Woot! Wait…can we still use “woot” in 2012?
Anyway, he asked me whether he should address this in an addendum, and if so, how. First of all, file this under:
Great Problem to Have.
Next, you’ll want to consider whether the school you’re applying to asks you to explain such a score jump, and by “jump,” we’re talking more than three points, usually six or more.
Law school consultant Anna Ivey explains that many schools are increasingly asking for an addendum if there has been more than a certain point increase in your score from one LSAT to the next. Obviously, if a school specifically asks you to explain this phenomenon, you absolutely should do it.
But for schools that don’t discuss this in application instructions, is explaining an LSAT score jump in an addendum a good idea?
I think almost always yes, and it’s mainly because this way the adcomm doesn’t have to guess about the difference in your score. This, of course, assumes that you actually have a solid reason for explaining your score jump. As Ivey notes, if you really don’t know why you scored so much better, don’t do the addendum (unless, I repeat, the school you’re applying to specifically asks for an explanation, in which case you’re going to have to come up with something — but make it *truthful*).
And this brings me to an important point:
In an addendum addressing your score jump, be honest.
My guess is that for many of you, the first time you took the LSAT, it was without much preparation and/or maybe you didn’t take it as seriously as you should have. That’s OK to say, and in fact, can work to your advantage if you then put in a lot of time an effort to prepare for the exam.
So, in this case, in your addendum, emphasize that when you got your score, you knew you needed to work harder because you were capable of doing better; explain (in a sentence or two) what you did to prepare, how hard you worked at it (perhaps hours you put in), and that your hard work paid off in your most recent LSAT performance.
The reason this sort of addendum can work in your favor is because you’re showing the adcomm that when faced with adversity, you rise up and meet the challenge and that you’re willing to work hard to overcome setbacks, particularly in an academic setting.
If you have specific questions about addenda, feel free to leave them in the comments or contact me privately.
And remember, if you need help writing your personal statement or other essays for your law school application, I have several service plans available; if you’re not sure which is best for you, you can always contact me before purchase.
Best of luck with your applications!
* Image by Bryan Gosline (Flickr) via CC license.