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

tennisking88
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby tennisking88 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:00 pm

FEE wrote:
stephinmd wrote:
FEE wrote:I completely disagree. There are 200 fewer people with a 173+. That will affect the top 14 schools. How could it not? They have 200 fewer applicants to choose from. That's an entire law school class of people missing.

Yes, but what if the top schools only have enough spots for 1500 applicants, and in years past, 2000 173+ people applied. They'd be turning down 500 applicants. Fast forward to now. Still 1500 spots, and 1800 applicants with 173+. They're turning down 300 people, yet, still keeping their medians, despite a smaller pool of 173+ applicant.

I chose numbers completely at random, but hopefully, you get my point.



I do see your point. But your numbers are incorrect, which makes a big difference. Last year 150,000 people took the LSAT. So 1,500 people had a 173+. (173 is 99th percentile.) This year there are only going to be about 130,000 (and this is being conservative, I actually think there will be fewer!) people taking the LSAT. So there will only be 1,300 people with a 173+. That's two hundred people! Now consider that just HSY together take about 900 people. Throw in CCN and we're up to around 2,000 people. 200 seats starts to make a difference pretty quickly. There will only be about 2,080 people with a 170-172. Which is down from 2,400. So all in all that's about 500 fewer people this year with a 170+ than last year. 2,000 people for the top 6 schools, and 500 fewer people to fill up those seats. It's going to make a difference.


There are two numbers that really caught my eye when applying. The first is the number of applicants applying in the fall of 2011 (~78,900), which is the lowest in more than a decade. The second is the number of applications sent out in the fall of 2011 (~536,000), which is lower than 2009&2010, but more than 2007&2008, and seems about average for the entire decade. Lesser people are applying to more schools. I personally applied to a shit ton of schools because a) I got waivers for most of them, and b) they have become incredibly easy and fast to fill out & submit. What if schools interpret a steady, even rising amount of applications to mean that demand is much higher than it actually is, leading them to unnecessarily reject/waitlist a ton of people?

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minnbills
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby minnbills » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:03 pm

tennisking88 wrote:There are two numbers that really caught my eye when applying. The first is the number of applicants applying in the fall of 2011 (~78,900), which is the lowest in more than a decade. The second is the number of applications sent out in the fall of 2011 (~536,000), which is lower than 2009&2010, but more than 2007&2008, and seems about average for the entire decade. Lesser people are applying to more schools. I personally applied to a shit ton of schools because a) I got waivers for most of them, and b) they have become incredibly easy and fast to fill out & submit. What if schools interpret a steady, even rising amount of applications to mean that demand is much higher than it actually is, leading them to unnecessarily reject/waitlist a ton of people?


I doubt they would misread it like that. These admissions people are paid to be on top of situations like this. FWIW my dad works in higher ed and he claims (from talking to a couple law school administrators) that admissions departments are aware and worried that there are fewer people applying. It's also not just about the fewer lsat takers either, fewer people are willing to break the bank for law school with all the bad press.

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AreJay711
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby AreJay711 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:10 pm

FEE wrote:
stephinmd wrote:
FEE wrote:I completely disagree. There are 200 fewer people with a 173+. That will affect the top 14 schools. How could it not? They have 200 fewer applicants to choose from. That's an entire law school class of people missing.

Yes, but what if the top schools only have enough spots for 1500 applicants, and in years past, 2000 173+ people applied. They'd be turning down 500 applicants. Fast forward to now. Still 1500 spots, and 1800 applicants with 173+. They're turning down 300 people, yet, still keeping their medians, despite a smaller pool of 173+ applicant.

I chose numbers completely at random, but hopefully, you get my point.



