How is the LSAT Scored?
Prospective law school students have to take the LSAT in order to get admission in the various law colleges of the USA or Canada. YourLSAT scores , along with your GPA, forms the two most essential elements of your admissions portfolio. Hence, understanding how to interpret yourLSAT scores is essential. At the same time, based on your LSAT score only will you be able to analyze the colleges that you should apply to, so that your admissions applications are looked upon, favorably. The methods by which your scores are calculated for the LSAT are discussed in the following sections of the article.
The LSAT question paper primarily consists of multiple choice questions. However, you have a writing section, as well, which is not scored by the LSAC. Copies of the writing sample are directly sent to the colleges that you have applied to, by LSAC. Thus, only the multiple choice questions contribute towards your rawscores.
The total number of correct answers that you have given, result in your raw score. A point to be considered here, is that LSAT does not have any negative marking. In other words, you will not be penalized for any wrong answer. Your raw score is the first step towards calculation of yourLSAT scores. The next step has been discussed below.
LSAC uses the raw score that you have received and converts them into a scaled score. Your raw score is converted to a scale ranging from 120 to 180. In other words, if you have not answered a single question correctly, then your scaled score will be 120. Similarly, if you have answered all the questions correctly, or at least have received 101 as your raw score, then your scaled score will be 180.
LSAC follows a statistical method called equating, in order to calculate your scaled score. This method takes into account the difficulty level of the examination, as well. For example, even if your raw score for two LSAT examinations are same, yet you will see that the scaled score for the more difficult examination is higher than the less difficult one. This ensures uniformity in the scoring system and also makes the score authentic.
The scaled score that you receive, will indicate your percentile rank, which is a very important part of your LSAT scores. However, this percentile rank does not merely indicate the number of candidates who have scored more than you and the number you have scored less. While, calculating your percentile rank LSAC, takes into account thescores received by candidates, who have taken the LSAT in the past three years. Your percentile rank reflects how many candidates have received a scaled score more than you in the past three years, and how many have received a score less than you, in the same time frame. Thus, your percentile score is a true representation of your abilities and your college preparedness. However, once you learn to interpret your score, you must also be able to utilize it. This aspect has been discussed in the following section of the article.
Types of Scores for the LSAT
Like any other examination, there are good, average and bad LSAT scores. However, the ranges for these types of scores are different for different examinations. The different types of LSAT scores are as follows:
- If your scaled score for LSAT is above 160, then it will be considered a good LSAT score. With such a score, you can consider applying to the top 25 law schools of the USA.
- A scaled score within the range of 150 to 160 is considered average LSAT score. You can apply to some law colleges with this score, but if you feel you can do better, then you should consider taking the test again.
- Scaled scores below 150 are considered bad LSAT score. If you receive such a score then you must take the test again, only this time you should prepare well for the test.
Once, you have understood what your scores represent, you will be able to choose colleges accordingly. However, different colleges have different marks criteria, for admission. If you want to know about the marks criteria of particular colleges, then you must visit their websites, or get in touch with the admissions authorities of the colleges of your choice. So, get to know how much you need to score in order to get admission in the college of your choice and then prepare for the examination accordingly.