You have a detailed understanding of what to expect on the LSAT and its pivotal role in the law school admissions process. But, do you know what the LSAT percentiles are for your target law schools? Do you wonder what a good LSAT score or score range you should aim for actually is?
In this post, I’ll break down everything you might want to know (and more) about LSAT scores and percentiles. After reading, you’ll walk away with your goal score range in mind so you can then begin to outline your application strategy and consider whether you may be able to benefit from a law school admissions consultant.
What is a Good LSAT Score?
Scores range from a lowest possible score of 120 to a max LSAT score of 180. But, what is a good score for you? Naturally, this is a personal question. The definition of a good LSAT score for you will depend on your goals, aspects of your application and, most importantly, your target law schools. Let’s start by taking a look at some common score thresholds.
If you score a 150 on the LSAT, you’ll have fared better than about 50% of test-takers and achieved close to the median LSAT score (the median and average LSAT score is around 150-152). For the passionate applicant whose only goal is to get into any law school, a 147-150 LSAT score range can work as long as they do their research and apply to schools within reach. However, if you’re attending law school for financial or professional stability, a 150 may not be an appropriate goal as you’ll likely be attending a lower tier program and thus have limited access to the recruitment process at lucrative firms.
If you achieve a 160 on the exam, you’ll have performed better than approximately 80% of test takers. A score of 160 is perhaps the most agreed upon number for a “good” LSAT score and could be compared to achieving above an 1800 on the SAT (or 25 on the ACT). While a 160 LSAT may get you into some of the top 50 law schools, if you are seeking a scholarship or have set your sights on one of the top 20 law schools, you’ll likely need to aim for the 165-170 score range.
A score of 170 on the LSAT is pretty much considered the gold standard. That being said, will it guarantee you a spot at Yale Law School? No. However, scoring a 170 or higher on the LSAT will place you in the top 2-3% of exam-takers and ensure you are a highly competitive candidate at the top law schools in the U.S. In fact, only Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia currently have median LSAT scores above 170. Regardless of the rest of your application, you’ll likely get accepted to a great law school with a 170 or higher as you’ve demonstrated your ability to read and reason at an exceptional level.
Perfect LSAT Score
According to the Law School Admission Council, only around 0.1% of all test takers earn a perfect LSAT score. Not to say you can’t dream about a 180 LSAT score, I’d just encourage the most ambitious students to instead choose a slightly more attainable goal score such as a 174 (99th percentile). Scoring a 174 on the LSAT will place you at or above the 75th percentile of admitted students at all law schools except for Harvard and Yale (though still above their reported medians).
LSAT Raw Score Conversion
The exam contains approximately 100 questions, and there is no penalty for incorrect answers. So, your LSAT raw score is simply your total number of correctly answered questions. It’s common for ambitious students targeting high scores to think in terms of the number of questions that can be missed to achieve a certain scaled LSAT score (120-180). Please note that every exam has a unique raw score conversion chart to convert your raw LSAT score into your scaled score in order to normalize scores from different LSAT administrations. PowerScore has a nice table illustrating the raw score conversion results for historical exams. For example, in 2019 you could have missed between 10-13 questions (depending on the exam difficulty) and scored a 170.
LSAT Score Percentiles
We’ve already developed a general sense of LSAT score percentiles from some of the common score thresholds above (160: 80th percentile; 165: 90th percentile; 170: 97-98th percentile, and 174: 99th percentile). Next, we need to determine our goal score range based on the law schools we’re interested in attending. As a rule of thumb, you should aim for a score somewhere between the median and 75th percentile for your target school to increase your chances of acceptance.
You should take into account other factors of your admissions profile such as undergraduate GPA, extracurricular achievements, and difficulty of major to further refine your target score range. For example, if you maintained a 3.95 GPA while majoring in economics or mathematics at Brown University, you may be fine scoring closer to the median LSAT of your target law school. However, if you have a 3.5 GPA from a less competitive school, you may want to score at or slightly above the 75th percentile of your target schools to increase your chance of admission to a competitive law school.
LSAT Scores by School
Now for the fun part. Let’s take a detailed look at the distribution of LSAT scores for select schools in the table below.
