Page 1 of 1

Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:29 pm
by Llewellyon
3.95+ undergrad GPA, GRE Verbal/Math were 168/169 out of 170 (98/96th percentile), UR student (transgender, former military officer, first in family to attend college). I haven't taken the LSAT yet, but unless I blow it out of the water, I'll probably be using my GRE score for Harvard and Georgetown since it is so good already. Does anyone have perspective on how a good GRE score compares to a good LSAT score?

EDIT: Meant under-represented student group, not URM

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:47 pm
by vonrus1
Llewellyon wrote:URM (transgender, former military officer, first in family to attend college).


I don't believe any of these things qualifies as an URM. I could be wrong.

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:52 pm
by AJordan
If you take the LSAT I'm pretty sure it gets reported whether or not you want it to be reported. Also, none of those things make you a URM.

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:54 pm
by sparkytrainer
Don't take the Lsat I think is the answer here. Apply with just the gre and see what happens. I believe you will be a lock if you are an urm with those numbers even though we truly have no idea. But if you take the Lsat it will be reported. Only take if you don't get in

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:04 pm
by Llewellyon
sparkytrainer wrote:Don't take the Lsat I think is the answer here. Apply with just the gre and see what happens. I believe you will be a lock if you are an urm with those numbers even though we truly have no idea. But if you take the Lsat it will be reported. Only take if you don't get in

If I don't take the LSAT though, then I can't apply to all of the other schools I am interested in, unless they decide to accept the GRE this cycle as well.

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:07 pm
by AJordan
This is the first year Harvard has accepted the GRE so, honestly, we don't know what they're looking for. My (completely uninformed) guess is that they're going to use the GRE as a metric to increase the diversity of the class by admitting students they want who otherwise wouldn't score well enough on the LSAT to be admitted. I think this likely includes attempting to cultivate a significantly larger pool of international students (they pay full price) and URM applicants (every school, understandably, wants more). Following that, there may be some numbers gaming to admit certain legacies and such though I think this is a pretty small drop in the bucket, all things considered, considering just how large each HLS class is.

My (again, completely uninformed) guess is that Harvard's GRE median of non URMs is going to be 340. I think most folks should gun for that 173 LSAT number instead as it's a known quantity. I do think, however, that 174 is probably safer because, again, GREs will game numbers and I wouldn't be shocked to see that LSAT median rise a point this cycle as a result.

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:10 pm
by Mullens
Llewellyon wrote:3.95+ undergrad GPA, GRE Verbal/Math were 168/169 out of 170 (98/96th percentile), UR student (transgender, former military officer, first in family to attend college). I haven't taken the LSAT yet, but unless I blow it out of the water, I'll probably be using my GRE score for Harvard and Georgetown since it is so good already. Does anyone have perspective on how a good GRE score compares to a good LSAT score?

EDIT: Meant under-represented student group, not URM


In your shoes I would start studying for the LSAT and see how you're scoring on practice tests. If you're consistently scoring over 175 then I would take the LSAT and use it this cycle. Otherwise, I would apply to Harvard and Georgetown this cycle while continuing to study for the LSAT with only a GRE. If you don't get in/get good $$$$ from Georgetown then there's nothing stopping you from taking the LSAT and applying across the T14 next cycle.

Your background and GPA make you very competitive for Harvard without an LSAT score and I believe you are the type of candidate they want to attract with the change to allowing the GRE for admissions purposes (also just a guess since no one knows).

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:12 pm
by Impressionist
You seem like exactly the candidate Harvard is looking for (not to mention Georgetown and NU next year). The entire point of accepting the GRE as I see it is to maintain their GPA median without hurting their LSAT median with reverse splitters. This makes sense since LSAT scores at or above their LSAT median are significantly more rare than GPA scores at or above their median. Therefore, you only help them by joining with your GPA. If you take the LSAT and miss their median, which is easy to do, you would be hurting them and hence hurting your chances of getting in.

Assuming the rest of your application has no holes I'd wager you have a better than 50% chance at Harvard, even though we obviously lack data. I have a feeling that they want to get in some high GRE and GPA people to test their new system. Obviously you would be a shoo in to Georgetown most likely and if you apply next year the same would be true of NU.

Seems like there should be 2 questions you're asking yourself. 1st are you willing to give up major scholarships to other top law schools just to get a strong shot at Harvard? With your GPA and a good LSAT you could get big bucks at other top schools you wouldnt see at Harvard. 2nd question is are you potentially willing to throw away a cycle just to test to see if Harvard will bite? Either way once you take the LSAT your GRE score becomes irrelevant and you are just another candidate. As it is you are very unique for now.

