Change in LSAT curves?

WalkingPlato
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Change in LSAT curves?

Postby WalkingPlato » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:42 pm

From the following facts, I think that LSAC might be in the process of changing their curve:

1. A lot of people are no longer taking the LSAT and applying to law school. I think the 170+ group of LSAT takers dropped by about 22% while the group 165-169 dropped by 18% or so. The similar drops go down for each group, and the amount decreases year by year.

2. The decrease in test takers has had a negative impact on LSAC's revenue.

But, LSAC can't force those who aren't taking the LSAT to take it. So they have to change the way those continuing to take it are acting. To stop their revenue from decreasing, they need to have the ones who continue to take the LSAT to take it more times than they would have in previous circumstances.

One obvious way is to make the test more difficult, and the easiest and most sly way is to give more brutal curves. Since those that are continuing to take the test are those more dedicated to going to law school and having the highest score possible, they are the ones who, after noticing that their score doesn't match what they PT'ed, will register to take again. They won't be discouraged by the small curve or the increased difficulty but will be, once seeing the lower-than-expected score, register again to take it.

For those of you who took this test in October, you've noticed what I'm talking about. If you compare the test with previous tests, its difficulty is equivalent to those that had curves of -12, maybe -11 but certainly not -10. It was -10.

Maybe this isn't true, but there certainly exists an incentive for them to do something to stop their revenue from decreasing.

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carboncopyx
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Re: Change in LSAT curves?

Postby carboncopyx » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:16 pm

Even if the test is more difficult, isn't the curve based on percentiles? It would be rather disingenuous for LSAC to arbitrarily decide what the curve is. It seems more likely that the people who are sitting for the test now are harder working/more serious about law school than before, so that weeds out many of the people who would have been on the lower scoring end previously. The curve might end up being -10 more often in the future (goodbye, -14!), but I think that's just due to the increase in high caliber test takers and decrease in overall test takers.

natashka85
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Re: Change in LSAT curves?

Postby natashka85 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:06 pm

Well instead of posting here ,u`d better do some studying,cause the difference is only 2-3 questions and if u wanna get a 170 u`d better get every single question right ,thats the spirit of people who score a 170,and in regards to people who didnt do well,u do know that it depends what methods u use,maybe they studied in the wrong way thats why they ended u canceling their score,so people who study for a longer time they are more dedicated and most of them go for a 170.

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stillwater
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Re: Change in LSAT curves?

Postby stillwater » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:29 pm

news flash. the lsat isnt curved, its equated

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Cerebro
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Re: Change in LSAT curves?

Postby Cerebro » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:44 pm

WalkingPlato wrote:From the following facts, I think that LSAC might be in the process of changing their curve:

1. A lot of people are no longer taking the LSAT and applying to law school. I think the 170+ group of LSAT takers dropped by about 22% while the group 165-169 dropped by 18% or so. The similar drops go down for each group, and the amount decreases year by year.

2. The decrease in test takers has had a negative impact on LSAC's revenue.

But, LSAC can't force those who aren't taking the LSAT to take it. So they have to change the way those continuing to take it are acting. To stop their revenue from decreasing, they need to have the ones who continue to take the LSAT to take it more times than they would have in previous circumstances.

One obvious way is to make the test more difficult, and the easiest and most sly way is to give more brutal curves. Since those that are continuing to take the test are those more dedicated to going to law school and having the highest score possible, they are the ones who, after noticing that their score doesn't match what they PT'ed, will register to take again. They won't be discouraged by the small curve or the increased difficulty but will be, once seeing the lower-than-expected score, register again to take it.

For those of you who took this test in October, you've noticed what I'm talking about. If you compare the test with previous tests, its difficulty is equivalent to those that had curves of -12, maybe -11 but certainly not -10. It was -10.

Maybe this isn't true, but there certainly exists an incentive for them to do something to stop their revenue from decreasing.


This is proof that pure, weapons-grade balonium does actually exist outside of right wing talk radio. Instead of orchestrating some vast complex plan to make more money, wouldn't it make more sense for them to simply raise the price of fees and services? If LSAC were to charge $250 to take the LSAT and $200 for LSDAS, I am pretty sure it wouldn't discourage anyone who is inclined to apply to law school from paying it, although these same people would whine incessantly about such an increase in online forums such as this one.

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abcde12345
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Re: Change in LSAT curves?

Postby abcde12345 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:45 pm

I agree with the change in equation (though I think your explanation is outlandish). I thought 66 was one of the most difficult LSATs I'd taken, and it was -11 (I think). I found 67 just as difficult. Still, I think the curve for 67 was so harsh because of the easy LR. This is what screwed me over, because I do well on LR regardless of it being easy or hard (if it's hard, I'll get one more wrong or something, but if LG/RC are hard, it's a different story).

On that note, I have never found their equations accurate or helpful for me. The one 180 PT I got was 62, which is supposed to be a "hard" test, and therefore had a curve of -13 or -14. I went -2 on the whole thing. So my perceptions of a hard test definitely do not match whatever method they use to determine difficulty.

WalkingPlato
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Re: Change in LSAT curves?

Postby WalkingPlato » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:43 pm

Cerebro wrote:
WalkingPlato wrote:From the following facts, I think that LSAC might be in the process of changing their curve:

1. A lot of people are no longer taking the LSAT and applying to law school. I think the 170+ group of LSAT takers dropped by about 22% while the group 165-169 dropped by 18% or so. The similar drops go down for each group, and the amount decreases year by year.

2. The decrease in test takers has had a negative impact on LSAC's revenue.

But, LSAC can't force those who aren't taking the LSAT to take it. So they have to change the way those continuing to take it are acting. To stop their revenue from decreasing, they need to have the ones who continue to take the LSAT to take it more times than they would have in previous circumstances.

