What is the LSAT score range you need? What is a good LSAT score? Even law school admissions statistics are not clear on these questions. But I've got you! Though there is no one-size-fits-all answer, I will answer all the questions you have about what LSAT score you need to get to be accepted to law school! Everything you need to know in one place! Let's dive in.

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11 min read

What is a Good LSAT Score? How is the LSAT Scored? What is the Highest Possible LSAT Score? What is a Competitive LSAT Score? What is a Poor LSAT Score? Is a Good LSAT Score Important? Should I Retake the LSAT? How to Get 160+ LSAT Score FAQs

What is a Good LSAT Score?

Despite the fact that a good LSAT score varies depending on various factors, generally speaking, a good LSAT score falls within the range of 160-180, with the median score being around 150. Furthermore, scoring above the 75th percentile for your target schools can typically significantly increase your likelihood of admission and opportunities to receive scholarships. A good LSAT score is ultimately one that aligns with your goals and the expectations of the law schools you aspire to attend. For instance, in my experience I decided to apply to the University of Windsor Faculty of Law, where the median LSAT score was 155, so my target "good LSAT score" was 160.

In researching what is considered a “good” LSAT score, I utilized various official resources. Some of these resources included official data from law schools which can be found on the individual websites for each program, insights from the admissions offices of law schools, and firsthand accounts from applicants who have already been through the admissions process. Analyzing trends in admissions statistics of law schools, such as median LSAT scores for admitted students, can provide valuable context for evaluating your own performance and chance of acceptance to specific law schools. In my experience, when researching different law schools I found that most of the schools I was applying to highly valued the LSAT and were looking for a specific score range. However, there were a few schools such as Osgoode, Windsor, and Lakehead, which took a more holistic approach in their admission process and considered the LSAT as just one factor that would be balanced amongst the other application components.

In my experience, determining what qualifies as a good LSAT score is multifaceted and extends beyond numerical benchmarks. While achieving a high score obviously cannot hinder your application, it is important to consider other elements as well such as the competitiveness of the applicant pool, the reputation and selectivity of the law schools you apply to, and the overall strength of your application.

How is the LSAT Scored?

Before law school admissions committees review your LSAT score, the raw data from your most recent LSAT is grouped into three different categories:

  • Your raw score (all the answers you got right out of 100)
  • Your scaled score (the score you got on the 120-180 scale)
  • Your percentile score (where you stand compared to the rest of the test-takers)

LSAC compiles all these scores into your LSAT score report, which is usually released three weeks after your LSAT test date. You’ll see your specific score grouped into all three of these categories, as well as how many times you took the LSAT, and whether you have any canceled scores or missed tests. In the following sections, we’ll break down what each of the three categories means and how it is assessed by law schools.

The Raw LSAT Score

Your “raw” LSAT score is simply all the questions out of 100 or so questions you got right. All the questions on the LSAT are weighed equally so you get a point for each correct answer and there are no deductions or penalties for answering incorrectly.

So why not use only your raw score as your official LSAT score?

Because, depending on the LSAT Score Conversion chart for that year, the number of questions you answered correctly can result in a different scaled score, simply because the difficulty of the test has changed, usually, increased. For example, if you got 90 out of the 100 or so questions right, your scaled score might equal 170 based on the score conversion chart for that particular test.

But, the next year, LSAC may adjust the conversion chart to reflect the increased difficulty of the test. With this new conversion chart, you may need to answer more than 90 questions correctly to get that 170 scaled score, but not much, maybe 92 or 93 questions. The number of correct answers usually leads to a different scaled score every year because LSAC adjusts the conversion scale to account for the increased difficulty of each new LSAT.

That’s why your score is converted, because your scaled score can change (for better or worse, or not) depending on the score conversion chart and how many answers you got correctly, and whether you got enough correct answers to justify a change in your score.

Scaled LSAT Score

The Scaled Score, as mentioned above, is your raw score converted according to the LSAC Score Conversion Chart, which changes every year. Your scaled score is supposed to represent a more accurate picture of your proficiency in each of the areas tested by the LSAT. The LSAT score range has always been between 120 and 180, but, since LSAC retabulates the conversion chart to account for every new version of the LSAT the number of correct answers you need to get a high score may change, but not by a lot.

Percentile LSAT Score

Your percentile score is also an important metric when you get your LSAT score report. Your percentile score shows law schools where you placed relative to all the other test-takers on that date. If you’re in the 80th percentile, it means that you scored higher than 80% of the other test-takers in your cohort, and the comparison is the same for each number, from the highest (90th percentile = 90%) to the lowest (20 or 30th percentile). If you come out in any percentile lower than 50, you should consider taking the test again.