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:19 pm
by Llewellyon
Impressionist wrote:You seem like exactly the candidate Harvard is looking for (not to mention Georgetown and NU next year). The entire point of accepting the GRE as I see it is to maintain their GPA median without hurting their LSAT median with reverse splitters. This makes sense since LSAT scores at or above their LSAT median are significantly more rare than GPA scores at or above their median. Therefore, you only help them by joining with your GPA. If you take the LSAT and miss their median, which is easy to do, you would be hurting them and hence hurting your chances of getting in.

Assuming the rest of your application has no holes I'd wager you have a better than 50% chance at Harvard, even though we obviously lack data. I have a feeling that they want to get in some high GRE and GPA people to test their new system. Obviously you would be a shoo in to Georgetown most likely and if you apply next year the same would be true of NU.

Seems like there should be 2 questions you're asking yourself. 1st are you willing to give up major scholarships to other top law schools just to get a strong shot at Harvard? With your GPA and a good LSAT you could get big bucks at other top schools you wouldnt see at Harvard. 2nd question is are you potentially willing to throw away a cycle just to test to see if Harvard will bite? Either way once you take the LSAT your GRE score becomes irrelevant and you are just another candidate. As it is you are very unique for now.

Thankfully I have the GI Bill, so combined with the Yellow Ribbon Program, I should go to any school for free. My current plan is to apply to Georgetown and Harvard before December with my GRE, see what happens, then take the LSAT in December and apply to other schools if I don't get into Harvard, as I would like to try for a T6 if I can.

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:08 am
by appind
AJordan wrote:This is the first year Harvard has accepted the GRE so, honestly, we don't know what they're looking for. My (completely uninformed) guess is that they're going to use the GRE as a metric to increase the diversity of the class by admitting students they want who otherwise wouldn't score well enough on the LSAT to be admitted. I think this likely includes attempting to cultivate a significantly larger pool of international students (they pay full price) and URM applicants (every school, understandably, wants more). Following that, there may be some numbers gaming to admit certain legacies and such though I think this is a pretty small drop in the bucket, all things considered, considering just how large each HLS class is.

My (again, completely uninformed) guess is that Harvard's GRE median of non URMs is going to be 340. I think most folks should gun for that 173 LSAT number instead as it's a known quantity. I do think, however, that 174 is probably safer because, again, GREs will game numbers and I wouldn't be shocked to see that LSAT median rise a point this cycle as a result.


the pool of applicants who would typically score 170 in quant doesn't overlap much with the pool with an ability to score 170 in verbal. so it seems 340 would still be hard to do as GRE median.

but then the question is since GRE is actually 3 different scores verbal, quant, and writing, unlike LSAT, how are those 3 different scores weighted by the school like harvard? for applicants who have reported both gre and lsat, would the school be required to include both in their median computation or can choose to lump the candidate only in the category where he or she has a better score?

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:59 am
by AJordan
appind wrote:
AJordan wrote:This is the first year Harvard has accepted the GRE so, honestly, we don't know what they're looking for. My (completely uninformed) guess is that they're going to use the GRE as a metric to increase the diversity of the class by admitting students they want who otherwise wouldn't score well enough on the LSAT to be admitted. I think this likely includes attempting to cultivate a significantly larger pool of international students (they pay full price) and URM applicants (every school, understandably, wants more). Following that, there may be some numbers gaming to admit certain legacies and such though I think this is a pretty small drop in the bucket, all things considered, considering just how large each HLS class is.

My (again, completely uninformed) guess is that Harvard's GRE median of non URMs is going to be 340. I think most folks should gun for that 173 LSAT number instead as it's a known quantity. I do think, however, that 174 is probably safer because, again, GREs will game numbers and I wouldn't be shocked to see that LSAT median rise a point this cycle as a result.


the pool of applicants who would typically score 170 in quant doesn't overlap much with the pool with an ability to score 170 in verbal. so it seems 340 would still be hard to do as GRE median.

but then the question is since GRE is actually 3 different scores verbal, quant, and writing, unlike LSAT, how are those 3 different scores weighted by the school like harvard? for applicants who have reported both gre and lsat, would the school be required to include both in their median computation or can choose to lump the candidate only in the category where he or she has a better score?



For what it's worth I agree with you that the overlap potential is small. I just think it's easier to go with the devil you know. I don't think H is lacking for acceptable LSAT applicants from the non-URM population. They've got to fill a class of 550. 20-30% URM population, I've seen similar numbers from other T13 schools but yeah, that's a guess, leaves about 400 seats open for non-URM.. There are probably 1,000 people out there applying with a 173+. I think, though not sure again, that statistics have shown that the % of students with that 173+ is smaller for URMs vs URM applicants in total, so let's say there are 750 non URM applicants for H with a 173+. How many of them are in the toilet with GPA? No clue obviously.

