it going forward.

I think the idea of a drag effect is interesting. During the last cycle I did notice a lot of people who applied in Feb getting into schools where their scores approximated the medians, whereas in earlier years it seemed as if you would be tossed out unless you were completely stellar.

Re: multiple takers (I'm one myself), I think the "we look at the averages" policy is the first casualty when trying to maintain LSAT medians. The conventional wisdom was always "no one really averages except for HYS, and maybe Columbia" but at least anecdotally from what I have seen on LSN and on message boards from last year's cycle, this doesn't even seem to be the case with Harvard any longer (Yale and Stanford are - as always - inscrutable).

Still, why do you think there would be a meaningful difference in the number of retakers between this cycle and the last? I know the number has gone up sizably since the policy was changed, but why would there be any significant difference between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 (other than the IMO unlikely possibility of significant numbers of people getting wise to the trends we're speculating about here, where higher LSAT scores are paramount)?

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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby ahnhub » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:10 pm

Still, why do you think there would be a meaningful difference in the number of retakers between this cycle and the last? I know the number has gone up sizably since the policy was changed, but why would there be any significant difference between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 (other than the IMO unlikely possibility of significant numbers of people getting wise to the trends we're speculating about here, where higher LSAT scores are paramount)?


You're absolutely right about retaking--nobody seems to care except HYS, and even they only care probably to a certain extent.

What I mean is that, since the retake policy changed in 2006 to allow schools to report only the highest LSAT score to ABA, there seems to have been a permanent effect on the test-taking population. The percentage of high scores has increased slightly--I attribute this mostly to the retake thing, although I suppose people in general might have gotten a little smarter about the LSAT. The LSAT numbers became extremely inflated from 2003 to 2010 (Michigan's 25th-75th went from 163-168 to 168-171). I believe the practice of allowing retakes without a penalty was at least as responsible, if not more so, for this inflation as the high number of test-takers and tests administered caused by the recession.

For this cycle, the number of tests administered has plummeted. But the retake phenomenon is still in effect.

nucky thompson
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby nucky thompson » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:21 pm

To be clear, the number of tests administered includes re-takers. The total number of tests administered has dropped drastically. The percentage of test takers scoring within a given range is still roughly the same. Therefore, it is mathematically impossible for schools to maintain class size and median (outside the top 6 i predict, slight changes through the rest of t14, greater adjustment farther down).

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Gail
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Gail » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:16 pm

This year will look like the 2008-2009 cycle. Money.

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Cornelius
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Cornelius » Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:26 am

addy11 wrote:Still, why do you think there would be a meaningful difference in the number of retakers between this cycle and the last? I know the number has gone up sizably since the policy was changed, but why would there be any significant difference between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 (other than the IMO unlikely possibility of significant numbers of people getting wise to the trends we're speculating about here, where higher LSAT scores are paramount)?

I would think that as the pool of takers decreases, the portion of the pool made up by retakers would increase. It seems intuitive that the drop would come from people perhaps less "dedicated" to going to law school, and therefore less likely to take the LSAT multiple times.

addy11 wrote:We couldn't thereby conclude that any such drop was caused in whole or in part by the drop in LSAT takers between 2009 and 2010, but I think that it would be the strongest support yet for that contention.

On the flip side, if there were no drop, neither could we conclude that the shrinking pool doesn't have any affect on numerical probability of getting in... the accusations listed above (with wildly varying likelihood and degree of influence) could have conspired to halt the dips, and the more pronounced drop in 2011 (in combination with the previous year's drop) could have an affect that a single year itself wouldn't.

We did see at least one case of a drastic median drop at UIUC. I think the number of applicants was such that there were still enough applications to maintain, but just barely, the medians achieved in the prior year for most schools.

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thelawyler
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby thelawyler » Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:59 am

Gail wrote:This year will look like the 2008-2009 cycle. Money.


I have a feeling it will look nothing like any previous cycles as schools are faced with unique challenges. One such challenge is the desire to maintain medians when they have risen to unsustainable heights.

HellOnHeels
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby HellOnHeels » Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:34 am

Gail wrote:This year will look like the 2008-2009 cycle. Money.

i would be beyond joyous if this was the case. i think. i dunno anymore. why won't the lawls schools just let me in?!! why?!

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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby tennisking88 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:26 am

stephinmd wrote:
Gail wrote:This year will look like the 2008-2009 cycle. Money.

i would be beyond joyous if this was the case.


