Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

If ABA Makes LSAT Optional, Will U.S. News Follow Its College Rankings Approach: Reduce Weight Given LSAT Medians (11.25%), Punish Schools (15% Reduction) With < 50% Test-Takers?

Inside Higher Ed, 'U.S. News' Makes Modest Tweak in Methodology:

U.S. News Generic (2020)Standardized tests count for 5 percent of the total score, the same as before. But U.S. News did change its methodology, slightly.

The magazine said: "A change for the 2022 edition -- if the combined percentage of the fall 2020 entering class submitting test scores was less than 50 percent of all new entrants, its combined SAT/ACT percentile distribution value used in the rankings was discounted by 15 percent. In previous editions, the threshold was 75 percent of new entrants. The change was made to reflect the growth of test-optional policies through the 2019 calendar year and the fact that the coronavirus impacted the fall 2020 admission process at many schools."

An important note on that change is that it probably protected the most competitive colleges. The Common Application issued a report last week that said 43 percent of students submitted test scores this year, but "more selective member institutions" received more applications with test scores.

U.S. News also released its policy for test-blind colleges, which won't even look at SAT or ACT scores. While this group of colleges is small, it included the University of California system. "U.S. News again ranks 'test blind' schools, for which data on SAT and ACT scores were not available, by assigning them a rankings value equal to the lowest test score in their rankings. These schools differ from ones with test-optional or test-flexible admissions for which SAT and ACT scores were available and were always rank eligible."

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