The LSAT score range is used by the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) to convert your raw score (the number of questions you answered correctly) to a scaled score between 120-180; the score often shown on law school admissions statistics. The LSAT score range is not something you have to focus on in your preparation for taking the test; where you land on the range depends on your raw score. But what is important to know is that the Scoring Scale that LSAC uses is adjusted every year to account for the increased difficulty of every new LSAT. The LSAT score range exists to make it easier to compare scores from past tests to recent ones, since the difficulty of the test rises and falls with each new iteration. This article will explain more about what the LSAT score range is, why it’s used, and tell you which LSAT scores are the best and how to get them. 

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Article Contents
10 min read

What is a Good LSAT Score? Why is a Good LSAT Score Important? How Many Times Should I Take the LSAT? Do I Need to Take the LSAT? How to Get a Good LSAT Score Conclusion FAQs

What is a Good LSAT Score?

If, when your raw score is converted to a scaled score, your LSAT score lands anywhere between: 153-174

Then, it will be considered a good LSAT score, but, as with the MCAT score for medical school admissions, the higher your score, the better. Whether your LSAT score is “good” or not also depends on the law school you are applying to. There are almost no law schools in either the US or Canada that have a minimum LSAT to apply, but the admissions committees still review your entire LSAT history to see where your previous tests fall on the LSAT score range.

But, 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)

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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.

LSAT Score Range: The Raw Score

As we mentioned, 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.

LSAT Score Range: Scaled 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.

LSAT Score Range: Percentile 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.

LSAT Score Range: What is the Best 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 be guaranteed a spot in law school. However, 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.

LSAT Score Range: 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.

LSAT Score Range: 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.

Why 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.

How Many Times Should I Take 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.

Do I Need to Take the LSAT?

Not necessarily.

While there is the option to apply to law schools that don’t require it, many law schools in both the US and Canada now give you the option to choose from any of the other graduate-level tests, namely the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) used in graduate school admissions. The change has been slow to take effect, but the American Bar Association – which is the accrediting body for law schools in the US – recently changed its admittance rule so that law schools could use any “valid and reliable admission test”.

But even though you can take any of the other graduate-level entrance exams, taking the LSAT specifically is better preparation for law school. However, the fact that not everyone is able to prepare as well as they should for the LSAT – by paying for premium prep courses and private tutors – and leaves them at a disadvantage is why there is a growing chorus of voices lobbying to either eliminate the LSAT requirement or make it optional.

How to Get a Good LSAT Score

1. Devote 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. You should set aside at least three to four months to prepare for the LSAT, with your preparation including various diagnostic 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, but you can also make use of fellow pre-law students by joining study groups and studying together, unless you like to prepare alone. Giving 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. Pay 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. 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 it typically takes most test-takers 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. Unlock the Structure and Format of the Questions

The types of questions asked on the LSAT are not unique to the test, but they are difficult to understand and decipher for most lay people. The questions are complex and worded awkwardly to confuse you, but if you start close reading the questions, you’ll be able to unlock their different elements and they will become more apparent to you. 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. Take 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.


The LSAT score range is a helpful metric to understand how well you’ve done on the LSAT, and where you can improve, if your scores are low. It puts your LSAT score in perspective compared to other test-takers and gives you an idea of what your score should be for the program you are applying to, based on the averages of accepted students. If you’re applying to a law school that requires the LSAT, and is super-competitive, you should aim for the highest possible score, but if you get low scores, you need to come up with effective study strategies to increase your score every time you retake the test.


1. What is the LSAT score range?

The LSAT score range runs between 120 and 180, which represents the lowest and highest score possible for the LSAT. The Law School Admissions Council uses the LSAT score range to convert your raw score into a value that is more representative of the difficulty of the test and your performance.

2. How many LSAT scores are there?

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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