Why is this the case/good? 2008-9 had a huge increase in apps/LSATs from the last year.

addy11
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby addy11 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:41 am

Cornelius wrote:
addy11 wrote:Still, why do you think there would be a meaningful difference in the number of retakers between this cycle and the last? I know the number has gone up sizably since the policy was changed, but why would there be any significant difference between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 (other than the IMO unlikely possibility of significant numbers of people getting wise to the trends we're speculating about here, where higher LSAT scores are paramount)?

I would think that as the pool of takers decreases, the portion of the pool made up by retakers would increase. It seems intuitive that the drop would come from people perhaps less "dedicated" to going to law school, and therefore less likely to take the LSAT multiple times.


Yeah, I suppose you're right. However I was speaking about the quantity of test takers. I think the proportion will absolutely rise, but that is consistent with the number of retaker applicants staying constant or even dropping. Either way, I can't imagine the retaker bloc will significantly affect the number of applicants compared to last year. The final numbers we get after the December administration will be the most informative.


Cornelius wrote:
addy11 wrote:We couldn't thereby conclude that any such drop was caused in whole or in part by the drop in LSAT takers between 2009 and 2010, but I think that it would be the strongest support yet for that contention.

On the flip side, if there were no drop, neither could we conclude that the shrinking pool doesn't have any affect on numerical probability of getting in... the accusations listed above (with wildly varying likelihood and degree of influence) could have conspired to halt the dips, and the more pronounced drop in 2011 (in combination with the previous year's drop) could have an affect that a single year itself wouldn't.

We did see at least one case of a drastic median drop at UIUC. I think the number of applicants was such that there were still enough applications to maintain, but just barely, the medians achieved in the prior year for most schools.


I would also like to see how individual schools coped with fewer applications year to year. If total law school applications in a year drop from 100,000 to 90,000 from 2009 to 2010, we could speculate generally, but our speculation would be especially baseless extrapolated to Harvard if, say, Harvard nevertheless got 7,000 apps in 2009 and 10,000 apps in 2010.

Also, if we look at just the Feb, June and October administrations of 2011-2012 vs. 2009-2010, there is about a 20% decrease. That is pretty massive.

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Gail
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Gail » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:06 pm

tennisking88 wrote:
stephinmd wrote:
Gail wrote:This year will look like the 2008-2009 cycle. Money.

i would be beyond joyous if this was the case.


Why is this the case/good? 2008-9 had a huge increase in apps/LSATs from the last year.


It was a hopeful statement that the medians will look similar to 2008-2009 because the numbers of applicants are so much lower. I'm not sure if it is actually true, but wouldn't it be grand?

ahnhub
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby ahnhub » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:35 pm

I would think that as the pool of takers decreases, the portion of the pool made up by retakers would increase. It seems intuitive that the drop would come from people perhaps less "dedicated" to going to law school, and therefore less likely to take the LSAT multiple times.


I agree. There's also this: retakers become a little bit better at the LSAT for whatever reason--simply by virtue of retaking, or because of more study, whatever. The average retaker improves by about 2 points, and by 3 points on a third attempt. This causes the entire test-taking population to become slightly "smarter," resulting in a higher percentage of high scores.

10 years ago a 170 put you solidly above 98th percentile (I think it was between 98.2 and 98.4 or something) on every LSAT administration. For the last four or five years, the percentage of 170s given out has increased, where now it hovers around 97.3-97.5 percent. They're giving out more 170s, because they think more people deserve 170s. I attribute this mostly to retaking, although it could be caused by better LSAT prep or people just getting better at the test.

Also--the 2008-09 cycle was not all that generous, was it?

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Mick Haller
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Mick Haller » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:43 pm

S-IV wrote:Guys, this isn't just great for this cycle (although I'm super pumped), it's great for our eventual employment prospects too. Hopefully it doesn't rise again before we're all trying to find a freakin job. Woo!


This doesn't necessarily mean fewer lawyers. Every year about 40% of LSAT takers are not admitted into any law schools. Many from this pool will make up the slack. I don't expect to see many law schools shuttering because of fewer applicants. They will just accept students they wouldn't have accepted in the past.

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Mick Haller
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Mick Haller » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:49 pm

tyro wrote:
MrAnon wrote:The dumb people still may think law is the key to joining the middle class and pile in.

:shock:


This is kind of a dumb statement. If a law degree allows you to earn 35-45k, you've entered the middle class. The median salary in this country is 27k. Of course that kind of salary does not justify the cost of attending law school. I see a future in which most people are struggling to make ends meet. I am one who believes that if law school can be completed on under 50k debt, it is a "not terrible" decision.

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180asBreath
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby 180asBreath » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:55 pm

So what does all of this mean? How does it affect someone looking to get into T6?




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