# of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

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John_rizzy_rawls
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# of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:29 pm

LSAC's new numbers just came out. Lots of good data in there.

http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/resea ... -12-03.pdf

The number of tests administered and number of test takers almost dropped by a full 25% (24.1 and 23.9 respectively) from 2009-2010 to 2011-2012. The number of test takers is dangerously close (5,391) to dipping below 100,000. That is a huge drop, much more than I think any schools expected. The distribution of scores is roughly similar, however that only means that the market for 90th+ percentiles with a decent GPA, let alone URMs in that range, has skyrocketed in order to keep class sizes (read: perception and profit margins) afloat.

Too many nuggets of goodness to go through at the moment, I've got a final paper due in 2 hours. But feel free to take it apart and discuss.

Also: Any theories as to whether or not this trend continues for 2012-2013 or whether it will slowly creep back up or stabilize?
Last edited by John_rizzy_rawls on Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

onionz
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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby onionz » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:36 pm

John_rizzy_rawls wrote:LSAC's new numbers just came out. Lots of good data in there.

http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/resea ... -12-03.pdf

The number of tests administered and number of test takers almost dropped by a full 25% (24.1 and 23.9 respectively) from 2009-2010 to 2011-2012. The number of test takers is dangerously close (5,391) to dipping below 100,000. That is a huge drop, much more than I think any schools expected. The distribution of scores is roughly similar, however that only means that the market for 90th+ percentiles with a decent GPA, let alone URMs in that range, has skyrocketed in order to keep class sizes (read: perception and profit margins) afloat.

Too many nuggets of goodness to go through at the moment, I've got a final paper due in 2 hours. But feel free to take it apart and discuss.

Also: Any theories as to whether or not this trend continues for 2012-2013 or whether it will slowly creep back up or stabilize?


Potentially interesting post, but the link is broken.


onionz
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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby onionz » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:38 pm

Nope I think he actually meant this http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/resea ... -12-03.pdf

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:40 pm

OP fixed.

jym_dawg
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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby jym_dawg » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:42 pm

For the tl;dr folks: Number of test takers dropped, percentiles remain roughly the same. Effectively extends findings from past LSAT technical reports through last year's cycle.

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby scottyc66 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:10 pm

Too bad they don't need people from certain regions like they need URMs, I'd compare a lot more favorably with my moronic Southeastern brethren.

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willwash
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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby willwash » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:48 pm

Do you think the T14 will try to keep the same class size? If the pool of 170+ test takers gets much smaller and they don't drop class sizes, UVA, Duke, Penn, and a bunch of other t14s with median LSATs of 170 are going to have a really hard time maintaining that median. They really only have 2 options if they don't want a 16x median:

1) drop class sizes
2) become more splitter friendly.

I'm hoping for 2)

of course, there's always 3) accept a 16x median.

Both 2) and 3) are good for top test takers
Last edited by willwash on Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby scottyc66 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:51 pm

willwash wrote:Do you think the T14 will try to keep the same class size? If the pool of 170+ test takers gets much smaller and they don't drop class sizes, UVA, Duke, Penn, and a bunch of other t14s with median LSATs of 170 are going to have a really hard time maintaining that median. They really only have 2 options if they don't want a 16x median:

1) drop class sizes
2) become more splitter friendly.

I'm hoping for 2)

I'm sure it won't be the same across the board. Basic cost-benefit, obviously less moneys if they lower enrollment, but a drop in the rankings from a drop in #s could do the same thing.

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:00 pm

willwash wrote:Do you think the T14 will try to keep the same class size? If the pool of 170+ test takers gets much smaller and they don't drop class sizes, UVA, Duke, Penn, and a bunch of other t14s with median LSATs of 170 are going to have a really hard time maintaining that median. They really only have 2 options if they don't want a 16x median:

1) drop class sizes
2) become more splitter friendly.

I'm hoping for 2)

of course, there's always 3) accept a 16x median.

Both 2) and 3) are good for top test takers


2 and 3 are already happening this cycle. Expect a lot of "so... are you a URM? Military?" to acceptance notices on the admit threads.

And this is very early in the cycle. We won't see the true extent of the splitter love until March-May when folks start coming off the waitlists.