I do see your point. But your numbers are incorrect, which makes a big difference. Last year 150,000 people took the LSAT. So 1,500 people had a 173+. (173 is 99th percentile.) This year there are only going to be about 130,000 (and this is being conservative, I actually think there will be fewer!) people taking the LSAT. So there will only be 1,300 people with a 173+. That's two hundred people! Now consider that just HSY together take about 900 people. Throw in CCN and we're up to around 2,000 people. 200 seats starts to make a difference pretty quickly. There will only be about 2,080 people with a 170-172. Which is down from 2,400. So all in all that's about 500 fewer people this year with a 170+ than last year. 2,000 people for the top 6 schools, and 500 fewer people to fill up those seats. It's going to make a difference.


Right, so that is fine with a given score. What you don't know is who is applying for those spots. If ALL 1500 people that would have earned a 173+ still take the LSAT, a 173 will be harder to get and the cycle can be more difficult unless you are a reverse spliter or spliter which allows people to manipulate the numbers.
Last edited by AreJay711 on Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jeffort
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Jeffort » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:11 pm

When trying to interpret the LSAC statistical data it's important to realize that the LSATs Administered chart, even the annual total for each testing cycle is a count of number of tests administered. People that retake the test in the same testing year are counted twice or three times for the number of times they took the test.

For the last several years there has been an increase of serial test takers that took the test multiple times, especially since it was super easy to get a waiver exception to the three times in two years limit.

For about two years LSAC had a policy that if you didn't cancel or postpone your LSAT registration roughly two weeks before test day you were faced with the choice of either not showing up and getting an absent mark on your CAS report or taking it and either keeping or canceling the score. Once the deadlines to cancel or postpone your registration for the administration passed, no matter what you did, something would show on your CAS score report so many people showed up and took the test even when they knew they weren't ready in order to avoid an absent mark or just to give it a shot and hope to get lucky.

Shortly before the June 2011 LSAT LSAC changed the policy so that you now can withdraw your registration up to midnight the day before the test, nothing will show on your CAS report and it doesn't count towards the 3 times in 2 years limit. Many students that didn't feel prepared or for whatever reason have exercised this option. Also, during the two year period (It might have been three years, but I'm pretty sure it was two) without the withdraw the night before option, many students decided to not show up on test day when they weren't ready or something and went with the absent mark option, thus not getting counted in the LSATs administered data, and then took the test sometime later.

There are plenty of people with two, three, four and even five test administrations noted on their CAS report (score, cancel, absent, etc.) ranging from over the last two years up to the last five years with some that took the LSAT again this testing year.

Serial test takers/retakers have accounted for a significant amount of the tests administered record volumes over the last two-three years.
Here's the current repeater report:
http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Data/ ... erData.pdf
33.8 percent of people that took the LSAT last year took it more than once.

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FEE
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby FEE » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:25 pm

Right, but if there are lots of retakers, then there are even FEWER people with 173+. For example, I have a friend who took the test in June and scored a 175. For some reason he wasn't happy with that, so he took it again and scored a 176 in October. During June and October there were 70,000 people who took the LSAT. 1% of 70,000 is 700. So there are 700 people with a 173+. But my friend counts as two of those. So really there are only 699 people with a 173+. And my friend can't be the only one with a 173+ to have retaken the test.

tennisking88
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby tennisking88 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:28 pm

How about we see what happens and then comment on it

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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby guinness1547 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:30 pm

tennisking88 wrote:How about we see what happens and then comment on it


That's not as much fun.

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FEE
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby FEE » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:37 pm

tennisking88 wrote:How about we see what happens and then comment on it


Plus, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if there was not a large difference between the numbers of last year and this year. I know this seems strange considering I've been saying there will be a big difference, but I think the difference will be the biggest for RETAKERS. Schools might have had the luxury over the past few years to turn up their noses at kids who had multiple lower LSATs on their files. But with fewer applicants this year, they wont have that luxury. But because only the highest LSAT will be reported, to us it wont look like much of a difference.

