HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

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thelawschoolproject
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby thelawschoolproject » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:32 am

MobyDick wrote:
thelawschoolproject wrote:
MobyDick wrote:I thought it might be nice to gather some data about held applicants, so I made a a Google Doc:

Form: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/vie ... NU5meEE6MQ

Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc ... kRqNU5meEE



You are a man among men. Thanks for this.


I added some color coding and a way to measure the strength of the applicatn. Hopefully it is helpful. If anyone can think of a better way to do it, go for it! I'm worried the strength system is misleading. Do you think the value for 'above 75th' should be 2 instead of 3?



Once again you amaze me. Let's make babies.

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80eight
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby 80eight » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:21 am

Writing this LOCI is almost as painful as writing my personal statement was.

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FryBreadPower
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby FryBreadPower » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:57 am

Didn't realize the relatively low GPA trend (myself included) until the spreadsheet was sorted by LSAT score.

seanPtheB
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby seanPtheB » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:11 am

curiouscat wrote:1+
Nice work on that spreadsheet!

I'm currently sitting at ~4.0/173. Would it help at this point if I retook the LSAT in February and scored in the high 170s? I have some good reasons to believe that I'd be fairly likely to score in that range (going into detail might out me, so humour me for a minute on this one :)). I'm just trying to get a sense of whether it would make a difference (especially if I'm WLed) or whether I just completely blew $200 on my impulsive decision to register.


If I felt that way I would most definitely sit for it in February. I think what I would also do is write a short LOCI, if for nothing else to mention that you were taking it again in February. There are just so many good things that could come of it. It could of course get you into Harvard. It could also give you that much more power to negotiate for scholarship money at other schools. Unless you're absolutely set on going to law school this year, it could also make the most sense to sit out this cycle and apply day 1 next cycle if you crush February but still aren't able to get Harvard. Do it!

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Doorkeeper
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:55 am

curiouscat wrote:1+
Nice work on that spreadsheet!

I'm currently sitting at ~4.0/173. Would it help at this point if I retook the LSAT in February and scored in the high 170s? I have some good reasons to believe that I'd be fairly likely to score in that range (going into detail might out me, so humour me for a minute on this one :)). I'm just trying to get a sense of whether it would make a difference (especially if I'm WLed) or whether I just completely blew $200 on my impulsive decision to register.


Two things that might go against you retaking the LSAT.
1. You need to get a 179 or 180 for it to count on its own. If you get under, they're just going to round the scores.
2. Harvard looks unfavorably at people who take the LSAT twice. I would think that they would look even more unfavorably upon someone who scored in the 98-99 percentile and then retook it again for another 3-5 points. It seems petty.

freestallion
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby freestallion » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:57 am

Everyone here keeps saying Harvard averages LSAT scores; I got in with a 167 and 173 and would like to say otherwise. Based on everyone's responses on this board, I thought I had no chance of getting in. I know this is only anecdotal experience, but I am not sure they *really* average LSAT scores. If they did, I never would have gotten in.

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Nelson
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby Nelson » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:02 am

freestallion wrote:Everyone here keeps saying Harvard averages LSAT scores; I got in with a 167 and 173 and would like to say otherwise. Based on everyone's responses on this board, I thought I had no chance of getting in. I know this is only anecdotal experience, but I am not sure they *really* average LSAT scores. If they did, I never would have gotten in.

Yeah, your experience was definitely supported by results last cycle as well (both in threads here and on LSN). Pretty sure with the reporting change there's no reason to think any schools are averaging scores. At the very worst, I think it would be a slight negative assuming they were comparing two otherwise identical applications. This cycle, other soft factors like WE seem to be having a much greater effect.

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larsoner
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby larsoner » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:04 am

freestallion wrote:Everyone here keeps saying Harvard averages LSAT scores; I got in with a 167 and 173 and would like to say otherwise. Based on everyone's responses on this board, I thought I had no chance of getting in. I know this is only anecdotal experience, but I am not sure they *really* average LSAT scores. If they did, I never would have gotten in.


I wouldn't be so confident that they do not average. I was held with a 171 and a 3.84. It's very possible they held you for a 170.

Sorry read it wrong. Congrats.