Personally, I'm interested to see the URM admits at HYS by the very end of the cycle. Should be interesting given how few PR/AA/NAs scored 165+, let alone 170+, this cycle (I was one of them and I'm not applying this year so, that's one out). Not to mention how many of those few have sub-3.6 GPAs. Something has to give across the board with such a diminished pool.

Another important question is whether the trend continues next year, reverses course, or stays at 2011/2012 cycle levels.

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby justonemoregame » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:06 pm

The only way I see T-14s cutting class size is under some scenario in which they don't have to cut that many people, like 10-15, and doing so would allow them to maintain LSAT median. It's a trade-off.

If UVA had to drop 40 kids off the roster to maintain a 170, I imagine they would be fine with a 169 and a full class, especially then their rankings peers are likely to have similar problems with maintaining medians.

It's not like these schools are all of a sudden going to be rankings peers with UCLA and GW. They've been where they are for decades.

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby willwash » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:07 pm

I think the trend will continue for a few more years. This, now, is finally the big reaction to the job market crash of 2008. People haev finally accepted that the job market for lawyers is and will continue to be very, very weak. I predict continuing declines until the job market shows real signs of improvement. This is supported by the fact taht the slope of the decline hasn't flattened, indicating it is still in full swing.

What this could result in, 5 or 6 years down the road (maybe even more), is a shortage of lawyers...eventually the current glut of unempoloyed lawyers will dry up as it ceases being fed by new graduates.

Either way, it just means there are fewer 175+ people crowding me out of the t14. I'll take it.

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby e_mac7 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:08 pm

Does this mean acceptance for URM will be easier this year? When I was at a forum in early Nov, one of the admissions people told me that since apps would be down this year, getting in to ls would be easier. I had no idea it'd be that big a drop...

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby willwash » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:12 pm

justonemoregame wrote:
If UVA had to drop 40 kids off the roster to maintain a 170, I imagine they would be fine with a 169 and a full class, especially then their rankings peers are likely to have similar problems with maintaining medians.



They have that option, or they could trade away a few points of median GPA and keep the 170 median by accepting more splitters. I think the visibility of a 16x median is much worse than the visibility of a drop in median GPA from, say, 3.75 to 3.69. Thus, I think they'd choose the latter option.

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:17 pm

e_mac7 wrote:Does this mean acceptance for URM will be easier this year? When I was at a forum in early Nov, one of the admissions people told me that since apps would be down this year, getting in to ls would be easier. I had no idea it'd be that big a drop...


Yep. Look at the stats for URMs on the link - the graphs beyond 160 are especially telling.

I've been encouraged with a 3.6/170 to apply to HYS this cycle, and except acceptance at one of them. And locked for CCN on down. I'm not because I don't graduate until December 2013/June 2014 and want to retake the LSAT next June.

But check around the URM threads and LSN. Some dude just got admitted to NYU with a 3.5/164/MA (the least boosted URM).

If you're AA/NA or even PR and can crack 165, and maybe somehow hoist that GPA above 3.0, next cycle should be interesting for you. As of now, there simply isn't enough URMs with 160+ to fill T14 quotas, and that already miniscule number is shrinking further.

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby justonemoregame » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:20 pm

@willwash -- good point - and UVA is already splitter-friendly, so should be interesting.

Does anyone have a guesstimate of how many 170s are floating around this cycle? I skimmed through the link, but the only thing I could figure out is that Canadians are smarter than Americans. Could some Canadian calculate this?

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:21 pm

willwash wrote:
justonemoregame wrote:
If UVA had to drop 40 kids off the roster to maintain a 170, I imagine they would be fine with a 169 and a full class, especially then their rankings peers are likely to have similar problems with maintaining medians.



They have that option, or they could trade away a few points of median GPA and keep the 170 median by accepting more splitters. I think the visibility of a 16x median is much worse than the visibility of a drop in median GPA from, say, 3.75 to 3.69. Thus, I think they'd choose the latter option.


Every T-14 (except Yale of course) seems to be softening it's floor. Look at Berkeley for example, notorious for being a GPA hack. Check that thread and you'll see reverse splitters in already. Same at NYU, Cornell, UVA (with $$), even Columbia, etc. The exception is Duke, who is being weird and putting auto-admits on Priority Reserve.

