Final 2017-2018 LSAT Test Taker #s Released: Increase of 18.1% Over 2016-2017, with Feb Up 13.7%

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Final 2017-2018 LSAT Test Taker #s Released: Increase of 18.1% Over 2016-2017, with Feb Up 13.7%

Postby PowerScoreAdmin » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:06 pm

LSAC has just released the final test taker volume totals for both the 2017 cycle (June 2017 through February 2018) as well as the February 2018 test, with each showing a significant increase over the year prior.

To borrow from Dave Killoran's latest tweets and Jon Denning's Reddit post on the matter, here are the key takeaways:

  • 24,335 people took the February 2018 LSAT, an increase of 13.7% over the Feb 2017 test (21,400 attendees).
  • That makes 2018 the best-attended Feb exam since 2011.
  • A total of 129,183 students took the LSAT from June 2017 through Feb 2018, an increase of 18.1% over the 2016-2017 cycle (June 16 - Feb 17; 109,354 total attendees).
  • That's the highest test taker volume in six years (since the 2011-2012 cycle), although still nowhere near the record high of the 2009-2010 cycle where 171,514 tests were given.
  • A total of nearly 20,000 more LSATs were given over the past four test administrations compared to the four prior to that. Such a severe upturn has only occurred a few times since the late 80s: 1987-1989, 2000-2002, and 2008-2010.
  • CAS registrations—the best measure of actual applicants, since the LSAT numbers include repeaters—were only up 11.4% compared to the previous year, indicating that at least some of the inflation in test taker volume is due to people taking the test multiple times.
  • An 11.4% CAS increase is by far the largest year-over-year jump since the service was introduced in 2008-2009. It represents 56,900 registrants, the highest number since 2011-2012.
  • A greater tendency to test more than once makes a lot of sense these days: LSAC dropped the repeat limit as of September 2017 allowing unlimited retakes, and schools only care about high scores so taking the test until you hit your target number is becoming more and more common.

Still, an 11.4% increase in applicants is significant, and indicates that the admissions game is growing more competitive. So now, more so than at any time in the past 5-6 years, scoring at your absolute best on the LSAT is imperative. With an additional 5,000+ people competing for seats every point truly counts!

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