Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

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Real Madrid
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Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby Real Madrid » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:51 pm

Hi all, I have a question which may have been brought up before but which I was unable to find.

It's commonly noted on this board that law school admission is largely a numbers game. On that thread, we often find individuals being advised that they have no shot at "X" school because their numbers fall below both the school's GPA and LSAT medians. On the other hand, individuals with credentials that equal one median but fall below the other are often told to ED and told they have a good, decent, or outside chance.


That got me thinking: why would an individual with, say, an LSAT at the median and a GPA significantly below it have an advantage over another candidate with an LSAT and GPA both slightly below the median?

For example, say X school's medians are a 170 LSAT and a 3.8 GPA.

Candidate A has a 170 LSAT and a 3.7 GPA.
Candidate B has a 168/169 LSAT and a 3.78 GPA.

Candidate A matches one median, but falls a whole tenth of a point below the GPA median. Candidate B is slightly below both medians. Traditional wisdom on this board says that schools want to protect their medians, so candidate A would help maintain the LSAT median, but hurt the GPA median much more than Candidate B. Why, then, does Candidate A have an advantage over Candidate B if the aggregate "damage" to the medians is the same (assume it's the same based on other applicants)?

Also, for the sake of argument, let's say X school values LSAT and GPA the same - I know this is not the case for all (or perhaps most) schools, but it'll make the question simpler. We could also reverse the scenario.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby ResolutePear » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:54 pm

No.

Real Madrid
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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby Real Madrid » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:08 am

Yes.

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dpk711
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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby dpk711 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:09 am

Maybe.

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NYC Law
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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby NYC Law » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:09 am

ResolutePear wrote:No.


And retake.

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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby Real Madrid » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:11 am

NYC Law wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:No.


And retake.


Your response is neither cute nor funny. If you have nothing of value to say, and nothing better to do with your time than troll, go elsewhere.

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NYC Law
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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby NYC Law » Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:35 am

Real Madrid wrote:
NYC Law wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:No.


And retake.


Your response is neither cute nor funny. If you have nothing of value to say, and nothing better to do with your time than troll, go elsewhere.


It isn't meant to be cute or funny, it's a short version of me telling you to stop wasting your time over-analyzing this and to just get an LSAT score that is actually high enough for where you want to go.

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ahduth
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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby ahduth » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:21 am

Real Madrid wrote:Candidate A matches one median, but falls a whole tenth of a point below the GPA median. Candidate B is slightly below both medians. Traditional wisdom on this board says that schools want to protect their medians, so candidate A would help maintain the LSAT median, but hurt the GPA median much more than Candidate B. Why, then, does Candidate A have an advantage over Candidate B if the aggregate "damage" to the medians is the same (assume it's the same based on other applicants)?


The answer to your question can be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median

All hail the omniscient wiki-gods.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby Patriot1208 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:11 pm

*wonders why people don't understand simple concepts like median and mean*

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Moxie
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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby Moxie » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:22 pm

Real Madrid wrote:Hi all, I have a question which may have been brought up before but which I was unable to find.

It's commonly noted on this board that law school admission is largely a numbers game. On that thread, we often find individuals being advised that they have no shot at "X" school because their numbers fall below both the school's GPA and LSAT medians. On the other hand, individuals with credentials that equal one median but fall below the other are often told to ED and told they have a good, decent, or outside chance.


That got me thinking: why would an individual with, say, an LSAT at the median and a GPA significantly below it have an advantage over another candidate with an LSAT and GPA both slightly below the median?

For example, say X school's medians are a 170 LSAT and a 3.8 GPA.

Candidate A has a 170 LSAT and a 3.7 GPA.
Candidate B has a 168/169 LSAT and a 3.78 GPA.

Candidate A matches one median, but falls a whole tenth of a point below the GPA median. Candidate B is slightly below both medians. Traditional wisdom on this board says that schools want to protect their medians, so candidate A would help maintain the LSAT median, but hurt the GPA median much more than Candidate B. Why, then, does Candidate A have an advantage over Candidate B if the aggregate "damage" to the medians is the same (assume it's the same based on other applicants)?

Also, for the sake of argument, let's say X school values LSAT and GPA the same - I know this is not the case for all (or perhaps most) schools, but it'll make the question simpler. We could also reverse the scenario.