The flip side is that the school has found a way to be more accessible through the GRE to admit high GPA students that don't score too low on the LSAT. Why? If the answer is improving and increasing the applicant pool I think that is directed toward the populations where they just didn't have what they felt where sufficient applicants. Of course they're going to admit some non-URM GRE candidates. I just think that those candidates are going to need to be beyond special. GRE 340 applicants are going to be extant. I think that, of the non-URM and non-special folks that apply with GRE only, there is very little need to reach below that 340 for H. It's just one man's opinion though.

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:32 pm
by appind
AJordan wrote:
appind wrote:
AJordan wrote:This is the first year Harvard has accepted the GRE so, honestly, we don't know what they're looking for. My (completely uninformed) guess is that they're going to use the GRE as a metric to increase the diversity of the class by admitting students they want who otherwise wouldn't score well enough on the LSAT to be admitted. I think this likely includes attempting to cultivate a significantly larger pool of international students (they pay full price) and URM applicants (every school, understandably, wants more). Following that, there may be some numbers gaming to admit certain legacies and such though I think this is a pretty small drop in the bucket, all things considered, considering just how large each HLS class is.

My (again, completely uninformed) guess is that Harvard's GRE median of non URMs is going to be 340. I think most folks should gun for that 173 LSAT number instead as it's a known quantity. I do think, however, that 174 is probably safer because, again, GREs will game numbers and I wouldn't be shocked to see that LSAT median rise a point this cycle as a result.


the pool of applicants who would typically score 170 in quant doesn't overlap much with the pool with an ability to score 170 in verbal. so it seems 340 would still be hard to do as GRE median.

but then the question is since GRE is actually 3 different scores verbal, quant, and writing, unlike LSAT, how are those 3 different scores weighted by the school like harvard? for applicants who have reported both gre and lsat, would the school be required to include both in their median computation or can choose to lump the candidate only in the category where he or she has a better score?



For what it's worth I agree with you that the overlap potential is small. I just think it's easier to go with the devil you know. I don't think H is lacking for acceptable LSAT applicants from the non-URM population. They've got to fill a class of 550. 20-30% URM population, I've seen similar numbers from other T13 schools but yeah, that's a guess, leaves about 400 seats open for non-URM.. There are probably 1,000 people out there applying with a 173+. I think, though not sure again, that statistics have shown that the % of students with that 173+ is smaller for URMs vs URM applicants in total, so let's say there are 750 non URM applicants for H with a 173+. How many of them are in the toilet with GPA? No clue obviously.

The flip side is that the school has found a way to be more accessible through the GRE to admit high GPA students that don't score too low on the LSAT. Why? If the answer is improving and increasing the applicant pool I think that is directed toward the populations where they just didn't have what they felt where sufficient applicants. Of course they're going to admit some non-URM GRE candidates. I just think that those candidates are going to need to be beyond special. GRE 340 applicants are going to be extant. I think that, of the non-URM and non-special folks that apply with GRE only, there is very little need to reach below that 340 for H. It's just one man's opinion though.


it seems that the main reason H wanted to allow GRE is that they wanted to keep their medians from falling if they are not able to find enough 173+, and increase applicant pool, lower their acceptance rate. they fell to 172 a few years ago last cycle it was back at 173. letting people apply with a GRE allows them to pick someone with high GRE instead of picking someone with below median lsat which would have lowered their lsat median.

in this theory, even if their GRE median is not perfect they'd still win because it'd still be higher than any other law school that takes GRE atm.

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:36 pm
by appind
there is no place in app to list GRE score. if one wanted to apply with gre, how does one list score?

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:51 pm
by KENYADIGG1T
appind wrote:there is no place in app to list GRE score. if one wanted to apply with gre, how does one list score?


Go to ETS and send it from there.

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:27 am
by AJordan
appind wrote:
AJordan wrote:
appind wrote:
AJordan wrote:This is the first year Harvard has accepted the GRE so, honestly, we don't know what they're looking for. My (completely uninformed) guess is that they're going to use the GRE as a metric to increase the diversity of the class by admitting students they want who otherwise wouldn't score well enough on the LSAT to be admitted. I think this likely includes attempting to cultivate a significantly larger pool of international students (they pay full price) and URM applicants (every school, understandably, wants more). Following that, there may be some numbers gaming to admit certain legacies and such though I think this is a pretty small drop in the bucket, all things considered, considering just how large each HLS class is.