What is the Highest Possible LSAT Score?

The best possible LSAT score is 180; a perfect score. Very few people have gotten a perfect score, but anyone who scores within the 90th percentile has done exceptionally well and will significantly increase their chances of admission - barring some crazy red flags in the application. So, you must pay attention to other aspects of your application. A rushed, poorly-written personal statement may not sink your application completely, but it will make the admissions committee question whether you lack other essential skills associated with being a law student. They may even invite you to a law school interview to get the full story from you.

What is a Competitive LSAT Score?

A competitive LSAT score depends on which school you are applying to, as the elite, Ivy League colleges in the US and the best law schools in Canada have different criteria for what is considered a competitive score than mid-range schools. The LSAT range for the top 5 law schools according to law school rankings was between 160-175 for their most recent incoming class. But if you are applying to the easiest law schools to get into your LSAT score can be within the range of 150 and 160 to be considered competitive.

In a competitive admissions landscape where law schools receive a flood of applications each year, a competitive LSAT score can serve as a distinguishing factor that elevates you above the rest of the applicants. As such, you should not diminish the importance of achieving a competitive LSAT score when it comes to your desire to obtain admission to your top law school choices. However, it is also important to remember that your LSAT score is just one component of your entire application and there are other factors that can help you recover from a lower score. For example, in my experience although my LSAT score was not extremely high (165), I ensured that I wrote a strong personal statement and obtained letters of reference from people who knew me well and could really speak to my experience.

What is a Poor LSAT Score?

A poor LSAT is any scaled score that slides below the usual 150 threshold. Usually, if you get anywhere between 140 and 150, you’ll be advised by any law school admissions consulting professional to retake the LSAT. Even if your other applications materials are outstanding, with an LSAT score below 150, law school admissions committee will doubt whether you can keep up with the rigors of law school. You may have a chance with law schools that don’t require the LSAT, but if you want to get into a top-tier and competitive program, you need to score higher.

Whether we like it or not, the LSAT serves as a standardized measure of critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning skills—qualities that are highly sought after in the legal profession. Therefore, it should not be surprising that law schools often use LSAT scores as a key benchmark for assessing applicants' academic ability and potential for achieving success in law school.

Is a Good LSAT Score Important?

The reasons why getting a good LSAT score is important include:

  • A high score demonstrates your fitness for law school
  • A high score demonstrates you took the test seriously and were well-prepared
  • A high score demonstrates you have the skills to excel as a lawyer

But it is also objective, and taken together with your GPA, forms a real-world picture of your abilities and potential. There are other ways to demonstrate your readiness for law school, and you will be asked for them, but the LSAT is important because it was designed specifically for the law school admissions process and success on the LSAT is often considered the best predictor of whether you’ll succeed in law school by law school admissions officers. Getting a good LSAT score is not the only thing you have to focus on when applying to law school, but doing well on the test only makes your application stronger.

Another reason why getting a good LSAT score is important is because of the preparation that goes into the test. If you create and stick to an LSAT study schedule, you’ll train yourself to be more disciplined and focused but also sharpen those skills that you’ll need to do well on the test (interpretation; analytical skills; critical-thinking; problem-solving; identifying elements of arguments). If you put in the work to prepare, you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you do get into law school, as you’ll already have those skills ready in your first year and have an easier time learning.

Should I Retake the LSAT?

The number of times you take the LSAT depends on your initial scores and whether they are enough to get you into the law school of your choice. Some people are divided on how many times you should take the LSAT, because the rules have changed and now law schools only consider your highest LSAT.

However, since your LSAT score report has space to include 12 attempts (along with any cancellations, missed exams, etc.), every law school you apply to will see your history and make their own conclusions from it. But you should know that unless you change your study strategy so you can improve your score, repeated attempts (with no significant change in score) will make you look ill-prepared and ill-suited for law school.

If your first score – on average, most people get the average LSAT score on their first attempt (153) - is in one of the lower percentiles, you need to redouble your efforts when preparing. This could mean taking an LSAT prep course, or hiring an LSAT tutor to help guide your study strategy so you use your time more effectively when taking the test. A course or tutor will also give you the chance to brush up on your base study skills such as comprehension, analysis and reasoning.

How to Get 160+ LSAT Score

Here's what I did to get an LSAT score of 160+ on my first attempt.

