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What Is a Good LSAT Score Anyway?

  • by Gerry Hirschfeld
  • 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
  • Reviewed by: Matt Riley

What is a good LSAT score? Well, 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 (ok, that one’s not real), or any other law school in the country. It is the Law School Admission Test, after all.

So a “good” LSAT score depends on the school you would like to attend and its applicants.

Law schools publish the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile LSAT scores for their incoming class each year. You can use this information to compare your LSAT score to how the past applicants scored and estimate your chances of admission. 

Depending on your grades and other “soft” factors, you probably want your LSAT average score in the 50th – 75th percentile rank 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.

How Does LSAT Scoring Work?

Your LSAT score report will show you three separate scores. Each of these scores paint the picture of your performance.

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 being the lowest LSAT score possible and 180 being 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 ranks 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 rank of test takers.

For a full breakdown of scaled score to percentile, view our post.

How Do LSAT Percentiles and Law School Percentiles Work?

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. A high GPA is often necessary if you’re applying with a low LSAT score.

The 50th percentile means that you have an average LSAT score for law school. This means if other application factors are similarly competitive, then law school applicants have a reasonably strong chance of being admitted.

The 75th percentile means that 75% of admitted students scored at or below this LSAT score. It represents the higher end of the LSAT score range for admitted students. While grades are still important for law school 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.

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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. It even can help if you have a low GPA and high LSAT score.

What Is a Good LSAT Score For Me?

Now that you know a good LSAT score looks different for everyone, how can you determine what your goal score should be? Or, if you’ve alredy taken the LSAT, how do you know if your score is compettivie enough for the law schools you’re applying to?

The answer to both those questions depends on the school. However, you do want to try to fall into a school’s 50th or 75th percentile. No LSAT score guarantees you’ll get accepted, but a good LSAT score can strengthen your law school application. 

Below is a chart of the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles of the T14 law schools to give you an idea of what their latest incoming class scored.

Law School 25th Percentile 50th Percentile 75th Percentile
Stanford Law 171 173 175
Yale Law 172 175 177
University of Chicago 169 173 175
University of Pennsylvania 168 172 174
Duke Law 168 170 172
Harvard Law 171 174 176
New York University 168 172 174
Columbia Law 169 173 175
University of Virginia 167 171 172
Northwestern University 166 172 174
UC Berkeley Law 168 170 173
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor 165 171 172
Cornell Law 169 172 175
UCLA Law 165 170 171

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 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.

How Do I Get a “Good LSAT Score?”

The key to doing well on the Law School Admission Test is good, effective practice. The LSAT exam is skills-based; it is not something that you can just “cram” for.

Law school applicants 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 test prep course is one of the most effective ways to help ensure that they can get a good score and get into their dream law school.

Blueprint LSAT students increase their LSAT score 15 points on average with our personalized curriculmn. Whether you have the discipline to study on your own with a Self-Paced Course, want to navigate the LSAT with instructors in a Live Course, or prefer one-on-one attention through tutoring, we have the study method that fits your learning style.

Get a free practice test for the LSAT when you create a Blueprint LSAT account!