A few words about LSAT Scoring

The LSAT is scored on a scale from 120 to 180. It’s really 0 to 180, but you get 120 points for spelling your name right. The median hovers around 151 and scores spread out more or less in across a bell curve. The curve is rather steep, meaning that the vast majority of students score right smack in the middle (in fact, almost 70% score between 141 and 161).

What does this mean for you, the consumer? First, chances are, if you’re normal, you’re right there in the middle with everyone else. Second, a little bit of improvement goes a long way.

Imagine for a moment that you are as average as they come. You score a 151, the 49th percentile. A mere five point increase moves you into the 68th percentile. Seven points places you well into the 76th percentile. Did you catch that? A seven point improvement moves you past more than 25% of the field!

What if your practice tests are lower? Maybe you’re struggling a little bit and scoring 146, the bottom third. Ouch. A seven point increase from there is a 153, the 57th percentile. That relatively small increase in score moves you from well-below-average, facing a small number of law schools who will even consider you, to comfortably above-average with lots more opportunity for choosing your path to the bar.

Ok, so what’s the point of this? First is just to familiarize you with the competition. Law school admission is about standing out. The LSAT is the most important place to stand out, and the way the game is set up, most students will clump around the median where there is little chance of being noticed. Second, is to encourage you to do everything humanly possible to improve your score. Every point counts. I highly recommend taking classes or private tutoring. I’ve seen students improve their scores 20 points, but my examples in the post focused on what even a seven point increase can do for the average student. The reason I chose seven points is because a seven point increase absolutely doable. The average increase at the Princeton Review is, you guessed it, seven points. That’s the average. That’s normal. That probably means you.

Now, if the average student can take a class and raise his score seven points, why isn’t the average higher? I think I know.

Happy studying!

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