1. I Devoted the Time to Studying and Preparing

Preparing for the LSAT is crucial to getting a high score. The test is unique and all the exams you’ve taken before in your academic career are not enough to prepare you for the difficulty of the LSAT. I set aside four months to prepare for the LSAT and scheduled multiple full-practice tests both timed and untimed, and close reading of the various question categories used on the LSAT. You can engage professional help if you need it - I made use of fellow pre-law students by joining study groups and studying together. Give yourself enough time to prepare is the first thing you need to do if you’re serious about getting a better than average LSAT score.

2. I Paid Attention to the Time

You have 35 minutes to complete each of the four components of the LSAT that you take on test day – logical reasoning, analytical reasoning, reading comprehension, and the experimental section (though they are changing it to 2 logical reasoning, 1 reading comprehension, and experimental sections soon). You will also have 35 minutes to write the LSAT Writing essay, which is done online, before or after the test. While finishing the LSAT earlier than the average three and half hours will not affect your score, you should be wary of the time when you both practice and on the day of the test. Allotting too much time or not enough can adversely affect your score, as you will end up guessing in some cases just to put something down. You need to be disciplined in how you use your time and be careful to spend only a specific amount of time on each question.

3. I Understood the Structure and Format of the Questions

The types of LSAT questions on the test are difficult to understand and decipher for most lay people. The questions are complex and worded awkwardly to confuse you, but if you take your time to read the questions closely, you’ll be able to unlock their different elements and start composing answer strategies for patterns you see in the questions. One danger you’ll run into during the LSAT is having to read and re-read a particularly confusing stimuli or question to understand it.

While this is normal, doing it repeatedly will eat away at your time. However, if you study the different question categories used on the LSAT (find a flaw questions; assumption questions; how-to-weaken-or-strengthen-an-argument questions, but there are many more) and are able to spot what kind of question is being asked by the words used (verbs, if-then statements) you’ll spend more time considering the right answer and not what is being asked in the first place. 

4. I Took Many Practice Tests

A diagnostic test will give you exactly that, a diagnosis, which you can then use to setup your study schedule and estimate how much time you need to prepare. But this is not the only reason to take a diagnostic test. Once you have your initial LSAT test time, you can also practice taking untimed tests so you can go more in-depth into studying the questions and understanding what they are asking. The time it takes to take the LSAT is usually three hours, so you can work a few tests into your week to see which parts you’re strong, or weak, in, so you can then devise a timetable for how much time you should spend on each section.


1. What is a good LSAT score range?

A good LSAT score range is between 160-180.

2. How is the LSAT scored?

You get three types of LSAT score on your score report – the raw score (all your correct answers); the scaled score; and the percentile score. As each score is included on your score report, every law school you apply to will consider each score, but your scaled score is the one that is used to measure your individual skills and aptitudes.

3. What is a good LSAT score?

A good LSAT score depends on what school you are applying to and what their acceptable range is, but a “good” LSAT score should be anywhere between 160 and 170, with exceptional scores being anywhere above 170.

4. How can I get a good LSAT score?

To get a good LSAT score, you need to study and prepare well in advance for the LSAT. You should take various diagnostic tests and examine the wording and phrasing of LSAT questions closely so you can understand them quickly and have a better chance of getting the correct answer.

5. Does the LSAT matter?

The LSAT matters if you are applying to a law school that requires it. But there is no law school that does not require at least one standardized test so even if you apply to the schools that do not require the LSAT specifically, you will still have to write any of the alternate tests, such as the GRE or GMAT. So, if you need to write a test to get into law school, why not prepare for and take the test that was designed specifically for law school admissions and which will more accurately predict your success during law school?

6. Is the LSAT fair, or unbiased?

The LSAT, like all standardized tests, is imperfect, for all its supposed objectivity. But the LSAC tries to correct for these flaws specifically by using the LSAT score range, so your scores stay the same relative to the increases in difficult introduced into the test each year. What most people object to about the LSAT is that not everyone has the resources to prepare properly, which is a subject for another blog post.

7. Should I take the LSAT?

Yes, you should study for and take the LSAT. The LSAT is unlike most standardized tests, and its one-of-a-kind format will test and challenge you in ways that you’ve never been tested, which, in our opinion, is the kind of obstacle you need to overcome to get in and master law school.

8. Is the LSAT hard?

Yes, for people who aren’t prepared and have never taken another analytical exam before, the LSAT will be very hard. The LSAT is not impossible to take, and neither does it take all day to complete like the MCAT, so it can be a challenge for some, but, with the right preparation, you can do very well on the LSAT.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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