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pupshaw
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby pupshaw » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:47 pm

FEE wrote:Right, but if there are lots of retakers, then there are even FEWER people with 173+. For example, I have a friend who took the test in June and scored a 175. For some reason he wasn't happy with that, so he took it again and scored a 176 in October. During June and October there were 70,000 people who took the LSAT. 1% of 70,000 is 700. So there are 700 people with a 173+. But my friend counts as two of those. So really there are only 699 people with a 173+. And my friend can't be the only one with a 173+ to have retaken the test.


I strongly suspect that retaking a 173+ is so infrequent as to be effectively negligible.

EDIT: Well, according to the chart Jeffort posted, there are 34 people who've retaken a 173+ this cycle, if I'm reading that correctly.
Last edited by pupshaw on Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tennisking88
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby tennisking88 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:50 pm

FEE wrote:
tennisking88 wrote:How about we see what happens and then comment on it


Plus, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if there was not a large difference between the numbers of last year and this year. I know this seems strange considering I've been saying there will be a big difference, but I think the difference will be the biggest for RETAKERS. Schools might have had the luxury over the past few years to turn up their noses at kids who had multiple lower LSATs on their files. But with fewer applicants this year, they wont have that luxury. But because only the highest LSAT will be reported, to us it wont look like much of a difference.


How do you know that schools turned their noses up at retakers over the past few years?

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Samara
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Samara » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:57 pm

FEE wrote:
tennisking88 wrote:How about we see what happens and then comment on it


Plus, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if there was not a large difference between the numbers of last year and this year. I know this seems strange considering I've been saying there will be a big difference, but I think the difference will be the biggest for RETAKERS. Schools might have had the luxury over the past few years to turn up their noses at kids who had multiple lower LSATs on their files. But with fewer applicants this year, they wont have that luxury. But because only the highest LSAT will be reported, to us it wont look like much of a difference.

wut? With the new retake policies and the fact that schools report the highest score instead of the average score, there is no discrimination against retakers.

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Jeffort
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Jeffort » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:58 pm

FEE,

A flaw in how you are interpreting the data is assuming that the percentile rank per scaled score represents a single administration or a single testing year.

It does not. It spans/is an aggregate of the previous three testing years. If you have taken the test or have a copy of a score report handy, read the fine print on the page titled IRR Additional Information Document that has the scaled score to percentile rank chart on the right side of the page.

Note the blurb right below the table (labeled Table 1 that has a box around it).

From a December 2010 LSAT score report:

*The figures in Table 1 indicate the percentages of test scores in the 2007-2010 testing years below each score given.


Your math is flawed due to your false assumptions about what the data represents.
Last edited by Jeffort on Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tennisking88
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby tennisking88 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:00 pm

Yeah, pretty schools don't give a shit about 1 or 2 retakes, they'll take what they can get. I don't even think Harvard would necessarily reject someone with a 165/175 over someone with just a 175.

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KevinP
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby KevinP » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:02 pm

FWIW, outside of Y/S, schools have already been taking the highest score, regardless of what the schools claim. Furthermore, since law school is already primarily a numbers game, softs rarely make or break a candidate.

After looking at LSN, it seems like Duke and GULC are being more lenient GPA-wise for test scores who are in the 170s.

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FEE
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby FEE » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:03 pm

Jeffort wrote:FEE,

A flaw in how you are interpreting the data is assuming that the percentile rank per scaled score represents a single administration or a single testing year.

It does not. It spans/is an aggregate of the previous three testing years. If you have taken the test or have a copy of a score report handy, read the fine print on the page titled IRR Additional Information Document that has the scaled score to percentile rank chart on the right side of the page.

Note the blurb right below the table (labeled Table 1 that has a box around around it).

From a December 2010 LSAT score report:

*The figures in Table 1 indicate the percentages of test scores in the 2007-2010 testing years below each score given.


Your math is flawed due to your false assumptions about what the data represents.


I was aware. But I doubt there's a large discrepancy. What kind of a difference do you think it could make??

