Candidates can now opt for the LSAT in two forms – either you can take up the traditional LSAT exam, or you may choose to proceed with the remote LSAT – Flex. In the case of both exams, the raw score obtained will be converted into scaled scores.
LSAT Raw Score Conversion – Basic Conventions
The LSAT score is calculated on a scale ranging from 120 – 180; here,120 stands for the poorest score and 180 for the highest score, respectively. The four sections that get scored in the exam are Analytical reasoning, reading comprehension, and two sections of logical reasoning. The writing sample goes unscored for the LSAT.
LSAT raw scores mean the number of questions a candidate has answered correctly in the LSAT exam. When converted to a scale, this raw score is also called a scaled raw score. Practically, LSAT raw score conversion is a methodology of converting the total raw score of a candidate to a more acceptable form concerning a standard scale. The rule of thumb is to consider that a raw score of 90 converts into a scaled score of 170.
What is a Good LSAT Score?
Not all law institutions abide by the same norms when accepting candidates. Each institution has its distinguished “good score” norms. A moderate score may be good enough for some naive institutes, whereas average scores can never get you into premier league institutes. But this one may sound too vague. Generally, a scale-converted score of 170+ can be attributed as acceptable by the best institutions. That means a raw score of 89+ in the LSAT is needed to secure seats in the best institutes.
The candidates with an average score of 150+ also stand a chance to study law, but maybe they will not guarantee a seat in the best or desired institutes. The most confusing part of the game is that. LSAT has never released any official statement regarding the minimum cut-off marks or passing marks for the exam.
Students who secure 150 or below on the scaled score range of the LSAT belong to the 44th or 45th percentile. It is recommended not to present this score to any institute because there are negligible chances of acceptance. Instead, a better idea would be to retake the exam.
A good LSAT score would be somewhere between 160 – 170. LSAT always uses the 120 – 180 scale range for calculating the scaled scores. If we account for the percentile, nothing below the 90th percentile can be considered the best. To secure a seat at the best law institutes in the country, it is imperative to belong to the top tier of 10% LSAT test givers.
LSAT Raw Score, LSAT Scaled Score, and LSAT Percentile
There are three performance-indicating parameters concerning LSAT. They are LSAT raw scores that indicate the number of correctly answered questions. The LSAT scale converted score that means the raw scores changes to a 120 – 180 scale for better comparison, and the LSAT percentile indicates your relative position or ranks among all the test givers.
The authorities prepare the LSAT percentile chart based on the LSAT scale converted scores. The percentile will show where your position is among all the test givers. For example, if you belong to the 99th percentile, it means you rank among the top 1% of test-givers and likewise. All three parameters are crucial when determining entry into law schools.
LSAT Raw Score Conversion Scoring Chart
|Raw Score||LSAT Scaled Score||Percentile|
|87 – 86||168||98%|
|84 – 83||166||96.7%|
|81 – 80||164||94.6%|
|78 – 77||162||92.0%|
|76 – 75||161||90.0%|
|74 – 73||160||88.1%|
|72 – 71||159||80.4%|
|60 – 68||157||74.6%|
|67 – 66||156||70.9%|
|65 – 64||155||67.4%|
|61 – 60||153||59.7%|
|58 – 57||151||52.2%|
|56 – 55||150||48%|
There may exist slight differences in the scale converted and percentile ranks according to the changes in the difficulty level of the LSAT exam year-wise. However, this scale is quite close to it and can be ideally used for approximation. The law schools crucially consider all three data sets during the admission process.
How is the LSAT Raw Score Conversion Convention Formulated?
The charts for predicting the LSAT raw score to scaled score conversion result from the past data and the previous exam patterns. For each LSAT exam, the LSAT raw score and converted scaled scores were seen to form a trend or pattern concerning which the above data has been formulated. When the original raw score is matched proportionally to the scaled score range, it is easy to obtain an equivalent. Since LSAC released a single scale conversion table (in 2020), all the data regarding scale conversion of raw scores is based on that. The process used for LSAT raw score conversion to LSAT scaled scores is known as “Equating” and is a statistical process.
It is vital to note that equating is not a flat process. Instead, it considers the difficulty level of each LSAT paper when formulating the scaled scores.
One of the fundamental ways LSAT score conversion works is by considering the marks of all the sections. If you want to understand how the trend works, here are some basics:
When your raw score gets higher, with a miss of one or two questions, there would not be much difference in the scaled scores. That means you could even miss ten questions in the LSAT paper, yet you would stay in the range of 170.
When candidates correctly answer around 40 – 53 questions, they can expect to find themselves in the scale-converted score range of 148 – 150. Note that we consider all four sections cumulatively when talking about the number of correct questions.
How LSAT Scores Create a Difference?
The significant change in trend occurs towards the bottom range.
When you have a poor raw spring and lie towards the bottom in the raw score range, it is also highly reflected on the scaled scores. A scaled score of 120 to 140 is the bottom-most range. The worst part about having a poor LSAT raw score is that, with even a tiny difference in marks, there would be a massive shift in the scaled scores range. This portion of the scaled score range is super sensitive. Also, this hypes the competition. Any two students who have scored similar high raw scores may belong to the same scaled score category. But towards the bottom, even a slight difference in raw scores between any two candidates is reflected through a significant difference in the scaled score section. If you are thinking about how long to study for the LSAT to score excellent marks – a daily 5 to 7 hours of consistent study should be more than enough,
This trend gives birth to the saying – the LSAT is quite forgiving in the top tiers and merciless towards the bottom. If you closely observe, you would notice that the percentile rank changes significantly with very slight changes in scores in the middle and bottom range of the table, whereas not much difference is seen on the top tiers.