Feeling unsure about how competitive you’ll be when applying to your target schools? Consider reaching out for a free application consult with Admit Advantage, our #1 ranked and most-affordable law school personal statement consultant and admissions coach.
|wdt_ID||Law School||LSAT Score 25th Percentile||LSAT Score Median||LSAT Score 75th Percentile|
|5||University of Chicago||167||171||173|
|6||New York University||167||170||172|
|7||University of Pennsylvania||164||170||171|
|8||University of Virginia||164||170||172|
|10||University of California – Berkeley||165||168||170|
Concluding Remarks on LSAT Percentiles
A good LSAT score for you is best defined as a high enough score to be competitive at your target schools (i.e. an LSAT score range in the 50th – 75th percentile of your chosen schools). If it’s not your first time taking the exam, an alternative definition of a good score for you may be a meaningful score improvement, say from a 160 to a 165. After you’ve determined your goal score range, you should move on to selecting an appropriate LSAT study plan given your goals.
What are the Average LSAT Scores by Major?
Do some majors better prepare students than others for the LSAT? While there is no best major per se, we can take a look at the data to see if any interesting clusters arise. Derek T. Muller, Associate Professor at the Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law, conducted the original study using data for all 2013 applicants to law school. Muller’s work found a correlation between undergraduate GPA and LSAT scores. However, science and engineering majors tended to have lower GPAs but higher LSATs.
Exam Strategist completed an updated analysis for 2018-2019 law school applicants based on numbers reported by the LSAC. Interestingly, Astronomy had the highest average LSAT score among all majors (though admittedly made up only a small percentage of the applicant pool). Other high scoring majors include: Statistics, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Classics.
How Long Does it Take to Get LSAT Scores?
Generally, it takes 3-4 weeks to receive LSAT scores from the traditional exam. The Law School Admissions Council notes that the quickest way to receive your score is by ensuring that you have a registered account with LSAC.org prior to taking your exam. Those who do so will likely have an LSAT score release date of approximately 21 days following their exam, which is about 5-7 days sooner than those who will receive their scores by mail. Also, the score release time of day for those test takers with an online LSAC account is 9 a.m. ET.
How Long are LSAT Scores Valid?
LSAT scores remain valid for five testing years. The LSAC defines a testing year as the calendar period from June through May. If you take the LSAT multiple times, the LSAC will keep all of your scores on record for a rolling five year testing period. For the current 2020-2021 law school admissions cycle (through May 2021), the oldest LSAT exam date accepted would be June 2015.
How to Predict Your LSAT Score?
The best way to predict your LSAT score is by taking multiple practice tests under pseudo exam-like conditions (find an uncomfortable chair and tiny desk). Most LSAT tutors recommend taking a minimum of five practice exams though top-scoring students often report taking up to fifteen of them. To predict your LSAT score, take the average of your most recent practice tests then add and subtract three points to determine your probable LSAT score range.
How to Cancel Your LSAT Score?
Students may cancel their LSAT scores on test day or within six days thereafter. If you decide to cancel your score on test day (not recommended), simply follow the instructions on your answer sheet. If you’re thinking about canceling your scores, it’s generally best to wait a day or two to reflect on your intentions. If after thoughtful consideration you wish to cancel your score, simply log in to your LSAC account, navigate to the LSAT status page, and click on the “cancel score” prompt.
Notable LSAT Takers’ Scores
Admittedly, this section is just for fun. Let us know if there’s anyone you’d like to see added to the list!
Barack Obama LSAT Score
Though not conclusive, we can predict that President Barack Obama scored somewhere between the 94th – 98th percentile on his LSAT. Converting his approximated LSAT percentile to today’s grading system would give him about a 170 LSAT score.
Kim Kardashian LSAT Score
Kim Kardashian likely did not take the LSAT. Reports indicate that she has elected to go through a legal training process known as “reading the law”.
Tiffany Trump LSAT Score
Tiffany Trump visited Columbia Law School but was ultimately admitted to Georgetown Law School in 2017. Given that Georgetown had a 165 LSAT score median in 2017 while Columbia Law School had a 171 LSAT score median, we can make an educated guess that Tiffany Trump scored in the 162-167 score range.
Sam Winchester LSAT Score
This fictional “man of letters,” and one of the main protagonists of Supernatural, achieved a very respectable 174 LSAT score.
Elle Woods LSAT Score
Lastly, this list (albeit short) wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Elle Woods of Legally Blonde. Elle Woods got a phenomenal 179 LSAT score placing her in the top 0.1% of LSAT takers!
