Why Are Median LSAT Scores So High?
- Apr 28, 2023
- lsat prep
- Reviewed by: Matt Riley
If law school is on your radar, you may be tuned in to the recent trend concerning admitted students’ rising LSAT scores across U.S. law schools. This pattern really exploded after the beginning of the pandemic. In the fall of 2021, Reuters reported that 40+ law schools saw median LSAT scores increase by 2+ points in their first-year classes. Historically, United States LSAT scores were fairly steady, with the schools’ median (50th percentile), 25th percentile, and 75th percentile deviating by only a point year to year, if that.
Understandably, this trend concerns many LSAT takers and law school applicants. Will the target continue to move, making it harder and harder to gain acceptance to top law schools?
What caused the median to increase?
Two potential factors cause incoming students’ LSAT medians to increase. The first, relatively minor component is that median LSAT scores were higher at the beginning of the pandemic. Many speculate that LSAT-Flex lent itself to higher LSAT scores. However, data from LSAC shows that the average LSAT-Flex test score range from May 2020 to April 2021 was only 0.9 points higher than the average score from May 2019 to February 2020. Although LSAT scores were slightly higher during that time, the key to the rising LSAT medians had to do with growing application numbers.
The number of law school applicants in 2021 spiked. Not only was the pool bigger, but the number of people applying with top LSAT scores was higher as well. Since the cross-law school applicant pool was stronger and larger than years before, average LSAT scores at any given school were likely to rise.
What does this mean for future applicants?
So, will LSAT medians decrease? There is no way to know for sure, but things look hopeful. Now, in 2023, it seems like the trend might be reversing. Compared to 2020, the number of people taking the LSAT has gone down, and so has the number of law school applicants.
All that said, the best way to set yourself apart from the crowd is to focus on the LSAT in conjunction with the other components of your application. We recommend you get started with Blueprint’s free practice test and explore our additional benefits, including study plans, LSAT tips, live courses, LSAT writing prompts, and 1:1 LSAT tutoring.
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