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

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Byzantine
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Byzantine » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:20 pm

I have some new and relevant information, taken from the study on Legal Market Trends by Northwestern. See:http://www.law.northwestern.edu/career/markettrends/

It's a great article overall, but here's the relevant part:

"National application volumes have been trending downward during the past few years. Following a small 2% increase in applications to law schools in 2010, applications declined 11% in 2011. As of this writing, 2012 applications are down 15.6% and applicants are down 16.2%." It was written as of January 2012.

So, the reasonable conjecture on the part of many that less LSAT's taken=less applications appears to be accurate.

So, the real question is: what is the effect of a 16% drop in applicants? Obviously we'll all get to see it all in hindsight, but I'd like to go on record saying that several t-14 may see their LSAT medians drop by 1 point, and their GPA medians drop between -.01 and -.04

Here's how I arrive at this conclusion. I'll use the LSAT only to keep the reasoning simple.

Take Harvard, whose median LSAT is 173, based on 550 matriculants.

First, assume that (.15) of those matriculants don't exist (We'll assume that the drop has equal effect on every school)

Now we have 550 - (1.5)550 = 460 matriculants, and we need to get 90 more. Essentially, this means we need to reach 90 people lower into the total applicant pool. And every other law school is reaching 15% deeper into the applicant pool as well. (Yes, I'm also assuming that schools don't just shrink class size.)

This gets tricky because when the lower you get, the less of a score decrease you have per applicant. There is a significant drop-off in the 170s. In 2011, there were roughly 1500 people who scored a 173+, but 4500 who scored above a 170+.

So it would seem like really good schools should see more of a drop because there are not many applicants protecting its 173 median. But then you also have to factor that the lower ranked you get, the more competition you have.

nkp007
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby nkp007 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:49 pm

Anyone else feel that this cycle will be epic? I bet the next few months will be very exciting.

I'm glad the pendulum is swinging back towards the applicants.

NYCLSATTutor
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby NYCLSATTutor » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:07 pm

Whoah....

A bleak jobs picture for law graduates is apparently dissuading more would-be lawyers from applying to law school.

As of Jan. 13, the total number of applicants at ABA-approved law schools stood at 31,815, a drop of 16.7 percent from last year. The total number of applications was 233,361, a drop of 15.3 percent.

Legal Skills Prof Blog noted the decline, revealed in a password-protected report by the Law School Admission Council. LSAC director of communications Wendy Margolis confirmed the figures for the ABA Journal.

“The caveat is that we are very early in the cycle,” Margolis says. “So these numbers change considerably.” The number of applicants at this time last year represented about 48 percent of the ultimate count.

Asked to speculate on reasons for the lower numbers, Margolis noted that law schools and legal employment are getting increased media scrutiny. “I think it’s basically the economy and job prospects," she said.



http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... 5_percent/

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Gail
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Gail » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:38 pm

nkp007 wrote:Anyone else feel that this cycle will be epic? I bet the next few months will be very exciting.

I'm glad the pendulum is swinging back towards the applicants.


It hasn't had an effect yet. I've seen people with 175s get WL.


The drop in applicants is irrelevant.

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lrslayer
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby lrslayer » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:39 pm

Gail wrote:
nkp007 wrote:Anyone else feel that this cycle will be epic? I bet the next few months will be very exciting.

I'm glad the pendulum is swinging back towards the applicants.


It hasn't had an effect yet. I've seen people with 175s get WL.


The drop in applicants is irrelevant.

i would have to agree. i have really amazing softs and still have not outperformed my numbers much :(

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Cornelius
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Cornelius » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:40 pm

I imagine if there was an impact we would see it in the form of waitlist movement as schools scramble, realizing they don't have enough people committed to attending. Who knows what will happen, though.

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Gail
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Gail » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:42 pm

lrslayer wrote:
Gail wrote:
nkp007 wrote:Anyone else feel that this cycle will be epic? I bet the next few months will be very exciting.

I'm glad the pendulum is swinging back towards the applicants.


