The LSAT is one of the more difficult post-graduate exams around today, and plenty of individuals feel intimidated when they start looking into what it takes to ace this exam. Understanding how the LSAT is scored is an essential first step to knowing how to properly craft your study plan to help you achieve your target score. Our article gives you more information about the importance of the LSAT, how the LSAT is scored, and what the average score of the LSAT is.
The Importance of the LSAT
The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is an important standardized exam that is required by the majority of law schools across the United States. Students applying to law school will need to submit their scores from this exam as part of the application process, and the better your LSAT score is, the more competitive of an applicant you are. This means that you are more competitive and more likely to receive merit scholarships and offers of admission at selective law schools.
Keeping all this in mind, it’s no wonder that many individuals dedicate an impressive amount of time to ensuring they are familiar with the LSAT and working toward achieving the highest score possible.
How Is the LSAT Scored?
The LSAT consists of four 35-minute multiple-choice sections. Three of these sections will be scored, and one section will be an unscored section that is used to test new questions; this section will be a repeat of one of the previous three sections and you won’t know which section is unscored, which is why it’s important to give your best effort on all sections.
There are approximately 99 to 102 questions on the LSAT, and each LSAT given does vary in questions included and level of difficulty. Because of this, the LSAT is graded on a curve to ensure fairness for all test takers. More information about LSAT grading can be found on the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website.
The lowest score you can receive on the LSAT is a 120, meaning you didn’t answer any questions, and the highest is a 180, which means you got almost every question correct. When taking practice tests, you can utilize a raw score conversion chart to see how your LSAT would be graded officially.
Average LSAT Scores
The average LSAT score does change somewhat year by year, but it generally falls around 152. In some years the average score of all test takers from all LSAT administrations is 150, and in others, it is significantly higher, such as the 159 average score reported for test takers in 2022. In general, a score that falls in the 150s is considered average, with anything lower than this considered a low LSAT score and anything above 159 considered a high LSAT score.
What Counts as a ‘High’ LSAT Score?
A high LSAT score is one that makes your law school application stand out as more competitive or impressive to selective law schools. Scores above 159 are generally considered high, and scores that fall in the upper 160s and 170s are the most desirable if you are trying to achieve a high selective score.
Keep in mind that every law school has different requirements and expected LSAT scores for admission, so you should check with the admissions office of your desired law school to check which score range you should be aiming for.
How Do I Improve My LSAT Score?
If you are dealing with an average or low LSAT score and want to improve it, LSAT prep courses and a consistent studying plan is the best way to achieve this. And with the help of a personal tutor, you can more efficiently identify your LSAT weaknesses and strengths, properly directing your studying time. A consistent studying plan will help keep you on track to your dedicated LSAT score goal and map out the tasks you need to complete to achieve this desired score.
Can I Retake the LSAT for a Better Score?
It is possible to retake the LSAT, and this is often a good idea if you think that you can raise your score. Law schools will typically accept your highest LSAT score when reviewing your score report, though they may be able to see all of the scores you achieved on the LSAT. If one score is significantly higher, you may want to consider adding an LSAT score addendum to your application materials.
Getting Your LSAT Studying Started
The LSAT is a notorious test, but you shouldn’t let yourself get discouraged when starting on your studying journey. Review the average scores of the LSAT in our article to see where to aim for, and don’t forget to check with the admissions offices of your desired law school to see if you need to aim for a high or competitive LSAT score.
Reach out to a tutor and develop a consistent studying plan to get your LSAT studying started the right way.