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Author Topic: LSAT Point Differentials  (Read 1589 times)

thechoson

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LSAT Point Differentials
« on: March 23, 2004, 01:45:21 PM »
I was wondering, how much of a difference does a couple of points on your LSATs  make?  I mean, it seems crazy to me that say a 154 is 4th tier range, and then 164 is borderline 1st tier.  I mean is an extra 10 points worth that much?  I was just wondering how say, each 5 point jump matters to admissions.  Like a 155-160, 160-165, etc.  It just doesn't seem fair sometimes that you could have the exact same GPA, but a 158 may not get you in while a 162 might be enough.  LEt me know what you guys think...

Enzyme

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Re: LSAT Point Differentials
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2004, 02:29:26 PM »
Echoson,

That extra ten point jump in score is significant in the number of answers that you got right. The LSAT scales, goes up rapidly where a ten point score different is the difference between answering about 25 - 30 questions right or something like that. See the LSAC Sample test for their scores for each correct for actual. Also a 154 is in like the 65% (about) while a 164 and above is 90+%. Each 5point jump is thus signficant to admissions in the number of questions that you got right and in the comparison of where you are to other students (i.e a 150 is around 50% while the 154 is in the 65-70% range).


I was wondering, how much of a difference does a couple of points on your LSATs  make?  I mean, it seems crazy to me that say a 154 is 4th tier range, and then 164 is borderline 1st tier.  I mean is an extra 10 points worth that much?  I was just wondering how say, each 5 point jump matters to admissions.  Like a 155-160, 160-165, etc.  It just doesn't seem fair sometimes that you could have the exact same GPA, but a 158 may not get you in while a 162 might be enough.  LEt me know what you guys think...

xrayspec

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Re: LSAT Point Differentials
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2004, 02:42:24 PM »
The LSAT is designed to produce a bell curve with median 150 (in practice it's a little above 151) and standard deviation 10. Here's how it looks.



You see how the curve drops off faster between 150-165 than 165-180. In terms of percentile ranking, what that means is that each point from 150-165 is more "valuable" than the ones between 165-180. So a couple points can matter a lot.

Below is a listing of how LSAT scores correspond to percentile rankings. Notice that 150-155 represents a 20+ percentile difference but 165-170 is less than 5 percentile pts.

Note also that despite the hype, only 2% of LSAT takers score 170 or above.


120   0.0%
121   0.3%
122   0.3%
123   0.5%
124   0.5%
125   0.6%
126   0.8%
127   1.0%
128   1.2%
129   1.5%
130   2.0%
131   2.4%
132   3.0%
133   3.6%
134   4.6%
135   5.6%
136   6.7%
137   8.1%
138   9.6%
139   11.3%
140   13.5%
141   15.5%
142   18.3%
143   20.8%
144   24.0%
145   27.1%
146   30.4%
147   34.2%
148   38.0%
149   41.8%
150   45.8%
151   49.8%
152   54.2%
153   57.9%
154   62.1%
155   66.4%
156   69.6%
157   73.1%
158   77.0%
159   79.6%
160   82.6%
161   85.2%
162   87.6%
163   89.9%
164   91.6%
165   93.3%
166   94.7%
167   95.7%
168   96.8%
169   97.5%
170   98.1%
171   98.5%
172   99.0%
173   99.3%
174   99.5%
175   99.7%
176   99.8%
177   99.8%
178   99.9%
179   99.9%
180   99.9%

thechoson

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Re: LSAT Point Differentials
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2004, 03:14:52 PM »
Wow, thanks for the input guys.  I had no idea the drop from 150-165 was so steep! Ouch.  I guess that's why LSATs are important, huh...

romancingthestone

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Re: LSAT Point Differentials
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2004, 05:39:55 PM »
Just from a personal perspective, I was testing consistently in the high 160's before taking my first LSAT.  Then, due to a variety of factors, I had a panic attack during the first section and left about 8 answers blank!  However, in my delusion I convinced myself it was the experimental section.  It was not. This ended up in a 162.  I took it again with no further preparation and got a 168, which felt more akin to my true abilities.  It's only a six point difference, and when averaged it's only a 165, but I can tell you that the difference in response is huge. Some schools only
take the highest score, which is great.  In short, a few points makes a BIG difference, especially at the higher end of the spectrum!