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FEE
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby FEE » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:16 pm

And really my "flaw" in reasoning could actually be in my favor. What if this last October LSAT was so hard that really a 171 was the 99th percentile, but we can't see it because the averages mask the difficulty of the test? (I don't think this is true, but it's possible.) Then there are even fewer people with a 173+.

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Jeffort
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Jeffort » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:18 pm

cerealdan wrote:
I strongly suspect that retaking a 173+ is so infrequent as to be effectively negligible.

EDIT: Well, according to the chart Jeffort posted, there are 34 people who've retaken a 173+ this cycle, if I'm reading that correctly.


Yeah, you read it correctly and I'd bet that most of them have or do still post here. I'm pretty sure from memory I could come up with at least five maybe ten usernames off the top of my head! lol

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KevinP
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby KevinP » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:24 pm

Jeffort wrote:
cerealdan wrote:
I strongly suspect that retaking a 173+ is so infrequent as to be effectively negligible.

EDIT: Well, according to the chart Jeffort posted, there are 34 people who've retaken a 173+ this cycle, if I'm reading that correctly.


Yeah, you read it correctly and I'd bet that most of them have or do still post here. I'm pretty sure from memory I could come up with at least five maybe ten usernames off the top of my head! lol


Interestingly enough, there are more people who retake a 173+ in the MINUS column than the PLUS and NOCH columns. Seems like those who retake a 173+ tend to do worse on the retake.

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vanwinkle
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:27 pm

FEE wrote:And really my "flaw" in reasoning could actually be in my favor. What if this last October LSAT was so hard that really a 171 was the 99th percentile, but we can't see it because the averages mask the difficulty of the test? (I don't think this is true, but it's possible.) Then there are even fewer people with a 173+.

I don't understand this. You do understand that LSAT curves are pre-set and not based on the number/performance of students on the administered test, right? They set the curve based on how those sections performed on those questions when they were experimental, weighted to ensure scores are as similar as possible to the 3 prior years' worth of administrations, but it's all figured out beforehand. If suddenly everyone tanked an administered test, the result would be no 170+ scores awarded, not a -30 curve.

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FEE
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby FEE » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:42 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
FEE wrote:And really my "flaw" in reasoning could actually be in my favor. What if this last October LSAT was so hard that really a 171 was the 99th percentile, but we can't see it because the averages mask the difficulty of the test? (I don't think this is true, but it's possible.) Then there are even fewer people with a 173+.

I don't understand this. You do understand that LSAT curves are pre-set and not based on the number/performance of students on the administered test, right? They set the curve based on how those sections performed on those questions when they were experimental, weighted to ensure scores are as similar as possible to the 3 prior years' worth of administrations, but it's all figured out beforehand. If suddenly everyone tanked an administered test, the result would be no 170+ scores awarded, not a -30 curve.


Exactly. Lets say that based off of the data from previous test takers, they decide to set the october curve to get a 170 at -13. But lets say that test takers didn't do as well as expected. Only 1% of all kids scored a 171 or higher. Then for this test there would be fewer people with 173+. Really a 173 would be something like the 99.2nd percentile. But we would never know it because they average all the tests from the last three years. So it looks to us as though a 173 is still the 99th percentile instead of the 99.2nd percentile.

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Jeffort
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby Jeffort » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:49 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
FEE wrote:And really my "flaw" in reasoning could actually be in my favor. What if this last October LSAT was so hard that really a 171 was the 99th percentile, but we can't see it because the averages mask the difficulty of the test? (I don't think this is true, but it's possible.) Then there are even fewer people with a 173+.


I don't understand this. You do understand that LSAT curves are pre-set and not based on the number/performance of students on the administered test, right? They set the curve based on how those sections performed on those questions when they were experimental, weighted to ensure scores are as similar as possible to the 3 prior years' worth of administrations, but it's all figured out beforehand. If suddenly everyone tanked an administered test, the result would be no 170+ scores awarded, not a -30 curve.


