The LSAT is not only challenging and stressful; it’s also a very high-stakes exam that decides your ability to get admitted to the law school of your dreams.
Even more, the way the final score is calculated makes every additional point count. So, when you are fighting against hundreds of candidates, your preparedness must be on-point and your skills as sharp as they can be.
Is the LSAT Score that Important?
Each law school has its own admission formula, but they all agree on one thing: the undergrad GPA and the LSAT score are the two critical pieces that will decide between acceptance and refusal.
While there is some debate as to which of these two elements weighs heaviest, the tendency is to consider the LSAT score first. As such, to be accepted at a top law school, you need a top LSAT score. Not to mention that an excellent LSAT score can compensate for a less-than-stellar GPA.
In short, the answer is yes – the score to your Law School Admission Test is that important!
Now, there’s no need to panic. Anyone can improve their score with real effort and dedication. You just need to start the preparation by identifying your weaknesses and building your preparation sessions around this.
We recommend starting with a practice test. It will help you understand the exam structure and identify the holes in your knowledge. Luckily, there are lots of free LSAT practice tests available online for anyone interested in improving their skills.
What Score Do You Need?
We’ve established the score is important. Now, let’s see the score you should work for in order to get into the law school of your dreams.
The score to the Law School Admission Test ranges between 120 (lowest) and 180 (perfect) points and is calculated based on your raw score (the sum of points scored at each section of the exam).
Here’s what the score can get you:
Around 150 points
The average score is 150 points, but this will only get you into a regular, accredited law school. This is good enough if you don’t care too much about the school’s name or reputation and only want to study law.
If you study a bit harder and manage to get around 155 points, there are great chances to be accepted by a school like Texas Tech or Loyola. These are schools that didn’t make the cut for the top 100, according to the U.S. News and World Report rankings.
Now your prospects start to widen a little bit. With 160 points, you have the chance to get into schools like the University of Arizona, Tulane, or the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
A score of above 162 can get you into a top 14 law school, such as George Washington (D.C.), Washington University (St. Louis), or Notre Dame. Anything over 168 points and a good GPA can put you on the list of schools with a strong reputation, such as Cornell or the University of Chicago.
170 points & above
At this stage, you are part of the 2.5% of test-takers, and you have a good chance for schools like Harvard, Yale, or Stanford. If you manage to score 175 and above, you’re already a great candidate for Yale, a school into which it is quite difficult to get.
As you can see, the score range is quite narrow, and a few points can make the difference between the University of Arizona and Cornell. So, if you want a top tier law school, you’ll have to work hard on improving your score.
In conclusion, the best LSAT score for you is the one that will get you into the law school you want.