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Author Topic: LSAT/GPA split, which one really matters more?  (Read 2721 times)

pipskicks

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LSAT/GPA split, which one really matters more?
« on: January 01, 2006, 04:03:46 PM »
Well I see that it seems like when I compared my LSAT/GPA to other people, even though I have a 160/3.0, someone with a 155/3.5 or so, has the same chances of getting into some schools.

So does my higher LSAT not make up that much for my horrible GPA?  Before taking the LSAT I thought that it mattered a lot more than my GPA and that it would help make up for it, but now when looking at those calculators etc. it seems like my chances are still pretty low for the schools that have a higher median GPA.

(Of course I have worked full-time through UG and I have an addendum explaining the troubles I've had and asking the Adcomms to look at my more recent GPA to see that I have been able to improve and attain a higher GPA)

Tulane1L

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Re: LSAT/GPA split, which one really matters more?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2006, 04:40:13 PM »
LSAT trumps GPA for most school.  For what it's worth, I think that most people would rather have a high LSAT/low GPA split than the other way around.

A better indication of your admission probability might be to look to the admitt/deny/waitlist indicies for the school you wish to attend on last years LSN.  Many schools seem to have a cutoff where they accept all applicants with over a certain index, deny all with under a certain index, and between those numbers, admitt some and ding some, probably based on soft factors/residency/race/who knows what.

pipskicks

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Re: LSAT/GPA split, which one really matters more?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2006, 09:43:12 PM »
LSAT trumps GPA for most school.  For what it's worth, I think that most people would rather have a high LSAT/low GPA split than the other way around.

A better indication of your admission probability might be to look to the admitt/deny/waitlist indicies for the school you wish to attend on last years LSN.  Many schools seem to have a cutoff where they accept all applicants with over a certain index, deny all with under a certain index, and between those numbers, admitt some and ding some, probably based on soft factors/residency/race/who knows what.

I did do that, but it's really tough since there are barely any in my range, so it's hard to even guesstimate my chances, I'm just getting nervous and I think it's all riding on my soft factors to persuade them to take my crappy GPA or not.

I keep hearing work history helps, but I don't know how much it will help me.

Mkay

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Re: LSAT/GPA split, which one really matters more?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2006, 12:26:23 AM »
It probably depends alot on where your scores fall too.  A 90%+ score on the LSAT and low GPA probably would trump a 3.5+ GPA and a lower LSAT.  Although other factors like competitiveness of school, EC, Recs., and PS would come into play at that point.  I think that is where the LSAT would come in stronger as it is the only thing that is standardized between the two applicants.

Of course this is an unprofessional opinion based on little, worth just about 2 cents. :D

WhatNow

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Re: LSAT/GPA split, which one really matters more?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2006, 12:39:01 AM »
The LSAT is more important at most schools.  The one place it isn't are all the CA state schools which seem to have some sort of unnatural love for the GPA.  Berkeley, UCLA are notorious for this.

Especially if you can hit 165+, you will get looks of interest from a number of schools looking to up their LSAT medians.

pipskicks

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Re: LSAT/GPA split, which one really matters more?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2006, 01:27:23 AM »
Well I see that it seems like when I compared my LSAT/GPA to other people, even though I have a 160/3.0, someone with a 155/3.5 or so, has the same chances of getting into some schools.

So does my higher LSAT not make up that much for my horrible GPA?  Before taking the LSAT I thought that it mattered a lot more than my GPA and that it would help make up for it, but now when looking at those calculators etc. it seems like my chances are still pretty low for the schools that have a higher median GPA.

(Of course I have worked full-time through UG and I have an addendum explaining the troubles I've had and asking the Adcomms to look at my more recent GPA to see that I have been able to improve and attain a higher GPA)

The wording of your post bothers me quite a bit.  Everyone has been right so far in saying that, at the majority of schools, LSAT counts for more than GPA.  However, you seem to be implying that you expected a 5 point difference in LSAT scores (155 v. 160) to more than make up for a .5 difference in GPA (3.5 v. 3.0).  Expecting a single LSAT point to be worth more than 0.1 GPA points at most any school is misguided.  Generally speaking, 1 LSAT point is worth about 0.08 GPA points.  Even then, most applicants believe the system favors the LSAT too much.