LSAT Percentiles: What is a Good LSAT Score? (2023)? ›
If you achieve a 160 on the exam, you'll have performed better than approximately 80% of test takers. A score of 160 is perhaps the most agreed upon number for a “good” LSAT score and could be compared to achieving above an 1800 on the SAT (or 25 on the ACT).How is the 2023 LSAT scored? ›
Your LSAT (or LSAT-Flex) score is based on the number of questions you answered correctly — your “raw score.” All test questions are weighted exactly the same. The total number of questions you get right is what matters for your score, not which particular questions you get right or wrong.When should I take the LSAT for 2023? ›
|Administration||Primary test dates||Test Date Change deadline (discounted) **|
|August 2023 — LSAT||8/11/2023 8/12/2023||7/3/2023|
|September 2023 — LSAT||9/8/2023 9/9/2023||8/1/2023|
|October 2023 — LSAT||10/13/2023 10/14/2023||9/5/2023|
|November 2023 — LSAT||11/10/2023 11/11/2023||10/3/2023|
A 99th percentile score on the LSAT is about a 172, meaning if you get a 172, then you did better than 99% of all test-takers. That's clearly an excellent score.What percentile is a 165 LSAT score? ›
If you achieve a 160 on the exam, you'll have performed better than approximately 80% of test takers. A score of 160 is perhaps the most agreed upon number for a “good” LSAT score and could be compared to achieving above an 1800 on the SAT (or 25 on the ACT).What did Obama get on the LSAT? ›
Unraveling the secret behind Obama's LSAT Score
Hence it's very likely that Obama had an LSAT Score around the median of the class (43 on the then-used 48 point scale).
With the 2023-2024 LSAT year set to begin in June, LSAC let us know about some minor changes to the exam. There's a lot to cover, so we're just going to rifle through the updates, bullet-point-style: Most importantly — and despite what you may have heard — the LSAT's format is not changing in the 2023-24 test cycle.Which month is the LSAT easiest? ›
You'll look at my LSAT PrepTest Raw Score Conversion Charts and calculations of what it takes to get an LSAT score of 160 or 170. Using that data, you'll find that the December exam consistently has the easiest "curve," and the June exam consistently has the hardest.Are more people applying to law school in 2023? ›
The good news is that 2023 law school admissions cycle application trends reflect a 14% decrease in total applications compared to the 2021 cycle. Law school application numbers are still significantly higher than 2019 and 2020 but do reflect consistent volumes over the past five years.
How hard is it to get a 170 on the LSAT? ›
A 170 represents a percentile of 97.4%, meaning that test takers with a score of 170 have a score higher than 97.4% of all LSAT takers. So, that's pretty good! But what does it take to achieve that score? On the most recent LSAT, you would have to answer at least 89 out of 101 questions to receive a 170.Is a 172 LSAT good enough for Harvard? ›
Among the 14 ranked schools with the highest-scoring students, including ties, the overall median LSAT score was 172. Yale Law School in Connecticut, with a median LSAT score of 175, tops the list. Harvard Law School in Massachusetts is close behind with a median LSAT score of 174.How common is a 170 on the LSAT? ›
170 score: Scoring a 170 on the LSAT is almost always considered a good score — that means you are in the 2-3% of test-takers. Still, it won't guarantee you admission at a top law school. Other parts of your application are still a factor.Can I get into Harvard law with a 165 LSAT? ›
Top-five law schools: 170 to 180. Schools like Harvard and Yale, which are the top two, rarely accept applicants with less than 172 on the LSAT.Can I get into law school with a 165 LSAT? ›
25 law schools all reported an LSAT median score of at least 163‡. This means that to be a competitive candidate at a top 25 law school, you will most likely need a score above 165.Can you get into UCLA with a 165 LSAT? ›
Required UCLA Law School LSAT Score
There is no “required” LSAT score to gain admission at UCLA Law, but higher scores can boost your application. Consider the LSAT score percentiles of incoming J.D. students: 25th percentile LSAT: 166. Median LSAT: 170.
Conversation. The least realistic part of Legally Blonde is how Elle Woods went from scoring a 143 on her practice LSAT to a 179 on the real thing.Should I retake a 158 LSAT? ›
If you get your official LSAT score back and it is significantly lower than your practice test average, you should retake. For example, if your last 3 practice test scores were a 165, 167, and 166, but on test day you scored a 158, you should definitely retake the LSAT.What is the average LSAT score for first time takers? ›
Data Summary. The average LSAT score for first-time takers was 151, according to scores tracked from 2006-2013. During this period, second-time test takers had the highest LSAT average score of about 152. The average national LSAT score for full-time, first-year JD enrollees for fall 2022 was about 159.What did Kim Kardashian get on the LSAT? ›
In a clip from the show, Kim revealed to sisters Khloé and Kourtney that she failed the important test. In order to pass, Kim needed a score of 560. She scored 474.