My (again, completely uninformed) guess is that Harvard's GRE median of non URMs is going to be 340. I think most folks should gun for that 173 LSAT number instead as it's a known quantity. I do think, however, that 174 is probably safer because, again, GREs will game numbers and I wouldn't be shocked to see that LSAT median rise a point this cycle as a result.


the pool of applicants who would typically score 170 in quant doesn't overlap much with the pool with an ability to score 170 in verbal. so it seems 340 would still be hard to do as GRE median.

but then the question is since GRE is actually 3 different scores verbal, quant, and writing, unlike LSAT, how are those 3 different scores weighted by the school like harvard? for applicants who have reported both gre and lsat, would the school be required to include both in their median computation or can choose to lump the candidate only in the category where he or she has a better score?



For what it's worth I agree with you that the overlap potential is small. I just think it's easier to go with the devil you know. I don't think H is lacking for acceptable LSAT applicants from the non-URM population. They've got to fill a class of 550. 20-30% URM population, I've seen similar numbers from other T13 schools but yeah, that's a guess, leaves about 400 seats open for non-URM.. There are probably 1,000 people out there applying with a 173+. I think, though not sure again, that statistics have shown that the % of students with that 173+ is smaller for URMs vs URM applicants in total, so let's say there are 750 non URM applicants for H with a 173+. How many of them are in the toilet with GPA? No clue obviously.

The flip side is that the school has found a way to be more accessible through the GRE to admit high GPA students that don't score too low on the LSAT. Why? If the answer is improving and increasing the applicant pool I think that is directed toward the populations where they just didn't have what they felt where sufficient applicants. Of course they're going to admit some non-URM GRE candidates. I just think that those candidates are going to need to be beyond special. GRE 340 applicants are going to be extant. I think that, of the non-URM and non-special folks that apply with GRE only, there is very little need to reach below that 340 for H. It's just one man's opinion though.


it seems that the main reason H wanted to allow GRE is that they wanted to keep their medians from falling if they are not able to find enough 173+, and increase applicant pool, lower their acceptance rate. they fell to 172 a few years ago last cycle it was back at 173. letting people apply with a GRE allows them to pick someone with high GRE instead of picking someone with below median lsat which would have lowered their lsat median.

in this theory, even if their GRE median is not perfect they'd still win because it'd still be higher than any other law school that takes GRE atm.


There is supposedly a USNWR metric that equates GRE/LSAT performance. We will see; I think we can both agree that we don't know. It'll be a nice data point, after this year, to see just how many they took who were GRE-only applicants.

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:38 am
by Npret
Llewellyon wrote:3.95+ undergrad GPA, GRE Verbal/Math were 168/169 out of 170 (98/96th percentile), UR student (transgender, former military officer, first in family to attend college). I haven't taken the LSAT yet, but unless I blow it out of the water, I'll probably be using my GRE score for Harvard and Georgetown since it is so good already. Does anyone have perspective on how a good GRE score compares to a good LSAT score?

EDIT: Meant under-represented student group, not URM

You should apply with GRE and see what happens. You can always reapply. If you take the LSAT you might be actually hurting your chances because the score will be reported

I don't agree that Harvard added the GRE to protect medians. I think they added it to increase the diversity and quality of the applicant pool especially as the correlation of LSAT score alone with performance is very low. Many people don't or can't prepare for the LSAT intensively as many people require to get a high score or spend the money to take both exams.

I know Spivey and others have mentioned that GRE score will be reported so it isn't as if the GRE number is irrelevant. I understand people being emotionally attached to their LSAT score and maybe the exam but I will be happy to see it and LSAC fade away.

LSAC probably helped push Harvard to this decision by their years of so badly treating people with disability accommodations that they require government oversight under a court order to operate. The LSAT is only difficult because of time restrictions not anything inherently difficult in the substance unlike a MCAT. So LSAC needed to restrict time extensions even to people who deserved them. I personally will be happy to see the LSAT slowly disappear from use.

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:47 am
by cavalier1138
Npret wrote:I don't agree that Harvard added the GRE to protect medians. I think they added it to increase the diversity and quality of the applicant pool especially as the ciorelation of LSAT score alone with performance is low.


Or, to phrase it less charitably, they did it to drive up their application numbers so that they can look more selective while still maintaining a large class size.

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:42 am
by Npret
cavalier1138 wrote:
Npret wrote:I don't agree that Harvard added the GRE to protect medians. I think they added it to increase the diversity and quality of the applicant pool especially as the ciorelation of LSAT score alone with performance is low.


