« on: May 27, 2005, 07:10:16 PM »
Another thread asking if a school's numbers went up questioned if that was a good thing, and I wanted to respond here, to see what everyone else thinks about this idea.
One of the important factors in assessing whether a rise in LSAT scores is significant is to note population. If testtakers are a function positively of the population in general, and the population grows, so do testtakers. Percentile ranks must stay the same, so the nominal number of students in each percentile increases. For instance, one year 1000 students might have a 99.5% on the LSAT, the next year the 99.5% may include 1020 students. Assuming a law school itself doesn't increase its class size, the student bodies applying will naturally have higher numbers. Now, given this fact we can assume something, namely, that there is a sort of LSAT inflation. Numbers will naturally rise at schools because of the factor I just mentioned. So an increase in a school's lsat should be not only not surprising, but expected. In fact, if you wanted to calculate real lsat scores you would have to subtract from those numbers the rate of "lsat inflation." If lsat scores have risen, let's say 2 points on average, and your school has raised its median 3 points, then your school has actually only increased its score by 1 point. As LSAT scores rise and a school on the other hand keeps its median the same, then the school is actually accepting lower "real" lsat scores. Obviously two effects happen to those with the lower scores: 1) new law school's open to supply the increased demand, 2) it becomes harder to get into law school and more people will not be able to attend any law school. Makes you think, it does get harder to get into the top X law school as time goes by, and the top X law schools represent a lower percentage of the law school population in general. Therefore graduates from the top X law school continually represent an increasingly more elite and higher percentage of top law school graduates, by doing nothing.