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icedflames
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby icedflames » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:05 am

larsoner wrote:
freestallion wrote:Everyone here keeps saying Harvard averages LSAT scores; I got in with a 167 and 173 and would like to say otherwise. Based on everyone's responses on this board, I thought I had no chance of getting in. I know this is only anecdotal experience, but I am not sure they *really* average LSAT scores. If they did, I never would have gotten in.


I wouldn't be so confident that they do not average. I was held with a 171 and a 3.84. It's very possible they held you for a 170.


I was held with a 172 as my highest and with a first, much, much lower score. I would have been outright ding if they actually averaged

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Doorkeeper
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:05 am

freestallion wrote:Everyone here keeps saying Harvard averages LSAT scores; I got in with a 167 and 173 and would like to say otherwise. Based on everyone's responses on this board, I thought I had no chance of getting in. I know this is only anecdotal experience, but I am not sure they *really* average LSAT scores. If they did, I never would have gotten in.


Generally speaking, the common convention is that the scores are averaged if the two scores are within 5 points or under. I'm not sure on what Harvard specifically does. The underlying logic behind this is that it shows that range around which you score, and not much is likely to be different given 1 or 2 more tests. If on the other hand, your score was over 5 points different, this points to there being something that happened during the first test that caused you to need to retake, such as test anxiety, or an ineffective study method, or some sort of trauma during the test. If this is similar for Harvard, then your 173 would've really been the main LSAT score with your application.

I could be off base here, but that's my impression.

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Nelson
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby Nelson » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:09 am

Doorkeeper wrote:Generally speaking, the common convention is that the scores are averaged if the two scores are within 5 points or under. I'm not sure on what Harvard specifically does. The underlying logic behind this is that it shows that range around which you score, and not much is likely to be different given 1 or 2 more tests. If on the other hand, your score was over 5 points different, this points to there being something that happened during the first test that caused you to need to retake, such as test anxiety, or an ineffective study method, or some sort of trauma during the test. If this is similar for Harvard, then your 173 would've really been the main LSAT score with your application.

I could be off base here, but that's my impression.

While what you're saying is what law schools, adcomms, and LSAC say, we all know that law schools are dirty liars.

There are plenty of stories on TLS and LSN of one point retakes making huge differences in a cycle. I can think of a couple of people this cycle with three retakes, some of them with two 150s or low 160s scores and a mid 170 and their cycle plays out exactly as if they had the higher score. With the reporting change, there is no practical reason for a law school not to take the highest score (unless you really think that schools take certain numbers for any reason other than maintaining their rankings).

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Tom Joad
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby Tom Joad » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:24 am

If anything, this thread was good for my psyche because now I know that if I don't get into Harvard it is because there are tons of qualified candidates and I was just one of the unlucky ones, rather than thinking I got screwed over.

Thanks.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:30 am

Nelson wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:Generally speaking, the common convention is that the scores are averaged if the two scores are within 5 points or under. I'm not sure on what Harvard specifically does. The underlying logic behind this is that it shows that range around which you score, and not much is likely to be different given 1 or 2 more tests. If on the other hand, your score was over 5 points different, this points to there being something that happened during the first test that caused you to need to retake, such as test anxiety, or an ineffective study method, or some sort of trauma during the test. If this is similar for Harvard, then your 173 would've really been the main LSAT score with your application.

I could be off base here, but that's my impression.

While what you're saying is what law schools, adcomms, and LSAC say, we all know that law schools are dirty liars.

There are plenty of stories on TLS and LSN of one point retakes making huge differences in a cycle. I can think of a couple of people this cycle with three retakes, some of them with two 150s or low 160s scores and a mid 170 and their cycle plays out exactly as if they had the higher score. With the reporting change, there is no practical reason for a law school not to take the highest score (unless you really think that schools take certain numbers for any reason other than maintaining their rankings).


I haven't studied LSN like many people here have, so I've never heard of a case in which a one point change made a big difference. I would honestly love to hear about such cases, if you know of any off-hand.

Don't get me wrong, I totally agree that in going from a mid-160s to a mid-170s, it will be the mid-170s score that will count for admissions purposes. My argument was specifically tailored to if someone gets a 173, and then retakes and gets a 175 or something like that.

chucklesmcgee
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby chucklesmcgee » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:48 am

Doorkeeper wrote:
freestallion wrote:Everyone here keeps saying Harvard averages LSAT scores; I got in with a 167 and 173 and would like to say otherwise. Based on everyone's responses on this board, I thought I had no chance of getting in. I know this is only anecdotal experience, but I am not sure they *really* average LSAT scores. If they did, I never would have gotten in.