You then state that you are surprised that you still have such low chances at "schools with higher median GPAs."  I don't know which schools you are considering, but if your GPA is significantly below the median, then your LSAT score needs to be significantly above the median to compensate.  However, (and I'm saying this without looking at the USNews data, so I apologize if I am wrong) at schools where a 160 is above the 75th percentile, a 3.0 should not be very far from (and may even be above) the 25th percentile GPA.  Keep in mind, also, that schools with high GPAs relative to their LSATs prefer it that way, and your chances are low for a reason.  If a school has a 75th LSAT of 155 and a 25th GPA of 3.4, it is a school that clearly prefers GPA and you would be sorely mistaken to think that your 160 will compensate for your 3.0.  Find schools with a 25/75 split closer to 2.8/160 and your chances should improve dramatically.

Your LSAT/GPA combo can get you into some good T2 or T3 schools.  Pick a city or state in which you would like to begin practice and find the best-regarded schools in the area.  I think you just need to be more of a realist about your options.  For most Tier 1 schools, that 3.0 would need a 165 to make it competitive, and a 170+ is generally needed for a shot at the top 18.

ok well then to clarify, I am not shooting for anything T50 really, a couple of reaches (you can look at my LSN), but my two top choices are Loyola and Pepperdine, I guess they don't really look too great seeing as I'm right below, or near the median, with LSAT, but I'm well below for Pepperdine, and 0.1 below for Loyola.
I want to practice in California, and I'm looking for LA (where Loyola and Pepperdine come in, I think I'm fine, or close to fine, for Southwestern but it's T3), but I will go up North, I'm just mostly looking at lower T2 school with my stats.  I'm thinking that maybe if I lived out of state I'd be able to find higher ranked schools with lower requirements, but that's not the case.

pipskicks

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Re: LSAT/GPA split, which one really matters more?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2006, 02:03:21 AM »
Well my percentages look really good for Pacific, which is why I'm hoping that will be my top choice of the schools that I'm in range for.

Honestly Whittier is on probation and I don't want to go there.  Chappman is not very well-renown here and I don't want to go there either.  To tell you the truth, if I don't get into Pacific or the ones above it, I don't know if I really want to attend the other schools.

I guess I'm going for a reach for most of my top schools, I'm just hoping that I can make it in through soft factors.
I also don't know how much it matters, but I do have an addendum about my GPA because of having to move out and having trouble working 40+ hrs./week while in school with financial problems as well.  I also went up after my first 2 years, and my last 2 semesters were a 3.5+, so I'm also hoping that they will see that I can get to work and get higher grades (plus I heard upward trend was always good).  I was just hoping that it may help boost up my GPA factor, I don't know if it will, but I'm just hoping really hard!

pipskicks

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Re: LSAT/GPA split, which one really matters more?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2006, 02:12:50 AM »
  For example, why even apply to UNLV (3.28/160) when you have Pacific (2.88/160) on your list? 


Don't know if I'd go there over Pacific, might not, but the one reason is $$$ for tuition.

Kiperlaw

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Re: LSAT/GPA split, which one really matters more?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2006, 07:59:43 PM »
It is not entirely uncommon to see guys with 3.0/3.1 170+ get into elite schools.  But someone with a 4.0 158  getting into the same school would be a bit of a shock.  I'm going to have to go with a high LSAT being the more desirable of the two.
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cassise

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Re: LSAT/GPA split, which one really matters more?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2006, 10:25:54 PM »
I dont really think 3.0 and 160 can be considered a splitter, nor do I think 3.5 155 should be considered a splitter.  I would consider both of these just candidates with VERY average numbers.  When I think splitter I think 3.8 and 155 or 171 and 2.9.