OP you're misunderstanding the idea of "median" vs. "average" Both candidates bring down the median GPA (and probably by about the same), whereas Candidate A doesn't bring down the median LSAT at all. Therefore Candidate A is better for the medians.

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geoduck
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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby geoduck » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:44 pm

It depends on how that school values the LSAT and GPA. Lawschoolpredictor.com will give you a better idea on a school by school basis. You'll have to already know the medians, though, since LSP just shows the 25 and 75. I plugged your numbers in, ignoring relation to median, and got this for the top ten.

170/3.7:
Y - Deny
H - Deny
S - Deny
CLS - Weak Consider
Chicago - Consider
NYU - Consider
Boalt - Consider
Penn - Consider
Mich - Strong Consider
Virginia - Consider

168/3.78
Y - Deny
H - Deny
S - Weak Consider
CLS - Weak Consider
Chicago - Weak Consider
NYU - Weak Consider
Boalt - Consider
Penn - Consider
Mich - Consider
Virginia - Consider

So in the top 10, only Stanford liked 3.78 guy more. Everyone else wanted those 2 LSAT points.

Edit: And looking at percentages, the only school in the top 20 that didn't give Mr. 170 an advantage is Boalt. It was 48% for both. In the top 50 there are several that are >95% for both, but that doesn't tell us anything.

Real Madrid
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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby Real Madrid » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:10 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:*wonders why people don't understand simple concepts like median and mean*


*wonders why you bothered posting in this thread*

I understand the difference between medians and means, but thanks for your concern.

Real Madrid
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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby Real Madrid » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:15 pm

geoduck wrote:It depends on how that school values the LSAT and GPA. Lawschoolpredictor.com will give you a better idea on a school by school basis. You'll have to already know the medians, though, since LSP just shows the 25 and 75. I plugged your numbers in, ignoring relation to median, and got this for the top ten.

170/3.7:
Y - Deny
H - Deny
S - Deny
CLS - Weak Consider
Chicago - Consider
NYU - Consider
Boalt - Consider
Penn - Consider
Mich - Strong Consider
Virginia - Consider

168/3.78
Y - Deny
H - Deny
S - Weak Consider
CLS - Weak Consider
Chicago - Weak Consider
NYU - Weak Consider
Boalt - Consider
Penn - Consider
Mich - Consider
Virginia - Consider

So in the top 10, only Stanford liked 3.78 guy more. Everyone else wanted those 2 LSAT points.

Edit: And looking at percentages, the only school in the top 20 that didn't give Mr. 170 an advantage is Boalt. It was 48% for both. In the top 50 there are several that are >95% for both, but that doesn't tell us anything.



Geoduck - thanks for your legitimate reply. The numbers I used were completely invented, and I'm sure if I had thought about it even a bit longer I could have made a more cogent point. The point I was trying to make was that if a certain school protects one of its medians by letting in a number of people ED that fall below the other median, wouldn't that do just as much damage as admitting people who fall ever so slightly below both medians?

Perhaps I'm not voicing my thoughts as clearly as I see them in my head. If that's the case, I do apologize. :mrgreen:

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Patriot1208
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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby Patriot1208 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:16 pm

Real Madrid wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:*wonders why people don't understand simple concepts like median and mean*


*wonders why you bothered posting in this thread*

I understand the difference between medians and means, but thanks for your concern.

This isn't conceptually hard. The person under both medians, whether below both medians by 1 or by 1000, hurt the medians the same. The person at or above one median but below the other hurts one median and not the other. It doesn't matter if your GPA is 2.0 or 3.7, if the median is 3.75 you hurt the median the exact same amount. If you understood the difference you wouldn't have posted what you did, because you'd have your answer.

ETA this is of course assuming there is at least one more number between that person and the previous median
Last edited by Patriot1208 on Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Moxie
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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby Moxie » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:18 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:*wonders why people don't understand simple concepts like median and mean*


*wonders why you bothered posting in this thread*

I understand the difference between medians and means, but thanks for your concern.

This isn't conceptually hard. The person under both medians, whether below both medians by 1 or by 1000, hurt the medians the same. The person at or above one median but below the other hurts one median and not the other. It doesn't matter if your GPA is 2.0 or 3.7, if the median is 3.75 you hurt the median the exact same amount. If you understood the difference you wouldn't have posted what you did, because you'd have your answer.


