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How Would Presidents Have Scored on the LSAT?

Here’s a President’s Day fact for you: did you know that 27 of our nation’s Commanders-In-Chief were lawyers before they were elected?

Do you know what that means? Before President Obama’s dad jokes, Bill Clinton’s scandals, or William Howard Taft’s Supreme Court appointment, each of them was an anxious law school applicant. Just like you.

What Did Presidents Get on Their LSAT?

In most cases, it’s hard to say. The LSAT has only existed in its current form since 1991 (minus the remote option and, after June 2024, the removal of Logic Games). However, armed with Google and a bit of reckless speculation, we can make some semi-educated guesses as to how they’d have performed.

The easiest to predict, by far, is Barack Obama’s score, mostly because we have some data. Based on admissions records, we can deduce — somewhat reliably — that Barry-O scored between the 94th and 98th percentile on his LSAT. Using today’s grading system, that would place him somewhere around a 170. So, add “Might help you become President” to the list of reasons why you should aim for a 170.

Further Reading

🎯 5 Reasons to Strive for a 170+ LSAT Score

🤝 Find out how to get a guaranteed 170 on the LSAT!

I think we can safely assume that James Garfield would’ve lit up the LSAT. He stands out as one of the few presidents (or, for that matter, lawyers) in our history who knew how to math — and boy, did he math well, deducing a unique proof for the Pythagorean theorem.

Based on his demonstrated skill in spatial-mathematical reasoning and his familiarity with a subject central to numerous Reading Comprehension passages, we can be relatively certain that Garfield would’ve scored no less than a 177 on his LSAT. Tragically, Garfield was killed after only six months in office, following a painful bout with injuries sustained during an assassination attempt.

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The attack calls to mind another assassination attempt decades earlier on President Andrew Jackson. This incident ended with the aging President Jackson limping after his would-be assailant and beating him over the head with his cane while howling unpublishable indignations.

He demonstrated similar tenacity as a thirteen-year-old prisoner of war, and then as a Major General (although many of his campaigns were morally reprehensible, and likely another subject of your Reading Comprehension passages). That sort of willful determination can go a long way in LSAT preparation, however, leading me to believe that Jackson would have studied long and hard enough to score about a 175.

If you feel confident in your assessment of another President’s LSAT capabilities, chime in in the comments section!

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