Podcast #15: Keeping Up to Data - January 2020

This episode was recorded on January 14, 2020.

unlabeled bar graphsWith the January test now complete, how many LSATs have been administered so far this cycle? Are this year’s test taker volumes expected to exceed last year’s? And whatever happened to all those July 2019 test takers who decided to cancel their scores? Join LSAC’s Susan Krinsky as she guides you through the most recent data, including the latest applicant and application volumes as they compare to the past two years.

Have questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future topics? Submit them to podcast@LSAC.org.

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Hi. This is Susan Krinsky at LSAC with the January edition of “Keeping Up to Data.” 

As I record this podcast, we have just completed the January 13th administration of the LSAT. Just over 18,400 test takers were scheduled to take the LSAT as of the morning of the test, and we should have a final January test taker number for you in the next few weeks. The final test taker number for November was 22,764, the highest volume of the current testing year. Including the unofficial January count, we’ve administered just over 115,000 tests this cycle, with three more tests to go between now and April. Total test takers for last year were 138,230, a number we expect to exceed this year.  

Remember that after the July 2019 test, test takers were offered the one-time opportunity to see their scores and then cancel them. Approximately half of the 22,737 test takers opted to cancel. Of the 11,428 who canceled, 3,152 had scores from a prior test, 3,812 now have a score from a subsequent test, and an additional 1,687 were registered for the January, February, March, or April test. So 8,651 of the 11,428, or almost 76%, had either a prior score, a subsequent score, or plan to retake the LSAT by April of 2020.

Turning to applicant and application volumes, at this time last year, we had seen just under half of the final application volume for the year. As a clarification, when we report on applications, we are reporting on applications TO the schools in a particular region. When we report on applicants, we are reporting on applicants FROM a particular region.

As of today, applications to U.S. ABA law schools are up very slightly, less than 1% as compared to last year and up 2.3% as compared to the year before. All of these numbers are changing day to day, but currently, 83 schools are experiencing an application volume increase, 113 schools are experiencing an application volume decrease, and 5 schools are experiencing no change in application volume. Applications to some regions are up, and some are down, with no particular consistency.

Applicants are currently down 1.8% as compared to last year, but up 3.5% as compared to two years ago. Only the Northwest and Far West regions are showing an increase in applicants. Interestingly, although applicants from the Northwest are up by about 5%, applications to schools in the Northwest are down by 8.6%.

As was the case last month, applicant volumes in the three highest LSAT ranges are up over last year. 

Looking to Canada — applications to Canadian schools are up 6.5%, while applicants to Canadian schools are up 2.4%.

Remember that the Current Volume Summaries on our website are updated nightly and compare applicants and applications received through the end of the specified day in the current year to the same day of the week last year. So, for example, the volume of applications received through Tuesday, January 14, 2020, is compared to the volume of applications received through Tuesday, January 13, 2019. However, other reports on our website and in ACES may compare the date this year to the same date last year — that is, without regard to the day of the week. Also in the Current Volume Summaries, be aware that the gender identity data now shows maximum reporting in 13 categories, so the totals on that chart will exceed the total number of applicants.  

That’s all for this month’s podcast. As always, we’d love to hear from you with questions or suggestions. Just write to us at podcast@LSAC.org. Thanks for listening. Until next time, this is Susan Krinsky at LSAC.