It hasn't had an effect yet. I've seen people with 175s get WL.


The drop in applicants is irrelevant.

i would have to agree. i have really amazing softs and still have not outperformed my numbers much :(



Law schools almost seem to be even pickier this cycle. I think that Jeffort is right.


Acceptance rates might balloon, but there are no shortage of qualified candidates and now they have even more time to check every little flaw in your application.

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Byzantine
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Byzantine » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:38 pm

Gail wrote:
nkp007 wrote:Anyone else feel that this cycle will be epic? I bet the next few months will be very exciting.

I'm glad the pendulum is swinging back towards the applicants.


It hasn't had an effect yet. I've seen people with 175s get WL.


The drop in applicants is irrelevant.


You can't conclude it has had no effect yet, based on the results of just your cycle.

Unless schools shrink their class sizes, they will have to lower their standards. I agree with other posters that it likely to happen via increased wait list action.

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Rawlberto
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Rawlberto » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:22 pm

^^^^^

I think we will start to start to see "movement" as we approach seat deposit time.

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Gail
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Gail » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:45 pm

Byzantine wrote:
Gail wrote:
nkp007 wrote:Anyone else feel that this cycle will be epic? I bet the next few months will be very exciting.

I'm glad the pendulum is swinging back towards the applicants.


It hasn't had an effect yet. I've seen people with 175s get WL.


The drop in applicants is irrelevant.


You can't conclude it has had no effect yet, based on the results of just your cycle.

Unless schools shrink their class sizes, they will have to lower their standards. I agree with other posters that it likely to happen via increased wait list action.


I didn't score a 175.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:05 pm

Gail wrote:
Byzantine wrote:
Gail wrote:
nkp007 wrote:Anyone else feel that this cycle will be epic? I bet the next few months will be very exciting.

I'm glad the pendulum is swinging back towards the applicants.


It hasn't had an effect yet. I've seen people with 175s get WL.


The drop in applicants is irrelevant.


You can't conclude it has had no effect yet, based on the results of just your cycle.

Unless schools shrink their class sizes, they will have to lower their standards. I agree with other posters that it likely to happen via increased wait list action.


I didn't score a 175.


People with 175s get WL all over the place every cycle. No one expected that to just stop.

STLMizzou
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby STLMizzou » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:10 pm

I am sure there are plenty of Philosopher King-esk personal statements from guys who got 175s.


I agree that the only thing is adcoms may be doing it taking a little more time to really read all the personal statements and such. Maybe this will lead to more splitters/reverse splitters with great softs getting into schools replacing middle of the road people with mediocre extras.

mijenks
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby mijenks » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:10 pm

Gail wrote:The drop in applicants is irrelevant.

That doesn't jive with GULC 11/12 graph vs 10/11 graph on LSN. Definitely relevant.

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Gail
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Gail » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:10 am

mijenks wrote:
Gail wrote:The drop in applicants is irrelevant.

That doesn't jive with GULC 11/12 graph vs 10/11 graph on LSN. Definitely relevant.


I'm only really seeing more 169s accepted. I don't know how representative LSN actually is.

EDIT: I guess I see what you mean. It stands to reason that more of a lower number will have an effect. Obviously.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:41 am

Gail wrote:
nkp007 wrote:Anyone else feel that this cycle will be epic? I bet the next few months will be very exciting.

I'm glad the pendulum is swinging back towards the applicants.


It hasn't had an effect yet. I've seen people with 175s get WL.


The drop in applicants is irrelevant.

hello


there are tons of us

gracchi
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby gracchi » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:29 am

is it just me, or is the most important thread going on right now...

nkp007
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby nkp007 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:34 pm

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

Over-under of February LSATS administered at -8%.

My guess: over.

MLBrandow
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby MLBrandow » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:24 pm

Byzantine wrote:
Gail wrote:
nkp007 wrote:Anyone else feel that this cycle will be epic? I bet the next few months will be very exciting.

I'm glad the pendulum is swinging back towards the applicants.


It hasn't had an effect yet. I've seen people with 175s get WL.


