In this comprehensive guide, we go over everything you need to know about the LSAT’s scoring system.
You’re probably working hard to prepare for the LSAT as you start your path to becoming a lawyer. Along with sticking to a strict study regimen, it’s critical to comprehend the LSAT’s scoring methodology. You will be aware of the exam’s ins and outs and how many questions you may get wrong in order to receive the grade you want. Everything you need to know about LSAT exam scoring is covered in this article, including how raw results are transformed into scaled scores.
Before you dive in and begin studying for the LSAT, make sure to read our guide to the best LSAT prep courses.
What does the LSAT comprise?
Scores for the LSAT range from 120 to 180. The typical score is around 150, but if you want to get admitted to one of the top 25 law schools, your score needs to be significantly higher than 160. Usually, there are 100 or 101 questions on each LSAT. The total number of questions a test-taker correctly answers, commonly referred to as the “raw score,” ranges from 0-101 and determines the LSAT score.
How Are LSAT Scores Determined?
Once the raw score has been determined, a scaled LSAT score between 120 and 180 is created using a score conversion chart for each LSAT (120 being the lowest possible score and 180 the highest). Similar to changing a numerical grade into a letter grade, but with a different number that has greater meaning. A scaled LSAT score of 180, for instance, would equal a raw score of 99 out of 101. A sample LSAT scoring chart is provided below:
You need a “percentiles chart” to determine how well your scaled score compares to other candidates. The percentile chart will show you the percentage of persons who achieve that score or less. In other words, if you scored at or below the 99th percentile (172), 99% of other test-takers also did. The percentiles chart is an average over several years rather than just the administration you took.
For the LSAT, there are 61 different possible scores in the 120–180 range. A student’s relative position in relation to other test takers is determined by their individual score. A percentile that corresponds to each score serves as a representation of these relative situations. The percentile shows the test-position taker’s in relation to the entire sample of test-takers. A student who receives a score of 160, for instance, has performed better than 80.1 percent of test-takers between June 2014 and February 2017. This is known as the 80.1 percentile. The percentile is important because it provides a reliable indication of how you rank among test takers and applicants to law schools.
The usual LSAT score is somewhere around 151. Small adjustments to your test-taking strategy can have a significant impact on your score and percentile ranking since the range of possible results is so narrow. Your percentile is dramatically pushed higher by an additional point on the LSAT.
Keep in mind that law schools are looking at your scaled score while you review your raw score. So, when applying, make sure to check and use your converted scale score rather than your raw score. The majority of law schools will publish the incoming students’ average scaled scores. Although you may fall inside the normal percentile, law school is extremely competitive, so you must differentiate yourself from the norm in order to stand out.
How many questions can be answered incorrectly for a score of 170?
The most questions you can answer wrong on the LSAT if your objective is to achieve a score of 170 is 11. You should achieve your goal score of 170 by correctly answering 90 out of the 101 questions. Remember that even one extra right response can put you well ahead of other test takers if you are aiming for a better score.
What if you guess on the LSAT exam?
On the LSAT, there is no penalty for giving erroneous answers, so if you are pressed for time or simply aren’t sure of an answer, don’t be afraid to give it. Avoid making rash or random assumptions. Instead, start by eliminating improbable answer options. Having fewer options increases the likelihood that your prediction will be accurate. Make your best educated guess once your options have been reduced. Sometimes, all you have is a gut feeling about one of the remaining options. The phrase “go with your gut” is acceptable. In any event, speculating is vastly preferable to failing to provide a response.
If your performance remains ordinary, you will be up against many other pupils who have obtained similar marks. Your chances of being admitted into the school of your choice will increase if you surpass that average scaled score and percentile. The finest law schools are those that meet the precise average range requirements, some of which are more stringent than others. So make sure to take your time learning about the criteria and requirements of the schools you want to apply to, as well as their requirements. Make sure your LSAT score is within or above the requirements set by the school you intend to attend.
LSAT Exam FAQ
The LSAT consists of how many points?
Scores for the LSAT range from 120 to 180.
How are LSAT test results determined?
A score conversion chart is used to translate a student’s “raw score” into a “scaled score” based on the total number of questions they successfully answer. For instance, if a student receives a raw score of 80, their scaled score will be 164.
Bryce Welker is a regular contributor to Forbes, Inc.com, YEC.co and Business Insider. After graduating from San Diego State University he went on to earn his Certified Public Accountant license and created CrushTheCPAexam.com to share his knowledge and experience to help other accountants become CPAs too. As Seen On Forbes