Generally speaking, the common convention is that the scores are averaged if the two scores are within 5 points or under. I'm not sure on what Harvard specifically does. The underlying logic behind this is that it shows that range around which you score, and not much is likely to be different given 1 or 2 more tests. If on the other hand, your score was over 5 points different, this points to there being something that happened during the first test that caused you to need to retake, such as test anxiety, or an ineffective study method, or some sort of trauma during the test. If this is similar for Harvard, then your 173 would've really been the main LSAT score with your application.

I could be off base here, but that's my impression.


Think about it from the committee's perspective. The adcoms want to both recruit a talented class and have high LSAT numbers submitted to USN to maintain a high ranking. Say you have two identical applicants, one who scored a 173 and one who scored a 170 and retook for a 176. To the adcom, both are probably equally talented and likely to succeed- all scores are within the same score range, the LSAT is only as predictive of 3 years of law school performance as a test in a single sitting can be, norming is only so good, you're talking about a difference of maybe three questions on a MC test, etc., etc. BUT the score range of the incoming class is extremely important for a law school to maintain its rankings, and since USN takes only the highest score, and since there really aren't all that many people scoring 175+ relative to the size of the top 5, top 10 law schools, I think the adcom would look more favorably on the 170/176 scorer simply because of the scarcity of scorers at the 75th percentile and above necessitates a high acceptance rate of anyone who can score that high in a sitting.

You can have all sorts of variations to this setup, but in the end I think it's a combination of weighing both the predicted law school performance of the applicant as much as the LSAT can and the need to put up very high numbers for your law school class.

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Nelson
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby Nelson » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:50 am

Doorkeeper wrote:I haven't studied LSN like many people here have, so I've never heard of a case in which a one point change made a big difference. I would honestly love to hear about such cases, if you know of any off-hand.

Don't get me wrong, I totally agree that in going from a mid-160s to a mid-170s, it will be the mid-170s score that will count for admissions purposes. My argument was specifically tailored to if someone gets a 173, and then retakes and gets a 175 or something like that.

You're right, I shouldn't have said "plenty" of 1 point increases. There are lots of cases where people have a high score over median and an average below median and their cycle plays out based on the high score not the average.

I agree that you probably hit diminishing returns on retakes if both scores are above the median. For Harvard though, I would venture that there is some advantage in retaking a score at median for the original poster, since their GPA was above the 75th and being above both 75ths would give a significant boost.

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MobyDick
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby MobyDick » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:58 pm

For what it is worth, I counted up what seem to be the strongest candidates on the spreadsheet: those who are above both medians and those who are above one median and above one 25th. The spreadsheet has 80 entries so far.

Above both medians: 6 (you would think these have a good shot at getting in)

Above one median; above the other 25th: 18

The next strongest group IMHO would be extreme splitters/reverse splitters, those who are above one 75th and below the other 25th. I haven't counted these.

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larsoner
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby larsoner » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:14 pm

chucklesmcgee wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:
freestallion wrote:Everyone here keeps saying Harvard averages LSAT scores; I got in with a 167 and 173 and would like to say otherwise. Based on everyone's responses on this board, I thought I had no chance of getting in. I know this is only anecdotal experience, but I am not sure they *really* average LSAT scores. If they did, I never would have gotten in.


Generally speaking, the common convention is that the scores are averaged if the two scores are within 5 points or under. I'm not sure on what Harvard specifically does. The underlying logic behind this is that it shows that range around which you score, and not much is likely to be different given 1 or 2 more tests. If on the other hand, your score was over 5 points different, this points to there being something that happened during the first test that caused you to need to retake, such as test anxiety, or an ineffective study method, or some sort of trauma during the test. If this is similar for Harvard, then your 173 would've really been the main LSAT score with your application.

I could be off base here, but that's my impression.


