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Submit LSAT Addendum?

Hi all,

Looking for advice on submitting an LSAT addendum. Even though I got a 170 on my first LSAT attempt (thanks 7sage!), I decided, maybe mistakenly, to try again because I felt I had the potential to score even higher. Unfortunately I bombed my second attempt relative to all my practice test scores and scored a 164. I don't really have a good reason, other than the fact that my upstairs neighbors started blasting music five minutes before and I had to quickly switch rooms and get ready again. My first section was logic games and I couldn't solve half the games for the first time since my early study days. My other sections proceeded as expected, I think.
I understand a six point decrease is somewhat significant, but I also do not want to write an addendum that lacks a compelling reason to excuse the lower score and comes off as insincere. Would it be a good idea to send one in if I genuinely believe the 170 better reflects my abilities? I've already submitted my applications, so this would be in an email to the admissions office.

Thanks in advance!


  • jess.4545jess.4545 Alum Member
    15 karma

    I recently attended an info session with a dean from a top law school, and she said some addenda can be application killers. When it comes to minor score increases or decreases, an addendum for that is marginal compared to reasons why other people write an addendum, for example a parent dying in the middle of college. They'll consider your highest score anyways so I don't think you need to write one :)

  • Pretzel LogicPretzel Logic Monthly Member
    226 karma

    It would be awesome to hear an admissions consultant's view on this, or @shubsuber, I would ask this question to law schools during Forums/zoom events.

    This is only my intuition not based on fact, but it would seem rather extreme for a candidate to be rejected based on, in this case, an addendum explaining a 170-164 drop off. (Or perhaps the above-referenced Dean's opinion is indeed reflective of many others. I'm really not sure.) Great question, and congrats on that 170.

  • Selene SteelmanSelene Steelman Member Admissions Consultant
    1809 karma

    Former admissions officer here. Addenda should offer further information/background/context to clarify what appears in your application. The tone is very important. Generally, an addendum should be concise and factual. Schools and admissions officers have different standards about when a score change is significant enough to merit an addendum. I have heard anything greater than 4 points requires some explanation. An LSAT addendum is most helpful and appropriate if something unexpected or unusual is the cause of a change in score: an illness, technical difficulties, natural disaster. However, a simple addendum stating that the candidate had an off day and did not perform as well can also reassure an admissions reader who may be trying to figure out which score truly represents a candidate's potential.

    If you have already submitted your application, and there is no unusual reason for your score drop, I am not sure that it is necessary or helpful to send an addendum after the fact. If a school is concerned about an LSAT history, they will reach out and request an explanation. Absent an addendum, the committee may assume that you had an off-performance day, resulting in a lower score. However, if you DID decide to send a short explanation stating that your test taking environment was disruptive and not ideal for concentration, I don't think it would negatively affect your review either. Good luck!

  • shubsubershubsuber Alum Member
    62 karma

    @"Selene Steelman" Thank you for this very helpful information! I will keep this in mind for any additional apps I send in and otherwise hope the admissions thinks the best of my already sent in apps. Thanks to the other responders as well for the insight!

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