The LSAT consists of five 35-minute multiple-choice sections, and a writing sample. One of the multiple-choice sections is an ungraded experimental section (this section looks so similar to the other multiple-choice sections that you will probably not be able to tell which one it is). The 4 LSAT sections that contribute to your score include: Logical Reasoning I, Logical Reasoning II, Analytical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension.
How is the LSAT Scored?
There are approximately 100 scored questions, and each is worth one point. The two Logical Reasoning sections together constitute about 50% of the final score. Reading Comprehension and Analytical Reasoning each contribute about 25% to the final score. All scored questions are weighted equally on the LSAT.
An LSAT score is based on the number of correct answers. This score is also known as the raw score.
After a raw score has been calculated for each test-taker, a scaled LSAT score is determined by using a special score conversion chart to create a bell curve. The purpose of this is to make sure that LSAT scores remain relatively constant from one test administration to the next. Some LSATs have harder questions than others, so this system compensates for such variations. As a result, a score of 160 will always represent the same level of performance on the exam.
LSAT score range
The LSAT uses a scoring range between 120 (the lowest possible score) and 180 (the highest possible LSAT score). Once a scaled score is calculated, the test-taker receives a percentile ranking. This ranking compares your performance with that of all other LSAT-takers in the preceding three years.
Typically, a score between 178 and 180 will put you in the 99th percentile of test-takers, a score of 171 will put you in the 98th percentile, a score of 164 will put you in the 90th percentile, and a score of 160 will place you in the 80th percentile. The closer you get to the center of the bell curve, the more the number drops. A score of 155 will place you in the 64th percentile, a score of 150 in the 44th, and a score of 140 in the 13th. Most students’ scores will be concentrated in the center of the bell curve.
What is a good LSAT score?
The average scaled LSAT score is normally somewhere between 150 and 155. To determine the score you need, it is essential to know the average LSAT scores of accepted students at your target law school or schools.
Highest LSAT scores
If you are trying to get into one of the top 10 law schools in the country, an LSAT score of 164-177 is generally required. The law schools requiring the highest LSAT scores include Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, and New York University Law School; all of which typically accept students with scores above 170.
Average LSAT Scores for Law Schools
In general, a score of at least 140 is required to get into most law schools. A score in the 150s will typically get an applicant into most regional law schools. However, LSATs aren’t the only factor that law schools take into consideration when assessing applicants. A student’s GPA is very important as well, followed by recommendations from professors or employers, and the personal essay.
Law school applicants should definitely take the LSAT seriously. It is the single most important part of an application, and most universities place more value on the LSAT score than any of the other factors. The LSAT measures skills that are considered very important for success in law school, and compares a student’s performance to that of students at other universities who have taken the LSAT.
As a prospective law student, you should research what it takes to get into the law school of your choice and gear your efforts towards that goal. Find out as much as you can about the application process to the law school of your dreams and use that information to your advantage. Much of your success in this process, as in so many other areas of life, comes down to having clear goals and thoroughly preparing for the challenge.