+1. No douchiness intended OP, but Patriot's post is spot on.

Real Madrid
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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby Real Madrid » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:19 pm

Moxie wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:Hi all, I have a question which may have been brought up before but which I was unable to find.

It's commonly noted on this board that law school admission is largely a numbers game. On that thread, we often find individuals being advised that they have no shot at "X" school because their numbers fall below both the school's GPA and LSAT medians. On the other hand, individuals with credentials that equal one median but fall below the other are often told to ED and told they have a good, decent, or outside chance.


That got me thinking: why would an individual with, say, an LSAT at the median and a GPA significantly below it have an advantage over another candidate with an LSAT and GPA both slightly below the median?

For example, say X school's medians are a 170 LSAT and a 3.8 GPA.

Candidate A has a 170 LSAT and a 3.7 GPA.
Candidate B has a 168/169 LSAT and a 3.78 GPA.

Candidate A matches one median, but falls a whole tenth of a point below the GPA median. Candidate B is slightly below both medians. Traditional wisdom on this board says that schools want to protect their medians, so candidate A would help maintain the LSAT median, but hurt the GPA median much more than Candidate B. Why, then, does Candidate A have an advantage over Candidate B if the aggregate "damage" to the medians is the same (assume it's the same based on other applicants)?

Also, for the sake of argument, let's say X school values LSAT and GPA the same - I know this is not the case for all (or perhaps most) schools, but it'll make the question simpler. We could also reverse the scenario.


OP you're misunderstanding the idea of "median" vs. "average" Both candidates bring down the median GPA (and probably by about the same), whereas Candidate A doesn't bring down the median LSAT at all. Therefore Candidate A is better for the medians.


I see what you are saying; in my head, I wasn't thinking about a case-by-case basis, but rather enough individuals to affect the medians, not just the means. :D

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geoduck
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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby geoduck » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:19 pm

Real Madrid wrote:
geoduck wrote:It depends on how that school values the LSAT and GPA. Lawschoolpredictor.com will give you a better idea on a school by school basis. You'll have to already know the medians, though, since LSP just shows the 25 and 75. I plugged your numbers in, ignoring relation to median, and got this for the top ten.

170/3.7:
Y - Deny
H - Deny
S - Deny
CLS - Weak Consider
Chicago - Consider
NYU - Consider
Boalt - Consider
Penn - Consider
Mich - Strong Consider
Virginia - Consider

168/3.78
Y - Deny
H - Deny
S - Weak Consider
CLS - Weak Consider
Chicago - Weak Consider
NYU - Weak Consider
Boalt - Consider
Penn - Consider
Mich - Consider
Virginia - Consider

So in the top 10, only Stanford liked 3.78 guy more. Everyone else wanted those 2 LSAT points.

Edit: And looking at percentages, the only school in the top 20 that didn't give Mr. 170 an advantage is Boalt. It was 48% for both. In the top 50 there are several that are >95% for both, but that doesn't tell us anything.



Geoduck - thanks for your legitimate reply. The numbers I used were completely invented, and I'm sure if I had thought about it even a bit longer I could have made a more cogent point. The point I was trying to make was that if a certain school protects one of its medians by letting in a number of people ED that fall below the other median, wouldn't that do just as much damage as admitting someone who falls slightly below both medians?

Perhaps I'm not voicing my thoughts as clearly as I see them in my head. If that's the case, I do apologize. :mrgreen:


I understand them, but you came up with funny numbers. There aren't any schools I know of with medians of 170 and 3.8. Find a real school and we can test the numbers ourselves. The problem is that different schools weight the GPA vs LSAT differently. By the numbers, we can figure out if there is a breaking point. Unfortunately, the real answer is that it depends on what holes they need to fill.

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hypothalamus
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Re: Being Below 1 Median v. Being Below Both Medians

Postby hypothalamus » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:24 pm

"That got me thinking: why would an individual with, say, an LSAT at the median and a GPA significantly below it have an advantage over another candidate with an LSAT and GPA both slightly below the median?"

Apart from the corrections in terminology other people point out... I think a potential answer to the specific question above is that getting the median LSAT score for a certain school shows that you are potentially capable of performance at that level, whereas both numbers being lower would make you a below-average applicant? At least it seems that's the logic with splitters. Having at least one pretty good number shows capability, even if you messed up and butchered your GPA.




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