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How Does LSAT Scoring Work?

Instructor: Fola Rae
It is important for you to understand the LSAT scoring process so you can aim for scores that will get you into your preferred law schools. Read on to learn more about how the final score is calculated and get info on study aids for the exam.

LSAT Scoring In a Nutshell

LSAT scores are a critical part of your application to law school. Approximately 100 questions are included on each LSAT exam. The number of questions you answer correctly are recalculated for your final score, a process known as 'scaling' the score. To understand how LSAT scoring works, the main things you need to understand are the raw score, the scaled score, and the percentile rank.

The Raw Score

A raw score on the LSAT refers to the number of questions you answer correctly out of the total number of questions on the exam. You won't be deducted for any incorrectly answered questions. So, if you take an exam with 100 questions, and you get 68 right, your raw score on the exam will be reported as a 68.

The Scaled Score

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) takes the raw score and creates a scaled score between 120 and 180. The LSAC evaluates the level of difficulty of the questions included on each exam by having the questions pretested. If there are easier questions on the February exam than the June exam, for example, the LSAC determines how the raw score will be converted to the scaled score based on each exam's difficulty.

There's no real way for a test taker to determine how much the raw score will be scaled, but that shouldn't affect your efforts to get the score you want. If you answer 75 questions on the exam correctly, for example, you could end up with a scaled score of 160. Here is an example of the scaled scores for three raw scores:

Raw Score Scaled Score
55 150
75 160
95 175

The LSAC also includes a 'score band' in its scaled score, which reflects a range of scores for your performance on the exam. For example, the score band for a test taker with a score of 160 might be 157 to 163. This band allows for a small margin of error.

Your Percentile Rank

The scaled score is then taken and compared to scores from test takers within the previous three years to determine what percentile of test takers you belong to. If you're in the 80th percentile, it means you just scored higher than 80% of the people who sat for the exam within that three-year period. Here's an example of the scaled score's relation to the percentile rank:

Scaled Score Percentile
151 50th
158 75th
164 90th

How Your LSAT Score is Reported

After you request and pay for a law school report for each of the schools you're applying to, those law schools must contact the LSAC to request your report. The reports include your raw score, scaled score and percentile rank, as well as writing samples, letters of recommendation and other pertinent information about you as an applicant.

If you take the LSAT more than once, or if corrections or updates have been made to your law school report, the LSAC will send updated reports to the schools. For repeated LSAT tests, schools will be able to see all of the scores, as well as an average of the test scores to that date. So, if you scored a 155 in February and a 165 in June, for example, your average score would be 160. Some schools may consider your average test score and some schools will consider the highest score reported for you.

Contesting Your LSAT Score

You can contest your LSAT score and request a rescoring of your answer sheet by contacting the LSAC in writing within 60 days of the test date. Your answer sheet will be scored by hand and the LSAC will send a copy of the report with the new scores to you and to the schools you've chosen to apply to.

Study Resources

Check out Study.com's LSAT prep course LSAT Test: Online Prep and Review with valuable information about the exam itself, and chapters that cover material for each of the sections included on the exam. The engaging video lessons in this course make the learning experience fun, and you can use the quizzes to test your knowledge of the material as you go along.

Or aim for the score and the school you want by preparing for the conditions on test day using Overcoming Test Anxiety, a Study.com resource that you can review when you feel like taking a break from practice questions.

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