One obvious way is to make the test more difficult, and the easiest and most sly way is to give more brutal curves. Since those that are continuing to take the test are those more dedicated to going to law school and having the highest score possible, they are the ones who, after noticing that their score doesn't match what they PT'ed, will register to take again. They won't be discouraged by the small curve or the increased difficulty but will be, once seeing the lower-than-expected score, register again to take it.

For those of you who took this test in October, you've noticed what I'm talking about. If you compare the test with previous tests, its difficulty is equivalent to those that had curves of -12, maybe -11 but certainly not -10. It was -10.

Maybe this isn't true, but there certainly exists an incentive for them to do something to stop their revenue from decreasing.


This is proof that pure, weapons-grade balonium does actually exist outside of right wing talk radio. Instead of orchestrating some vast complex plan to make more money, wouldn't it make more sense for them to simply raise the price of fees and services? If LSAC were to charge $250 to take the LSAT and $200 for LSDAS, I am pretty sure it wouldn't discourage anyone who is inclined to apply to law school from paying it, although these same people would whine incessantly about such an increase in online forums such as this one.


Thought about that, but dismissed it because $160 is already too high. At some point, even if it has a monopoly, a business can price itself out. With the bad law job market, the high debt law school brings and other actual law-school and law-career related reasons preventing a lot of students from taking the LSAT and going to law school, anyone that took a basic business class can tell you that adding another very persuasive reason to the list, i.e. making a test $200+ and so on, would not be good. If you think ~20% drop in each lsat range is bad now, just wait if LSAT increases the prices to the ones you used. I wouldn't be surprised if the drops go up to ~35% to ~40%. This added to those already not taking wouldn't make the price change good.

WalkingPlato
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Re: Change in LSAT curves?

Postby WalkingPlato » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:46 pm

stillwater wrote:news flash. the lsat isnt curved, its equated


LSAC is a business. They tell you they equate it based on how people did when the test sections were experimental before. And I'm sure they do. But I'm sure they are able to make a few final tweaks to the final result.

WalkingPlato
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Re: Change in LSAT curves?

Postby WalkingPlato » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:51 pm

carboncopyx wrote:Even if the test is more difficult, isn't the curve based on percentiles? It would be rather disingenuous for LSAC to arbitrarily decide what the curve is. It seems more likely that the people who are sitting for the test now are harder working/more serious about law school than before, so that weeds out many of the people who would have been on the lower scoring end previously. The curve might end up being -10 more often in the future (goodbye, -14!), but I think that's just due to the increase in high caliber test takers and decrease in overall test takers.


That is a possibility. And I considered it. But, if the current batch of students are smarter and work harder, then they, like the ones who are responsible for setting the unusually low curves for the last few tests, ought to receive, in general, the same range of scores. If they receive the same range of scores or expected scores, then they'll take the lsat the same amount of times. But, in order to make them take it more, you have to guarentee that the students currently taking it struggle to reach their expected/desired score than those that set the curve. So, you lower the curve a tiny bit after you take in the calculations of previous students who took those sections as experimental.

I'm NOT saying this is happening. I'm just saying there is an incentive to do it and the curves are unusually low for the last few tests when compared to previous, relatively equally difficult tests.

ws81086n
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Re: Change in LSAT curves?

Postby ws81086n » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:36 am

Wasn't the curve for Dec 2011 -14? And I believe Oct 2011 was -13, if I'm not mistaken.

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Davidbentley
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Re: Change in LSAT curves?

Postby Davidbentley » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:42 am

WalkingPlato wrote:this isn't true.

+1

onionz
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Re: Change in LSAT curves?

Postby onionz » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:52 am

WalkingPlato wrote:
carboncopyx wrote:Even if the test is more difficult, isn't the curve based on percentiles? It would be rather disingenuous for LSAC to arbitrarily decide what the curve is. It seems more likely that the people who are sitting for the test now are harder working/more serious about law school than before, so that weeds out many of the people who would have been on the lower scoring end previously. The curve might end up being -10 more often in the future (goodbye, -14!), but I think that's just due to the increase in high caliber test takers and decrease in overall test takers.


That is a possibility. And I considered it. But, if the current batch of students are smarter and work harder, then they, like the ones who are responsible for setting the unusually low curves for the last few tests, ought to receive, in general, the same range of scores. If they receive the same range of scores or expected scores, then they'll take the lsat the same amount of times. But, in order to make them take it more, you have to guarentee that the students currently taking it struggle to reach their expected/desired score than those that set the curve. So, you lower the curve a tiny bit after you take in the calculations of previous students who took those sections as experimental.

I'm NOT saying this is happening. I'm just saying there is an incentive to do it and the curves are unusually low for the last few tests when compared to previous, relatively equally difficult tests.


LSAT has a significantly stronger incentive in trying to make the results of the test as highly correlated with law school success as possible- this is what ABA law schools pay for (and the money they give LSAC far exceeds some fees they charge us). I know some on this forum might thing that the LSAT is a stupid test and not predictive of anything, but the UGPA + LSAT correlation is actually pretty reasonable, and ruining it for the sake of a few more "Test takers" is an absolutely ridiculous notion.

Also, the test is equated, not curved. So you're being compared to the last few years of Oct. test takers when you take Oct. test, and because they were so high recently (or potentially questionable candidates) you might actually be benefiting. The idea that any individual can "gut-check" if this test felt like a -10 or -13 is also completely ridiculous.

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CyanIdes Of March
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Re: Change in LSAT curves?

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:52 pm

No.




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