The drop in applicants is irrelevant.


You can't conclude it has had no effect yet, based on the results of just your cycle.

Unless schools shrink their class sizes, they will have to lower their standards. I agree with other posters that it likely to happen via increased wait list action.



Byzantine,

Respectfully, you're both making the claim that you can't rule out its ineffectiveness, AND assuming the claim to be true.

I have followed this thread loosely for a while now, and have seen no data supporting the view that this drop in test takers is not entirely in the bottom 20% of test takers. You, and most people making these claims, seem to make the (invalid) assumption that because there are fewer test takers that this drop will be observed across all score ranges. Isn't it possible that most of these missing test takers simply represent the bottom tier of applicants?

Every LSAT as I'm sure you know features a predetermined curve. It's not impossible for 100% of test takers to score in the 99th percentile. To put it more realistically, with a 15% drop in test takers, it's not impossible for 1.2% (1/85 rather than 1/100) of the top test-takers to finish in the 99th percentile.

What jeffort and some others have been getting at is that there simply is no evidence to support this theory that applications to T14 or quality of applications to T14 schools are lower in a statistically significant way.

You are taking a very technical approach and assuming basically a 1:1 correlation between the drop in test-takers and the drop in high scorers, which you can't assume to be true. In fact, I believe (on the same lack of evidence that you do) that this cycle will be largely unaffected for most of the top 50 schools because I think this observed decline represents a decrease in the bottom tier of applicants, rather than an even spread.

Time will tell, though. Good luck in your cycle either way!

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:42 pm

MLBrandow wrote:
I have followed this thread loosely for a while now, and have seen no data supporting the view that this drop in test takers is not entirely in the bottom 20% of test takers.


Apparently you've been following things very loosely, or you would have seen this:

http://lsac.org/LSACResources/Publicati ... EC2010.pdf

Check out page 4. That data is from last year's cycle (as of 12/3/10) but you can see that the drop in applicants was fairly uniform across all score bands. I don't know why we'd assume that the additional drop in apps this cycle would look much different.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby bernaldiaz » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:53 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
MLBrandow wrote:
I have followed this thread loosely for a while now, and have seen no data supporting the view that this drop in test takers is not entirely in the bottom 20% of test takers.


Apparently you've been following things very loosely, or you would have seen this:

http://lsac.org/LSACResources/Publicati ... EC2010.pdf

Check out page 4. That data is from last year's cycle (as of 12/3/10) but you can see that the drop in applicants was fairly uniform across all score bands. I don't know why we'd assume that the additional drop in apps this cycle would look much different.


Actually, given the way it is scaled it doesn't matter where the 20% drop comes from. Let's take either extreme. Say there are 10,000 takers and the 2,000 smartest or the 2,000 dumbest drop. There are still going to be an equal number of 170+ scores either way, since it is a scaled test. Only 1% (so 80 people from our now remaining 8,000) are going to get above a 173 regardless of if the smart or the dumb people dropped. Therefore, since the scores are going to be the same, only the scale is going to tell us the quality of the pool of test takers, and even this is subject to many variables (the most obvious one being the difficulty of the test). From this, given the generous scales as of late I would say that there is evidence that as a whole the "smarter" subset is the group that has been dropping with a greater frequency. Obviously, since there are many other factors this can't really be proven beyond speculation.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:06 pm

bernaldiaz wrote:Actually, given the way it is scaled it doesn't matter where the 20% drop comes from. Let's take either extreme. Say there are 10,000 takers and the 2,000 smartest or the 2,000 dumbest drop. There are still going to be an equal number of 170+ scores either way, since it is a scaled test. Only 1% (so 80 people from our now remaining 8,000) are going to get above a 173 regardless of if the smart or the dumb people dropped. Therefore, since the scores are going to be the same, only the scale is going to tell us the quality of the pool of test takers, and even this is subject to many variables (the most obvious one being the difficulty of the test). From this, given the generous scales as of late I would say that there is evidence that as a whole the "smarter" subset is the group that has been dropping with a greater frequency. Obviously, since there are many other factors this can't really be proven beyond speculation.


