LSAT Scores - What is a Good LSAT Score?
- Academically reviewed by Morgan Galloway Daly, J.D. - LSAT Expert
Our guide on LSAT scores will cover everything from how the exam is scored to what is a good LSAT score. The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is used by almost every law school in the United States to grant admission into their program.
The exam is a high stakes exam and is a great predictor of success in the first year of law school. Colleges and universities place a heavy emphasis on the LSAT.
Getting a top LSAT score will help students get into their program of choice and start their journey on becoming a lawyer.
Summary: Learn about LSAT scores and what is considered a good LSAT score.
How is the LSAT Scored?
The multiple-choice section of the LSAT is a three-category exam measured out of a scale of 180. The three sections are Reading Comprehension, Analytical Reasoning, and Logical Reasoning. A score on each of these sections is then summed to produce a total score.
Be sure that you answer every question on the test. When you do not know the correct answer to a question, first eliminate the responses that you know are incorrect and then make your best guess among the remaining choices. Do not be afraid to guess, as there is no penalty for wrong answers.
When you receive your LSAT score, it will include:
- One overall score ranging from 120-180 (scaled score).
- A "score band" which is a range of scaled scores above and below your score.
- A percentile score, ranking your performance relative to the scores of a large sample population of other LSAT test-takers.
What is a Good LSAT Score?
The average LSAT score is 152, according to the Law School Admissions Counsel (LSAC). Schools will compare you to other applicants by relying on an LSAT percentile, which is a percentile calculated against the scores of everyone who has taken the LSAT in the last three years.
The percentile ranking represents the percentage of test -takers who scored lower than you on the LSAT. If your score, for example, was a 160, your percentile is somewhere around 80 percent.
According to the LSAC, an exceptional LSAT score will be approximately 172, which is the 99th percentile. If you scored 172, you scored better than 99 percent of all test takers.
A score of over 175 or better almost guarantees acceptance at a top 6 law school: Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, NYU, and the University of Chicago.
*Please note that Harvard and Columbia do not require the LSAT in their admissions process, but it will be well perceived in the admissions process if you have a top score.
All tables below can be used to help you determine what is a good LSAT score. The tables break LSAT scores down by percentiles, school rank, and 2021 LSAT scores.
LSAT Score Percentiles
|LSAT Scaled Score||Approximate Percentile|
LSAT Scores by School Rank
Top law schools are very selective. Lower ranked law schools, however, have much lower acceptance standards. The table below shows the LSAT scores (25th, 50th, 75th percentiles), median GPAs, and acceptance rates of the top 200 law schools (grouped in bands of 20).
This table will help you determine what LSAT scores you may need to get accepted into your school of choice.
|Law School Rank||LSAT Score (25th%)||LSAT Score (50th%)||LSAT Score (75th%)||Median GPA||Acceptance Rate|
LSAT Scores 2021
Every year, the LSAC publishes their findings from students who have taken the LSAT. The statistics below are based on enrollment year 2021 data. The LSAC has data on 67,637 students.
|Highest LSAT Score||Number of Students Receiving Score|
How is the LSAT Structured?
The LSAT is administered in two parts. The first part consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions. Four of the five sections contribute to your score. These include a reading comprehension section, an analytical reasoning section, and two logical reasoning sections.
The second part of the LSAT consists of a 35-minute, unscored writing sample. The LSAT Writing section is administered online using secure proctoring software that you can install on your computer.
What is included in the five sub-sections of the LSAT?
The LSAT breaks down into six sections, each 35 minutes long, with a 15-minute break after the second section. It all adds up to 210 minutes of LSAT test time, or a total of 3 hours and 30 minutes, excluding the break.
- Reading Comprehension, worth 27% of your total score, tests your ability to make sense of dense, unfamiliar prose—but unlike other standardized tests, on the LSAT, you need to understand the passages’ structure, purpose, and various points of view, rather than the facts. Time is a big factor in this section.
- Analytical Reasoning, worth 23% of your total score, tests you on basic logic, systems of order, and outcomes. You’ll be asked to make deductions from a set of statements, rules, or conditions. These questions are posed in groups based on a larger passage.
- Two Logical Reasoning sections, worth 50% of your total score, test your ability to analyze and evaluate arguments. Logical Reasoning requires you to read short passages and answer a question about each one.
- The LSAT Writing Section isn’t scored, but it is sent to law schools along with your LSAT score and can be used to choose between relatively equal candidates. The LSAT Writing prompt presents a persuasion problem. You are asked to choose between two positions or courses of action, and defend your choice. There is no “right” or “wrong” position; the writing sample lets you demonstrate your argumentative writing skills. Law schools are looking at the reasoning, clarity, organization, language usage, and writing mechanics you display in your sample.
A good LSAT score is a score that gets you into a law school that meets your needs. This includes location and the programs of study you want to focus on. Taking a practice LSAT will give you a general idea of your score.
Commit to a study plan, stick to it, and you could raise your scores by 10 to 20 points. Your LSAT score and your undergraduate GPA should give you a realistic view of what law schools you have a good chance of getting accepted.
All data gathered for this article was collected from the Law School Admissions Counsel.
LSAT Score FAQs
What is a good LSAT score?
With that being said, if you want to get into a top 5 law school, you will most likely need to score in the 97th percentile or higher (170+).
If you are looking to go to a mid-tier law school, you will most likely need to score in the 155-158 range.
How long are LSAT scores valid?
What is the highest LSAT score?
Students who score a 175 will find themselves in the 99th percentile of LSAT scorers.
Students who receive a score in the 99th percentile should be able to attend any program of their choosing.
What is the average LSAT score?
With that being said, anywhere around 152 is usually the average score on the LSAT.