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More than 1600 applications for the 2021 cycle


Thrive92
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U of C has updated their website to indicate that they have received 35% more applications than the previous cycle, and have put in helpful advice to strengthen one's application to be accepted for the upcoming cycle:

https://law.ucalgary.ca/future-students/how-to-apply/assessment-of-applications

Fingers crossed for those applying in the future that the upcoming cycles won't be as competitive as the last

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BlockedQuebecois
  • Lawyer

Interesting that the increased competitiveness seems to come entirely from LSAT score increases. The average GPA was 3.66, in line with the five year historical averages. The average LSAT was 163, a two point increase from the historical average. 

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Pantalaimon
  • Articling Student

@Renerikfound the same thing with the UBC acceptance stats. The increase in accepted index scores was driven entirely by LSAT increasing by around 3 points; if I recall correctly the mean GPA actually decreased.

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Renerik
  • Applicant
8 hours ago, Pantalaimon said:

@Renerikfound the same thing with the UBC acceptance stats. The increase in accepted index scores was driven entirely by LSAT increasing by around 3 points; if I recall correctly the mean GPA actually decreased.

I've gone down the rabbit hole and have reached out to a lot of admissions people across both Canada and the USA. If someone makes a post-mortem for this last cycle they'll find that the increased number of applicants did NOT make the cycle more competitive, it was almost entirely because of LSAT shenanigans. The average LSAT went up not only for applicants, but for the average test-taker. This could be because students had more time to study given lockdowns and the pandemic, increased ease of taking the LSAT at home/reduction to a 3 section test, increased availability of study material, etc. 

The excess number of applicants this year appear to have less competitive grades than what you might expect. I spoke to an admissions officer at a T20 and they told me that they saw a sharp increase of applicants with GPAs below their medians while the applicants who met their medians and G75 did not increase significantly. I asked them why they thought this was the case and they said that it was because of the election year, George Floyd, civil unrest, and a recession (interestingly, she told me that the amount of Canadian applicants they receive seems to increase in both Canadian and American election years). People who chose to go to law school last minute because of those factors instead of having thought about it for some time tend to have lower GPAs. Purely speculation, but I suspect American civil unrest also leaked into the motivations of many excess Canadian applicants. 

For neurotic applicants worried for the coming cycle, the average LSAT at schools going forward will slowly regress back to pre-covid levels. I already bet someone 50$ on discord that Calgary will return to a 162-161. The guys at LSAT Demon, 7Sage, Powerscore and Spivey Consulting found that their students do 1-3 points worse on 4-section tests compared to the flex. There will be significant number of applicants who sneaked in a good flex score who might be advantaged early in the cycle but given that something like 2/3rds of Canadian matriculants write their LSAT in August-November each year, the majority of scores will be less inflated than the flex. 

 

Edit: Anecdotal but a fair few test-takers in a study group I was part of rushed their studying in order to register for the June Flex given it was the last 3-section exam. I'm the only one of them to score above a 163, 2 scored 160-163 and 9+ scored below 160. 100% talking out of my ass but I suspect many June test-takers were unprepared and won't contribute to an influx of high scoring LSAT applicants.

Edited by Renerik
Added a baseless anecdote
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SYANG09
  • Applicant

The stats actually make sense to me given that many applicants had their UG finished or were in the final year in uni when covid hit hard. Their cGPAs were largely unaffected by P/F policy or updated grading criteria. By contrast, LSAT-flex did inflate scores to some extent, whether due to a removed section or simply because ppl have more time prepping during lock-down as @Renerik suggests. I remember reading a reddit post saying that more students than ever scored high 160s since flex was introduced. 

Unimportant anecdote: Last cycle Melbourne law school removed LSAT and PS req for JD (a very stupid decision imo) and the applicants just tripled. Don't know how they managed the applications but it must have been tough.

Edited by SYANG09
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22 hours ago, SYANG09 said:

By contrast, LSAT-flex did inflate scores to some extent, whether due to a removed section or simply because ppl have more time prepping during lock-down as @Renerik suggests. I remember reading a reddit post saying that more students than ever scored high 160s since flex was introduced. 

Isn't the LSAT scored on a percentile basis? Although I definitely understand why reducing length of the test and allowing people to take the test from home would result in better test scores, wouldn't that be a wash since everyone would be doing better? 

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Renerik
  • Applicant
1 hour ago, BHC1 said:

Isn't the LSAT scored on a percentile basis? Although I definitely understand why reducing length of the test and allowing people to take the test from home would result in better test scores, wouldn't that be a wash since everyone would be doing better? 

It is, kind of. 

When they create the questions and test them in experimental sections, they use that data to create a curve, but if for some external reason the LSAT takers of the future have easier (being able to write from home) or more difficult conditions (Mass insurrection/rioting in the streets), they might score better or worse as a group compared to the Guinea pigs used to determine the curve.

Edited by Renerik
In short, you're being compared to people who tested the same questions 6+ years ago.
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