This isn't really true either, although in practice it appears that way. The scale is largely determined in advance.

MLBrandow
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby MLBrandow » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:10 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
MLBrandow wrote:
I have followed this thread loosely for a while now, and have seen no data supporting the view that this drop in test takers is not entirely in the bottom 20% of test takers.


Apparently you've been following things very loosely, or you would have seen this:

http://lsac.org/LSACResources/Publicati ... EC2010.pdf

Check out page 4. That data is from last year's cycle (as of 12/3/10) but you can see that the drop in applicants was fairly uniform across all score bands. I don't know why we'd assume that the additional drop in apps this cycle would look much different.


Tiago Splitter,

Thanks a lot for proving this link. According to this data, there are 7.4% fewer applicants in the 170+ range up to Dec 3, 2011 than there were as of Dec 3, 2010. This is a far cry from 15%, although it does lend credence that there may be some effect. Certainly my hypothesis appears invalid.

Image

If this is representative of the full cycle, it seems the real winners here are those in the 160-169 range. While most law schools can potentially just enroll 8% fewer students, whatever the 160-169 LSAT schools do, they will have to buck the trend somehow.

At least according to the US News Rankings methodology, there is no reason to assume that law schools who place a premium on their rankings won't simply admit fewer students this cycle. If it comes to a decision between lowering medians relative to other schools and simply admitting 7-8% fewer students this cycle, I see no reason why especially ivy league schools simply won't go with the latter. If anything, it would seem that the gap between T14 and the rest may actually increase as a result.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:15 pm

Just to clarify, that data is from 12/3/2010. The "2010" column is applications in fall 2009, and the "2011" column represents apps in fall 2010. I haven't seen a similar breakdown for this cycle, but I'm sure KevinP will provide one when it's available. He is the undisputed champion of this stuff.

Anecdotally, my cycle has gone about as predicted. I doubt we'll be able to conclude much of anything until sometime in the summer, and perhaps even later than that. But I think it's safe to say even a 15% drop in apps isn't leading to the kind of results some of us had hoped for (dreamed of?).

Mal Reynolds
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:07 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Anecdotally, my cycle has gone about as predicted. I doubt we'll be able to conclude much of anything until sometime in the summer, and perhaps even later than that. But I think it's safe to say even a 15% drop in apps isn't leading to the kind of results some of us had hoped for (dreamed of?).


I think late spring and summer time will se a lot of WL movement. Maybe that's just wishful thinking though. Im still holding out hope.

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KevinP
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby KevinP » Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:27 pm

MLBrandow wrote:Thanks a lot for proving this link. According to this data, there are 7.4% fewer applicants in the 170+ range up to Dec 3, 2011 than there were as of Dec 3, 2010. This is a far cry from 15%, although it does lend credence that there may be some effect. Certainly my hypothesis appears invalid.

Remember, this is from last cycle, and therefore this is a 7.4% decrease in 170+ test takers among a national wide drop of 9% LSAT test takers. If you look at the data closer, you'll notice that the drop in the 170+ applicants was mostly fueled by the 175+ applicants (decrease of 23.28%). If anything, the limited data suggest that the absolute top scorers 175+ are the most likely group (in terms of percentage decrease as measured by applicants) to forgo law school.

@Everyone else
I think we won't notice the actual effects of the drop for this cycle until we get some waitlist movement. One thing that really stuck out to me is that the applications/applicant ratio is significantly higher than normal. In turn, this will translate into far more overlap between schools fighting for top candidates. Also, I've noticed GULC and NYU have been more lenient this admissions process.

For example: Generally the competition with (170/3.8+) candidates have been more limited to MVP in the previous cycles. However, NYU has been digging deeper into its applicant pool. Now MVP will be competing more with NYU over applicants.

(2010-2011)
http://nyu.lawschoolnumbers.com/applica ... ,8&type=jd

(2011-2012)
http://nyu.lawschoolnumbers.com/applica ... ,8&type=jd




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