Think about it from the committee's perspective. The adcoms want to both recruit a talented class and have high LSAT numbers submitted to USN to maintain a high ranking. Say you have two identical applicants, one who scored a 173 and one who scored a 170 and retook for a 176. To the adcom, both are probably equally talented and likely to succeed- all scores are within the same score range, the LSAT is only as predictive of 3 years of law school performance as a test in a single sitting can be, norming is only so good, you're talking about a difference of maybe three questions on a MC test, etc., etc. BUT the score range of the incoming class is extremely important for a law school to maintain its rankings, and since USN takes only the highest score, and since there really aren't all that many people scoring 175+ relative to the size of the top 5, top 10 law schools, I think the adcom would look more favorably on the 170/176 scorer simply because of the scarcity of scorers at the 75th percentile and above necessitates a high acceptance rate of anyone who can score that high in a sitting.

You can have all sorts of variations to this setup, but in the end I think it's a combination of weighing both the predicted law school performance of the applicant as much as the LSAT can and the need to put up very high numbers for your law school class.


I do buy this argument for schools like Michigan or NYU or any lower down the chain. But Harvard is a little different. If Harvard fell out of the top three in the rankings system, we would probably just stop using that rankings system. I think most people are more likely to question the validity of the LSAT average/range as a measure of law school prestige than they are to question Harvard's prestige. So why should the Harvard admissions committee be so worried about a point here or there?

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WhiteGuy5
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby WhiteGuy5 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:24 pm

Sorry to derail the above conversation.

Are we really writing LOCI/Why Harvard essays? I tried imagining one and I don't know if I can say anything sincere without stating the freegin obvious (i.e. IT'S HARVARD!).

lblelalr
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby lblelalr » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:27 pm

WhiteGuy5 wrote:Sorry to derail the above conversation.

Are we really writing LOCI/Why Harvard essays? I tried imagining one and I don't know if I can say anything sincere without stating the freegin obvious (i.e. IT'S HARVARD!).


+12938291038290183210 to this

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fingerscrossedxx
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby fingerscrossedxx » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:41 pm

lblelalr wrote:
WhiteGuy5 wrote:Sorry to derail the above conversation.

Are we really writing LOCI/Why Harvard essays? I tried imagining one and I don't know if I can say anything sincere without stating the freegin obvious (i.e. IT'S HARVARD!).


+12938291038290183210 to this


Well their email did say that if you have a special interest in Harvard to let them know so, if they ask for it, it can't hurt!

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PrincetonLaw
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby PrincetonLaw » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:45 pm

fingerscrossedxx wrote:
lblelalr wrote:
WhiteGuy5 wrote:Sorry to derail the above conversation.

Are we really writing LOCI/Why Harvard essays? I tried imagining one and I don't know if I can say anything sincere without stating the freegin obvious (i.e. IT'S HARVARD!).


+12938291038290183210 to this


Well their email did say that if you have a special interest in Harvard to let them know so, if they ask for it, it can't hurt!


I have a feeling that most of us want to go to HLS for the same reason: IT'S HARVARD!

I think giving them a grades/resume update is much more beneficial.

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WhiteGuy5
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby WhiteGuy5 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:46 pm

fingerscrossedxx wrote:
lblelalr wrote:
WhiteGuy5 wrote:Sorry to derail the above conversation.

Are we really writing LOCI/Why Harvard essays? I tried imagining one and I don't know if I can say anything sincere without stating the freegin obvious (i.e. IT'S HARVARD!).


+12938291038290183210 to this


Well their email did say that if you have a special interest in Harvard to let them know so, if they ask for it, it can't hurt!


It can if you come across superficial :P

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crooked
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby crooked » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:28 pm

How significant do we think a resume update would need to be to be worth it?

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fingerscrossedxx
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby fingerscrossedxx » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:57 pm

WhiteGuy5 wrote:
fingerscrossedxx wrote:
lblelalr wrote:
WhiteGuy5 wrote:Sorry to derail the above conversation.

Are we really writing LOCI/Why Harvard essays? I tried imagining one and I don't know if I can say anything sincere without stating the freegin obvious (i.e. IT'S HARVARD!).


+12938291038290183210 to this


Well their email did say that if you have a special interest in Harvard to let them know so, if they ask for it, it can't hurt!


It can if you come across superficial :P


Haha that it can :)

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PrincetonLaw
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Re: HELD @ HARVARD 2012 style

Postby PrincetonLaw » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:01 pm

crooked wrote:How significant do we think a resume update would need to be to be worth it?


You'll need to pull a Robert California




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