Image

Conversely, if everybody that took a particular administration only missed zero, one or two questions they would all get a 180.

When scores are released they would all party in the streets for a while Image Image and then work on a plan to takeover the world!

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AreJay711
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby AreJay711 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:53 pm

FEE wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
FEE wrote:And really my "flaw" in reasoning could actually be in my favor. What if this last October LSAT was so hard that really a 171 was the 99th percentile, but we can't see it because the averages mask the difficulty of the test? (I don't think this is true, but it's possible.) Then there are even fewer people with a 173+.

I don't understand this. You do understand that LSAT curves are pre-set and not based on the number/performance of students on the administered test, right? They set the curve based on how those sections performed on those questions when they were experimental, weighted to ensure scores are as similar as possible to the 3 prior years' worth of administrations, but it's all figured out beforehand. If suddenly everyone tanked an administered test, the result would be no 170+ scores awarded, not a -30 curve.


Exactly. Lets say that based off of the data from previous test takers, they decide to set the october curve to get a 170 at -13. But lets say that test takers didn't do as well as expected. Only 1% of all kids scored a 171 or higher. Then for this test there would be fewer people with 173+. Really a 173 would be something like the 99.2nd percentile. But we would never know it because they average all the tests from the last three years. So it looks to us as though a 173 is still the 99th percentile instead of the 99.2nd percentile.


This would require more people really good at the LSAT to decide not to take the LSAT or go to law school and just as many of worse takers to go to law school. I don't know why you think that is what would happen. Much more likely, people that only can hope to get into TTT's are deciding not to go and people that rock out 173+ on practice exams are deciding to take the exam and make a decision after looking at their scores.

That's what would make the most sense anyway so I assume that is what people are doing. I guess maybe people that are that good at the LSAT might have other things going for them but that isn't certain.

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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby ahnhub » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:06 pm

Exactly. Lets say that based off of the data from previous test takers, they decide to set the october curve to get a 170 at -13. But lets say that test takers didn't do as well as expected. Only 1% of all kids scored a 171 or higher. Then for this test there would be fewer people with 173+. Really a 173 would be something like the 99.2nd percentile. But we would never know it because they average all the tests from the last three years. So it looks to us as though a 173 is still the 99th percentile instead of the 99.2nd percentile.


Hypothetically true, but when the population is big enough I doubt the discrepancies are this dramatic--and the discrepancy can go either way (maybe a bunch of geniuses take your test and 4% end up with 171 or higher).

You can sorta eyeball how many scores occurred in a particular administration by comparing the percentiles to the last one. In December 2010 the % scoring below 170 (for past 3 years) was 97.5. In June 2011 it was 97.3. So it seems between the February and June administrations significantly more than 3% got a 170, pushing that percentile down (someone posted that in June something like 4.1% of test-takers get a 170). I didn't take October but if the 170 % was greater than 97.3 that means the proportion of 170-scorers decreased.

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FEE
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby FEE » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:20 pm

Right! I think that there really isn't a very large discrepancy between what the averages for three years are and what the averages for the individual tests are. If there are some discrepancies, I'm sure they get averaged out over the year. (Lots of 170+ in June, not as many in October). So I don't think my reasoning is "flawed."

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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby iamrobk » Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:44 pm

KevinP wrote:FWIW, outside of Y/S, schools have already been taking the highest score, regardless of what the schools claim. Furthermore, since law school is already primarily a numbers game, softs rarely make or break a candidate.

After looking at LSN, it seems like Duke and GULC are being more lenient GPA-wise for test scores who are in the 170s.

Duke seemed to be really lenient at first but have gotten a bit more strict recently, which is to be expected I suppose. Very small sample sizes, but NYU seems to be a little more lenient on GPA's so far too, and Penn hasn't been any stricter (for ED, anyway).




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