“What is a good LSAT score?” is a question a lot of people ask themselves when preparing to take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). But everyone says something different. Some say you have to get the highest score possible to impress admissions committees from the best law schools, such as Harvard Law School and Yale Law School. Others say an average score is enough for the easiest law schools to get into. This article will tell you the best LSAT score range to meet all your goals, and give you proven study strategies to make sure your LSAT score hits the target.

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List of US Law Schools with the Highest LSAT Requirements List of US Law Schools with the Lowest LSAT Requirements What is a Good LSAT Score? How Your LSAT Score is Calculated How to Get a Good LSAT Score Conclusion FAQs

List of US Law Schools with the Highest LSAT Requirements

  1. Yale Law School - 171-177
  2. Duke University School of Law - 167-172
  3. Columbia Law School - 172-176
  4. University of Chicago Law School - 169-175
  5. Georgetown Law School - 167-173
  6. NYU School of Law - 170-174
  7. University of California Berkely - 165-171
  8. Stanford Law School - 170-175
  9. Cornell Law School - 169-173
  10. University of Pennsylvania Carey School of Law - 167-173

Want to learn how to write the perfect law school personal statement? Watch this video:

List of US Law Schools with the Lowest LSAT Requirements

  1. Arizona State University College of Law - 158-167
  2. Emory University Law School - 160-169
  3. University at Buffalo-SUNY School of Law - 153-159
  4. Baylor University Law School - 158-163
  5. Florida State University College of Law - 158-164
  6. Florida International University College of Law- 158-162
  7. Loyola Law School - 158-163
  8. University of Alabama School of Law - 160-166
  9. Howard University School of Law - 152-158
  10. University of New Mexico School of Law - 152-159

What is a Good LSAT Score?

LSAT Score Range for Elite Law Schools: 167-174

LSAT Score Range for Mid-Level Law Schools: 153-166

Law schools look at more than your LSAT score. Most law schools in the US will create a unique index score based on your LSAT and your GPA to determine whether you’re a competitive candidate. You can even calculate this figure on your own with the LSAC’s online calculator tool, and then make a decision on where you want to apply and where you might have a better chance of getting in based on your index score.

Some schools, such as the University of Alabama, make clear that they take your index score more seriously than other parts of your application package, such as your law school personal statement and law school resume. So, getting an above-average LSAT score is important, but you also need to think about other parts of your application, and maybe use law school admissions consulting to help you decide where you need to focus your time and energy.

Your score, along with your GPA, will be viewed first and a decision about your application may be made solely on the strength of the combined index scores. But where you apply will also factor into what makes a good LSAT score. At the University of Alabama, the median LSAT score for the most recent class was 166, which is almost in the 99th percentile of LSAT scores – in other words, 166 is an exceptional score.

We’ll talk more about how your LSAT score is calculated and what other information is listed on your LSAT score report later, but now it’s important to understand that you should try to get as high an LSAT score as possible regardless of which school you are applying to. In fact, knowing your LSAT score beforehand can help you decide on which schools to apply to, based on their law school requirements and whether your score will be viewed favorably, or not.

Choosing a Law School Based on Your LSAT Score

Your choice of law school is a personal one and has a lot to do with who you are (traditional, recent-university graduate; mature, international or non-traditional student), your future plans and your motivations. If you have your heart set on attending one of the big 14 law schools among Ivy League colleges, money is no object, and accept the standards that you have to meet, then you should pursue that path.

But if your only motivation is to be a lawyer, you don’t have a lot time or money to spend on LSAT prep (or law school), and it doesn’t matter to you where you go to school, as long as they have a quality program, then you can choose a school that will be easier for you to get into based on your stats as they are. Of course, it depends on what those stats are.

Last year, the majority of people who took the LSAT got a 153. This is slightly above average, but it won’t be enough for elite programs. However, some schools, such as online law schools may look favorably on this score if there are other aspects of your application that are appealing (your background; work and volunteer experiences; service commitments).

The LSAT is only one part of your application; it is an important part, no doubt, but if it’s the first thing you do, and you get a satisfactory score (anywhere between 153-160) then you’ll have more of an idea of what schools are better for you, your circumstances and your abilities rather than trying to fit into the mold made by “prestigious” law schools.