How many times did Michelle Obama take the LSAT? ›
I think I took the ACT four times, the LSAT three times. And I had to take yet another test in order to be a licensed attorney: the bar exam. Sometimes life is all about perseverance.What LSAT score do I need for Harvard? ›
As you can see from these numbers, an LSAT score of 170 or higher and a GPA above 3.75 will give you a chance of gaining admission to Harvard Law School. If you have a GPA of 3.94 or higher and above a 175, you are pretty much a lock for admission, particularly given the class size of ~560.Has the LSAT gotten harder over the years? ›
Short answer: No. The only difference across practice tests over time is that early Logic Games are harder, so if anything, the LSAT has gotten easier.Are law schools getting rid of LSAT? ›
The ABA's Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar overwhelmingly voted to resubmit a controversial proposal to end by 2025 the longstanding requirement that schools use the Law School Admission Test or other standardized test when admitting new students.How many months to study for LSAT? ›
For most students, a three-month period of preparation (of approximately 20 hours per week) is a great goal. This is, of course, an estimate; most students are not all students. To find out how much LSAT prep time you're likely to need, we recommend taking a practice LSAT to get a baseline score.What is the hardest section on the LSAT? ›
Many students will find this section to be the most tedious of the LSAT because this section was designed so that test-takers have no prior knowledge of this section. Those who find themselves in the throes of the LSAT reading comprehension section will have 35 minutes to complete four parts.
Over the years, we have heard a number of pervasive myths discussed as people attempt to compare one particular LSAT administration to another, perhaps the most common of which is that one test is typically easier, harder, or somehow different than the others. The truth is that every LSAT is more or less the same.How many times do most people take the LSAT? ›
Thus, when you go to the test center for the first time, the majority of people around you are also there for the first time. What about people repeating the test? The average percentage of second-time test takers is 26%, and the average percentage of third-time test takers is 5% (percentages rounded).What GPA do you need for law school 2023? ›
Students should aim for a GPA of 3.6 or higher to get into the best law schools. Some law schools will accept students with lower GPAs, but realistically, you'll need a GPA of at least 2.5 to have a fair shot of getting accepted to less selective law schools.What law school has the lowest acceptance rate? ›
- Yale University: 6.9%
- Stanford University: 9.72%
- University of Pennsylvania: 14.6%
- University of Virginia: 15.3%
- Harvard University: 15.6%
- Columbia University: 16.8%
- University of Chicago: 17.5%
- Duke University: 20.2%
What is the average GPA for law school applicants? ›
Among the 191 ranked law schools that submitted grade data to U.S. News in an annual survey, the average median GPA of entering law school students in 2021 was 3.55. But at the 20 highest-ranked law schools, the average median GPA is much higher – 3.86.What is a 75% on the LSAT? ›
For example if your LSAT Scaled Score is 157 you will have a percentile rank of approximately 75% meaning that your Scaled Score of 157 is better than 75% of the LSAT Scaled Scores for the last three years.
Every LSAT throughout the year is different, but on a typical LSAT, you can still get 25 wrong and end up in the 160s— or about 20 wrong and get a 164, a 90th percentile score. Even a perfect score of 180 often allows for a question or two to be missed.How many questions can you get wrong on LSAT for 170? ›
To achieve a score of 170 requires a test taker to correctly answer 90 out of 101 questions.Can I get into Harvard with 171 LSAT? ›
A score of over 175 or better almost guarantees acceptance at some of the most elite universities: Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, and with a great GPA, even Yale. While stellar, achieving a 173 is not in itself enough to guarantee acceptance at the country's most elite universities.How many people get a 172 on the LSAT? ›
So, a great score on the LSAT is a 172, but more than 100,000 people take the LSAT every year and only 1% score 172 or higher. For the top 50 law schools, the median LSAT score is between 164 and 174.What LSAT do you need for Yale? ›
To get into Yale Law School, you should spend your undergraduate years working as hard as you can to earn top grades. You should also invest plenty of time in studying for the LSAT in order to aim for a score of at least 175, and preferably 176 or above.Has anyone got a 180 on the LSAT? ›
Remember, the LSAT is one component of the application, and the definition of a good LSAT score depends upon your specific goals. While only 0.1% of test-takers get a 180, many more get accepted into law school each year.What is the average LSAT score without studying? ›
The LSAT is scored on a 120-180 scale.
From our independent research, we've found that students who take the LSAT without studying achieve scores between 145 and 153.
In fact, you're besting 99.4 to 99.9 percent of your peers – not bad at all. So, what does that mean for you sky-high, go-getters? Whelp, you can apply to pretty much anywhere with confidence. Scoring in this range makes you extremely competitive for a variety of great law schools.
Do law schools look at LSAT percentile? ›
Your score's percentile rank is the percent of people who score lower than you. Because a 152 is the median LSAT score, it would give you a percentile ranking of approximately 50. It's common to talk in terms of LSAT score, but law schools also look at your score percentile.
