What is a Good LSAT Score Anyway?
- Apr 27, 2022
- Admissions, General LSAT Advice, How Would They Have Scored on the LSAT?, Law School, Law School Admissions, LSAT, LSAT Preparation, LSAT score, score
Short answer: it depends on the law school. The goal of the LSAT is to get into law school, whether that’s at Albany Law School, Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, Loyola University School of Law, Khan Academy, or any other law school in the country. It is the Law School Admission Test, after all. So a “good” score depends on the school you would like to attend.
Law schools publish the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile LSAT scores for their incoming class each year. Depending on your grades and other “soft” factors, you probably want your LSAT average score in the 50th – 75th percentile in order to be a competitive candidate.
Therefore, a “good” LSAT score for one law school might be an “average” or “great” LSAT score for another. That said, the higher your LSAT score, the better the odds that you will be admitted into the law school of your dreams.
So how does scoring work?
Raw Score: The raw score is just the number of questions that you answered correctly in all three of the scored LSAT sections.
Scaled Score: Your raw score is then converted into your scaled LSAT score, which ranges from 120 to 180. The LSAT score range measures how well you’ve done, with 120 the lowest score possible and 180 the highest LSAT score. The scaled score is based on a conversion system run by LSAC.
LSAT Percentile: Your scaled score corresponds to your score percentile. The score percentile is where your score is relative to test-takers over the last three years of LSAT exams. For reference, a 151 scaled score would put you in the 50th percentile of test takers, and a 170 would place you in the 98th percentile of test takers.
For a full breakdown of scaled score to percentile, view our post.
How do LSAT percentiles work?
In addition to your LSAT score percentile corresponding to a percentile based on test takers over the last three years, it’s important to know that law schools report their matriculating students’ LSAT scores broken into 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles.
The 25th percentile means that 75% of students matriculating to that law school have a higher LSAT score. This would mean that other factors in your application, such as your GPA, will be extra important.
The 50th percentile means that your score is average for that law school. This means if other application factors are similarly competitive, then you have a reasonably strong chance of being admitted.
The 75th percentile means that 25% of students matriculating to that law school have a higher LSAT score. While grades are still important for admission, a student with a below-average GPA may still have a competitive application if their LSAT score is at or above the 75th percentile.
How important is my percentile to getting into my dream law school?
It is very important. In fact, it is arguably the single most important factor in law school admissions. According to a recent study done by UCLA Professor Richard Sander, the LSAT accounts for roughly 60% of your total application. Therefore, while the LSAT is not the only factor in your law school application, it accounts for a significant chunk of your application. Accordingly, getting the best LSAT score you can is the quickest way to increase the odds of admission into your dream law school.
How do I get the coveted “Good LSAT Score?”
The key to doing well on the LSAT is getting good, effective practice. The LSAT is a skills-based exam; it is not something that you can just “cram.” You will need to have a solid grasp of the concepts and be able to efficiently apply those concepts to questions. Because of this, students often find that a prep course is one of the most effective ways to help ensure that they can get a good LSAT score and get into their dream law school.
Are there any other benefits to a “Good LSAT Score?”
Yes, scholarships! On top of increasing the odds you will get admitted into your dream school, a “Good LSAT Score” also can mean money! Many law schools offer merit-based scholarships to their most competitive candidates. Given that attending law school can be an expensive endeavor, this can substantially help alleviate loans and expenses for admitted students.
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