Yes, a high LSAT score will give you more options on where to apply, and a majority of students do get higher marks on their second attempt, but you have to ask yourself if your choice of school matters less than the ultimate goal of getting into a law school that will accept you. But, of course, the decision is up to you.

LSAT Alternatives

Another thing you should consider when thinking about whether you should take the LSAT and what your score should be is that a few law schools have started to accept Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) scores as alternatives to the LSAT. The GRE is a content-based exam that has more in common with the Medical College Admissions Test, as they both assess your knowledge of various topics. Some law schools that don’t require the LSAT will accept GRE scores instead.

The GMAT is usually administered to business school and MBA applicants, and also measures your knowledge of business-related subject matter. Knowing about these alternatives is important if you’re not sure that you have the resources to invest in an LSAT prep course or an LSAT tutor. The reason some law schools have started to accept other standardized tests is because some argue that the intense preparation needed to get a good LSAT score puts some applicants at a disadvantage, namely those who cannot afford LSAT prep resources.

The LSAT stands apart from most other standardized tests because it requires a different type of practice, along with specialized training, to be able to master it. Your analytical skills, comprehension, problem-solving and creativity are just some of the skills the LSAT measures, and it does this with an uncanny set of puzzles, logic games, impenetrable language and disordered facts that you have to make sense of to answer the questions correctly.

This style of test is completely different from the math and reading comprehension problems you’ll find on the GRE, or GMAT, although these tests also assess your analytical and problem-solving skills. The point is that if you don’t feel like you can adequately prepare for an exam as challenging and unique as the LSAT, then you can try to study for the other standardized tests. However, whatever test you take to get into law school, you should remember that the LSAT was designed specifically for law school admissions and that a good LSAT score correlates to doing well in law school.

How Your LSAT Score is Calculated

After you complete the LSAT, you’re score will be calculated into three different categories:

  • Your “raw” LSAT score (all your correct answers)
  • Your scaled LSAT score (your raw score converted into the LSAT score range)
  • Your percentile score (where you fit in relative to all other test-takers)
  • Your score band (the best estimate of your performance after correcting for the margin of error and difficulty)

All three of these figures represent something different, and they will all be seen on your LSAT score report sent to law schools when you send your application through the LSAC. The scaled score is considered your official LSAT score, although your percentile score also matters for other reasons (mainly, how you scored compared to the rest of your cohort).

But, if you want to get technical, your “official” LSAT score is found in the LSAT score band that is also included in your report. The raw, scaled and percentile scores are only estimates of how well you did on the test, while the LSAT score band – which is a range of scores – is more representative of your true performance.


The margin of error in the test.

The LSAT is not perfect, and there is about a 2-point margin of error for every administered test. On top of that, the difficulty of the LSAT changes all the time, so your final, scaled LSAT score is really an estimate of your performance, not an exact measurement. To account for this increase in difficulty and the margin of error, LSAC converts your raw score to the scaled score, which will be somewhere between 120 and 180 - the LSAT score range.

But even your scaled score may not be the most accurate assessment of your performance, which is why your score is ultimately placed on the LSAT score band. This way admissions committees can see where you placed within this 7-point range, after accounting for the difficulty and margin of error. This is important to know so you can fully understand what all these numbers mean and not misconstrue these results as something you did wrong; it’s just the way the test is scored.

How Long are my LSAT Scores Valid?

Your LSAT scores are valid for five years after you take the test the first time. But if you have to take the test multiple times, only your highest score will be taken into consideration. However, all the law schools you apply to will see your entire test history, as it is a feature of the LSAT score report they receive from LSAC. They will also see any canceled scores, or missed test dates, which will also be recorded on your report.

How to Get a Good LSAT Score

1. Preparation is Everything

You need to create a practical LSAT study schedule if you want to increase your chances of getting a good LSAT score. Your study schedule should make time for many different activities, including taking diagnostic tests, devoting time to learning more about LSAT questions and their unique features, and practicing your analytical, problem-solving and close-reading skills. To create a study schedule, you also have to look at LSAT test dates and coordinate with deadlines for the schools you want to apply to so you get everything in on time. As to how long you need to prepare for the LSAT – most students take between three to four months for their first attempt.