3. What LSAT Score Do I Need for Stanford Law? While there are no exact LSAT score cutoffs, you should aim for an LSAT score between 172 - 180 to be a more competitive applicant.Can I get into NYU Law with 165 LSAT? ›
NYU Law School's median LSAT score is 169. Its 25th percentile on the LSAT is 166. Its 75th percentile is 171.How hard is a 155 on the LSAT? ›
First off, if you're in this score range, you're already officially above the mean (and above median, though we can't speak to mode – sorry stats fans). Within this score range, you're besting 64-78 percent of your peers, putting you solidly within the top half of test takers!How many questions can I get wrong to get a 165 on the LSAT? ›
You can get around 19-22 questions incorrect to score 165 on the LSAT. In other terms, you need to get 80 answers correct to get a 165.What LSAT score is too low for law school? ›
An LSAT score below 160 is not competitive for admission to the top law schools, and it's not competitive for scholarships to law schools with decent employment prospects.”Can I get into NYU law with a 166 LSAT? ›
If you want to get into a T6 law school, you need to aim for a 170+ LSAT score to feel confident about getting accepted to a T6 law school. Though UChicago, Stanford, Columbia, and NYU all have 25th percentile LSAT scores just below 170, most students at T6 law schools got in with a 170 or better.What LSAT score do I need for Berkeley? ›
What LSAT Score Do I Need To Get Into Berkeley Law? You should apply to Berkeley Law with an LSAT score of at least 165. The 25th and 75th percentiles of LSAT scores for admission at UC Berkeley were 165 and 171, respectively. The median LSAT score was 169, the highest recorded median LSAT score in the last decade.What percentage of people get a 165 on the LSAT? ›
According to the Law School Admission Council, only around 0.1% of all test takers earn a perfect LSAT score.How is the new LSAT graded? ›
How is the remote LSAT graded? The remote LSAT is graded the same way traditional in-person LSATs have been: by counting up the questions answered correctly to get the raw score, then converting that to the scaled (120-180) score.
Is the LSAT required for law school 2023? ›
Today, law schools accredited by the bar association must require applicants to take a “valid and reliable” admission test — in most cases, students take the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT.How many questions are on the LSAT 2023? ›
The LSAT is 3 hours and 30 minutes long. The test consists of 99–102 multiple-choice questions.How many questions can I miss on the LSAT to get a 170? ›
To achieve a score of 170 requires a test taker to correctly answer 90 out of 101 questions.What score is 75% on LSAT? ›
For example if your LSAT Scaled Score is 157 you will have a percentile rank of approximately 75% meaning that your Scaled Score of 157 is better than 75% of the LSAT Scaled Scores for the last three years.
Attending law school can be an excellent decision to further your education. A law degree can lead to a high earning potential, increased job opportunities and a broad professional network. This degree can also grow your critical thinking and communication skills.Can I get into law school with a 139 LSAT score? ›
While you may be able to apply and even be accepted into a law school with a lower LSAT score, there is a cut-off for acceptable application scores. If you are consistently scoring lower than 145, you may need to consider significant studying and a retake before applying to law schools.Which part of the LSAT is the hardest? ›
Analytical Reasoning Tips
This is considered one of the most difficult sections of the LSAT because of how abstract it is. Test-takers will be thrown curve balls left and right and have to find a way to keep up.
Scoring a 175 means you missed 5 questions on the test, which can be the equivalent of an entire logic game. Scoring a 170 means you missed 10 or 11 questions, which is nearly half of an entire section. The point of all this is that there is room to make mistakes.How many questions can you miss to get a 160 on the LSAT? ›
So, you don't have to be perfect to do well. Every LSAT throughout the year is different, but on a typical LSAT, you can still get 25 wrong and end up in the 160s— or about 20 wrong and get a 164, a 90th percentile score. Even a perfect score of 180 often allows for a question or two to be missed.Is 3 months enough to study for LSAT? ›
For most students, a three-month period of preparation (of approximately 20 hours per week) is a great goal. This is, of course, an estimate; most students are not all students. To find out how much LSAT prep time you're likely to need, we recommend taking a practice LSAT to get a baseline score.
Is 2 months enough time to study for the LSAT? ›
Two months is the optimal LSAT prep schedule for many students. While you can make great score improvements with one intense month of study, practice, and review, most expert LSAT faculty will recommend a longer schedule if one is possible for you.Is the LSAT getting harder? ›
Short answer: No. The only difference across practice tests over time is that early Logic Games are harder, so if anything, the LSAT has gotten easier. Don't worry about subtle changes based on a few data points. Focus on understanding the test, one question at a time.