Or, to phrase it less charitably, they did it to drive up their application numbers so that they can look more selective while still maintaining a large class size.

Yeah I'm not a fan of LSAC or the LSAT as an entrance exam so I may be seeing it more charitably. We know admissions is almost solely numbers related so I can't with good conscience argue that numbers/ranking weren't part of the reason for the change.

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:35 am
by BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?)
Llewellyon wrote:3.95+ undergrad GPA, GRE Verbal/Math were 168/169 out of 170 (98/96th percentile), UR student (transgender, former military officer, first in family to attend college). I haven't taken the LSAT yet, but unless I blow it out of the water, I'll probably be using my GRE score for Harvard and Georgetown since it is so good already. Does anyone have perspective on how a good GRE score compares to a good LSAT score?

EDIT: Meant under-represented student group, not URM


Sorry for digressing, but that score is equivalent to a stupendous 790 on the GMAT. So, if you are open for a business school degree (I am), that score may get you into the top 3. Good luck, anyway!

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:50 pm
by appind
BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) wrote:
Llewellyon wrote:3.95+ undergrad GPA, GRE Verbal/Math were 168/169 out of 170 (98/96th percentile), UR student (transgender, former military officer, first in family to attend college). I haven't taken the LSAT yet, but unless I blow it out of the water, I'll probably be using my GRE score for Harvard and Georgetown since it is so good already. Does anyone have perspective on how a good GRE score compares to a good LSAT score?

EDIT: Meant under-represented student group, not URM


Sorry for digressing, but that score is equivalent to a stupendous 790 on the GMAT. So, if you are open for a business school degree (I am), that score may get you into the top 3. Good luck, anyway!


usually b-school admissions, specifically HSW, aren't numbers based. a high score may help but in no way makes up for someone with better work ex.

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:29 pm
by BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?)
appind wrote:
BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) wrote:
Llewellyon wrote:3.95+ undergrad GPA, GRE Verbal/Math were 168/169 out of 170 (98/96th percentile), UR student (transgender, former military officer, first in family to attend college). I haven't taken the LSAT yet, but unless I blow it out of the water, I'll probably be using my GRE score for Harvard and Georgetown since it is so good already. Does anyone have perspective on how a good GRE score compares to a good LSAT score?

EDIT: Meant under-represented student group, not URM


Sorry for digressing, but that score is equivalent to a stupendous 790 on the GMAT. So, if you are open for a business school degree (I am), that score may get you into the top 3. Good luck, anyway!


usually b-school admissions, specifically HSW, aren't numbers based. a high score may help but in no way makes up for someone with better work ex.


Yes, I am aware. I am an MBA myself :) I, therefore, used the word 'may'. That said, 790 is very rare and is usually the highest score at most top schools. Only a few students in each batch with that score.

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:41 pm
by Llewellyon
BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) wrote:
appind wrote:
BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) wrote:
Llewellyon wrote:3.95+ undergrad GPA, GRE Verbal/Math were 168/169 out of 170 (98/96th percentile), UR student (transgender, former military officer, first in family to attend college). I haven't taken the LSAT yet, but unless I blow it out of the water, I'll probably be using my GRE score for Harvard and Georgetown since it is so good already. Does anyone have perspective on how a good GRE score compares to a good LSAT score?

EDIT: Meant under-represented student group, not URM


Sorry for digressing, but that score is equivalent to a stupendous 790 on the GMAT. So, if you are open for a business school degree (I am), that score may get you into the top 3. Good luck, anyway!


usually b-school admissions, specifically HSW, aren't numbers based. a high score may help but in no way makes up for someone with better work ex.


Yes, I am aware. I am an MBA myself :) I, therefore, used the word 'may'. That said, 790 is very rare and is usually the highest score at most top schools. Only a few students in each batch with that score.

I actually applied to business schools last fall with that GRE and didn't get into any. Not sure what was weak about my application, but I think even UVA didn't accept me, and they're only #14.

Re: Harvard chances w/ GRE score, any perspective?

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:35 pm
by Hstrat
My UG school started allowing students to apply without an SAT or ACT score. Officially, they did it as a way of encouraging greater diversity in the student body, and I'm sure that played a role in it. But it also massively increased the number of applicants, allowing them to reject more of them and have a lower acceptance rate, boosting their ranking and image. In GULC's case, in the aftermath of dropping to 15th, I'm confident that's part of the equation - Harvard's less likely to be pulling that kind of thing.

The main takeaway right now is that at this point, we do not know how either school will evaluate GRE-only applicants. My guess is that it'll be a mark against an application.