How Is the LSAT Scored?
The Law School Admission Test is a difficult test and has an incredibly unique scoring style. You’ll be happy to know that wrong answers don’t count against you. However, knowing how the LSAT is scored can help increase your chance of admission to your intended law school.
Raw LSAT Score
The first thing you need to know is your raw LSAT score. This is simply the number of questions you answered incorrectly. The benefit of the LSAT is that wrong answers don’t count against you. They, simultaneously, don’t work toward your raw score. For example, if you get the first question wrong, you don’t lose any points. If you get it right, you’ll have a raw score of one.
Not every instance of the LSAT is the same. The number of questions varies around 100 to 103. All answers are weighted equally, which means the hard ones are worth the same as the simple questions. If you’re running out of time, do your best to answer all the questions correctly before the test concludes. Any unanswered problems have no chance of counting toward your raw score.
LSAT Scaled Score
The LSAT scaled score is between 120 and 180. If you didn’t get a single answer right, you’ll receive a score of 120. The formula was designed to weigh each test equally. Since humans create the test, it’s nearly impossible to make sure that each version of the test is as equally hard as the previous one given. The scaled score formula allows test makers to adjust the Scoring Conversion Chart, giving each student an equal chance.
While the score is important, many law schools will also review the LSAT percentile of their respective applicants. This is how their score relates to others that took the test, or how the individual ranks in the overall pool of test takers. For example, a score of 170 represents the 97.4% of people who have taken the test in the last three years.
The Law School Admission Council calculates the percentile score by using LSAT data over the previous three years. Using the three-year pool of information provides the LSAC with a reliable method to determine each percentile. Since it updates every three years, it’s important to make sure you have accurate information before you attempt to calculate your own score. This also makes comparing scores across multiple years difficult.
After all this, you may wonder which score is most important and what defines a “good” LSAT score. Law schools look at several different factors when you apply, including your LSAT score, your undergraduate GPA, leadership experience, the reason for attending, and recommendations. Due to these factors, a “good” score is relative. Furthermore, each school has its own policy and considerations when admitting students for enrollment. While one may weigh the LSAT scaled score, another may consider the LSAT percentile as a deciding factor. If you have any questions, it would be best to contact your preferred law school’s enrollment department to ensure accurate answers.