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:39 pm

justonemoregame wrote:@willwash -- good point - and UVA is already splitter-friendly, so should be interesting.

Does anyone have a guesstimate of how many 170s are floating around this cycle? I skimmed through the link, but the only thing I could figure out is that Canadians are smarter than Americans. Could some Canadian calculate this?


Lived in Canada for 4 years as a kid... I've got this.

93,222 American test takers.
Using rough percentages based off dot placement on the smoothed percentage frequency graph on pg.15
9 dots at or past 170. Roughly correlating to: .08%, .07%, .06%, .04%, .02%(x2), .01%(x3)
(Note: %s based on using my finger as a ruler and prior LSAT percentile breakdowns)
Do a lil' maf: 745.776 + 652.554 + 559.332 + (186.44*2) + (93.222*3) = 2985.104
Or approximately 3,000 or so 2012 Law Applicants running around with a 170+.

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby jym_dawg » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:42 pm

justonemoregame wrote:@willwash -- good point - and UVA is already splitter-friendly, so should be interesting.

Does anyone have a guesstimate of how many 170s are floating around this cycle? I skimmed through the link, but the only thing I could figure out is that Canadians are smarter than Americans. Could some Canadian calculate this?


I'm from the Southeast so I probably shouldn't attempt this math, but:

One estimate of applicants suggested 58,500 based on the volume of June/October test takers. If the LSAT distribution of test takers is the same as the LSAT distribution of applicants (questionable assumption), then that suggests ~2200 17Xs. Then you've got all kind of other factors, like older 17Xs who sat out previous cycles and some current 17Xs who will sit out this cycle. And then there's 17X retakers.

ETA: Rizzy's methodology looks much sounder than mine. Still, optimists feel free to use my #s. :lol:

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby justonemoregame » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:59 pm

Based off of admissions data on LST, the 2011 entering classes of T-14 schools soaked up over 2,300 170+ LSATs.

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:10 pm

justonemoregame wrote:Based off of admissions data on LST, the 2011 entering classes of T-14 schools soaked up over 2,300 170+ LSATs.


2010/2011 total American LSAT test takers = 111,315 (16.04% increase from 2011/2012)
Assuming equivalent ratio: 93222 * X = 2985.104 * 111,315 ---> X = 3564.468
(Note: Most analyses say that the biggest drop off in applicants/test takers were on the high ends, so this may be a false equivalency)
Approximately 3,600 170+s last year.
2,300 accepted at T14 means ~50% shot at T14 in 2011, regardless of GPA.
Factor in a 3.2+ GPA (soft floor for typical applicant at Cornell/GULC?) and that bumps up to almost 80% at some T14 - not by LSN, just by statistical prediction based on the applicant pool.

If that 2,300 number is accurate, than it means that to maintain medians, approximately 80% of 170+ scorers, regardless of GPA, need to be absolved by the T14 during the 2012 cycle.

And we wonder why UVA is giving out massive schollies like stale November Halloween candy. Sheesh.

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby naillsat » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:20 pm

justonemoregame wrote:Based off of admissions data on LST, the 2011 entering classes of T-14 schools soaked up over 2,300 170+ LSATs.


look at the stats man. The number of LSAT takers in 2010 was an increase, who were applying for 2011 entry.

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby justonemoregame » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:21 pm

From what info. we've collected about the 2012 entering class, we know that at least 2,010 170+ scores matriculated to T-14s and this number doesn't count those below the 25ths with exactly 170 at Yale, Harvard, and Columbia, above the 75th at Cornell, and between the 25th and median at Stanford, NYU, Penn, UVA, and Northwestern.

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby justonemoregame » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:25 pm

naillsat wrote:
justonemoregame wrote:Based off of admissions data on LST, the 2011 entering classes of T-14 schools soaked up over 2,300 170+ LSATs.


look at the stats man. The number of LSAT takers in 2010 was an increase, who were applying for 2011 entry.



Test takers for October-December-February prior to Fall 2011 matriculation were all down quite a bit from the previous year.

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Re: # of LSAT Test Takers in 2011-2012 Drops by ~25%

Postby willwash » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:43 pm

It all looks like an unstoppable force is about to hit an impenetrable barrier. Should be fun to watch.




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