2. Take Multiple Full-Length Practice Tests

LSAT practice tests are the main method of preparation for the first-time test-takers, and while it is important to take these tests, you also need to study what the questions are asking, and how they are structured. However, taking timed and untimed diagnostic tests will help you prepare mentally and help you devise a strategy for which sections of the LSAT you need to devote more time and attention. But one thing to remember about LSAT practice tests is that you shouldn’t pay attention to the scores on your practice tests and think that will be your real LSAT score. There are many differences and nuances to taking the actual test, so any “scores” you get on a practice test will not reflect or predict your true LSAT result.

3. Understand LSAT Questions

Each section of the LSAT tests something different, so the type of questions you’ll asked will differ with each section. It’s important that you research and analyze the way these questions are structured so you don’t spend a lot of time during the test trying to figure out what it is asking or saying. LSAT questions, stimuli, prompts are all written to be complex, but there are things you can look for that will help you decipher them so you can use your time uncovering the correct answer. There are also different question categories that, if you memorize and are able to identify them, will help you figure out the correct answer quicker since you know what the question is asking for (stating an assumption; proving or disproving an argument; finding a mistake) than if you need to first understand the question.

4. Use Free or Paid LSAT Resources

Depending on your budget, you may not be able to afford some of the paid LSAT resources out there, but using free resources, such as practice tests, study guides, lists of previous LSAT questions, can have a positive effect on your final LSAT score. According to LSAC, students who use some kind of LSAT resource to prepare end up scoring higher than those who do not use any kind of LSAT preparation materials. If money is an issue, you can apply for LSAT fee waivers available to those who qualify, and use the money to invest in a course or tutor. You can study with others and pool your resources to either afford professional help or form a study group to help each other prepare.


“What is a good LSAT score?” is a question that has many answers. Depending on the type of student you are, and the schools you choose to apply to, your ideal LSAT score could vary between acceptable (153- 160) or exceptional (160-174). But regardless of all that, if you want to give yourself an easier time during the law school application process, getting the highest score possible should be your goal. This means pouring hours and hours into your prep, and using the various resources out there to help you. But, if you don’t get a high score the first time around, and you are somewhere within the acceptable range, you still have a good chance of getting in.


1. What is a good LSAT score?

A good LSAT score is anywhere between 153-160. An outstanding LSAT score is anything higher than 160. Although it is rare, some people have gotten a perfect LSAT score, which is 180.

2. How important is the LSAT?

The LSAT is very important, but it’s not the only thing to think about when applying to law schools. A good LSAT score combined with a good GPA will get your foot in the door, but having great law school admissions essays, law school letters of recommendation, and a well-written law school personal statement also matter for how to get into law school.

3. Should I take the LSAT?

Personally, we recommend taking the LSAT, even though there are law schools that don’t require the LSAT. While they don’t require the LSAT, they do require you take some graduate-level test (the GRE or GMAT), so you have to take something. Studying for and taking the LSAT is a challenge in itself. It is also good practice for law school, in general.

4. Are there alternatives to the LSAT?

Yes, there are alternatives to taking the LSAT but you have to make sure the school you are applying to will accept them. Many law schools in the US and Canada have now begun accepting either the Graduate Record Examination or the Graduate Management Admissions Test, but it depends on the program.

5. How can I get a good LSAT score?

You have to study for the test, at least four months, and take diagnostic tests to time yourself. You also need to examine and categorize all the different questions you’ll be asked, since doing that will help you save time during the test; time you need to figure out the correct answer.

6. Why is the LSAT so hard?

The LSAT is so hard because being a law student and lawyer requires a unique set of skills that are difficult, but not impossible, to develop. Other standardized tests look at the breadth of your knowledge, but the LSAT examines how you think, interpret, analyze and problem-solve, which are skills that most people, let alone students, do not often use.

7. Can I challenge my LSAT score?

You can apply for an LSAT audit, but you are better off taking the test again if you are unhappy with your score. The LSAT is not perfect, but LSAC rarely make mistakes in assessing your test, and no one who has challenged their score has gotten it increased.

8. Can I get into law school with a low LSAT score?

It depends on what “low” is, but, objectively, if your LSAT is below the average (153), you are not likely to get into most law schools, and you should consider taking the test again.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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