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What Qualifies as a "Good" LSAT Score?

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

You may have recently learned that you must take this terrifying exam called the LSAT, or Law School Admission Test, to get into your dream law school. You probably also heard that you need a good LSAT score to become a law school applicant that has a chance to be accepted, and that the LSAT is more strongly considered than your GPA and personal statement. But then an important question comes to mind--what do law schools consider to be a good LSAT score?


In short, the answer is it depends. Let's take a look at the main factors that contribute to a "good" LSAT score.



1. The Score Range and Percentiles


The LSAT is graded on a scale from 120-180, 120 being the lowest possible score and 180 being the highest. There are typically 75-76 graded questions in total on the exam, with an Experimental section that is not factored into your overall score. The number of questions you must correctly answer to achieve a particular score varies slightly, as the LSAT is graded on a curve and is therefore dependent on how others perform in comparison to you.


Here are some of the scores and relative percentiles from the May 2020 LSAT to give you some perspective on scores based on percentile. Although these numbers will not be exactly the same for each test, it should give you a good estimate. This does not list all possible scores. Of course, the higher your percentile rank, the better your score is.

Scaled Score (Reported Score)

Questions Correct (Raw Score)

Estimated Percentile Rank

180

75-76

99.9

170

67

97.3

160

54

79.9

150

39-40

44.2

140

28

15.3

The Scaled Score is the score that is reported to law schools, along with the score band. The Raw Score is the total amount of questions you need to answer correctly in order to reach the specified Scaled Score. The number of questions you need to answer correctly can vary slightly from test to test. There is no penalty for missing questions, so incorrect questions are not factored into the Raw Score.


As you can see, a perfect LSAT score is a 180 and is in the 99th percentile, but you don't necessarily need to get every single question correct to obtain this score. The average LSAT score is around the 150 range. Although 120 is the lowest possible score, scoring less than 140 makes it challenging to get into many law schools. Generally speaking, scoring a 160 or above is considered to be a good LSAT score and is significantly higher than average.




2. Your Target School


To get into law school, you generally need a LSAT score of 150 or higher, although there are some exceptions.


Although a 160 or more is typically regarded as a good LSAT score due to the higher percentile, it does not necessarily mean a lower score is not good for you. Remember, the purpose of the LSAT is to get you into your target law school. For this reason, it makes sense to consider the median LSAT scores of your dream school so that you can determine what is high enough to get into that school, potentially with scholarship. Don't worry too much about whether others think your LSAT score is good.


In general, a LSAT score higher than 170 opens the door for Ivy League Schools. A score higher than 165 opens the door for some T14 law schools, which are the top ranked law schools in the United States.


My recommendation is to target a few points higher than the LSAT median for your dream school. This will allow a little cushion in case you underperform on test day or in case you are applying against a more competitive group of applicants.




How to get a good LSAT Score


Now that we understand what a good LSAT score is, the next logical question is how can we score high on the LSAT?


First, take a practice test. This will allow you to determine exactly what your strengths and weaknesses are, and how much you need to improve. After that, it takes a lot of hard work and an effective study plan to make significant progress on the LSAT. You need to make sure that you are studying consistently and thoroughly reviewing your mistakes. You also have plenty of options to choose from, including self-study, courses, and private tutors. I break down how to set up a plan and make the best use of your time in my newly released book, How to Study for the LSAT.





Stay Motivated!


Sincerely,

Impetus LSAT



I hope you found this post helpful. Subscribe for more blog posts Check out more study resources and/or LSAT private tutoring Check out my Instagram page Check out my YouTube channel

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