How LSAT scoring works

How LSAT scoring works

The takeaways
  • Scoring Metrics: The LSAT has three scoring metrics: a raw score (0-75 points for correct answers) which is turned into a scaled score (120-180, adjusted for test difficulty), and each scaled score represents a (1%-99.9%).
  • Scored Sections: Only three out of the four LSAT sections count towards your score (two Logical Reasoning sections and one Reading Comprehension section); the fourth is an unscored experimental section. Since you can’t identify the experimental section, aim to perform well on all sections.
  • LSAT Writing: The LSAT Argumentative Writing section is unscored and is taken online separately from the exam.

How is the LSAT scored?

There are three relevant scoring metrics to know about when considering the LSAT exam: raw score, scaled score, and percentile scores.

Your raw score is awarded on a scale of 0-75 points. For each question you answer correctly on the exam, you will gain a point. It is important to note that incorrect answers do not harm your score — there is no penalty for guessing if you do not know the answer.

When most think of LSAT scores, the scaled score (120-180 point scale) is probably the metric that comes to mind. Your scaled score is based upon your raw score, however, in order to account for natural variance in exam difficulty, each individual test is converted from raw score to scaled score differently.

The LSAT percentile score is a comparison of your scaled score and other test takers from the past three years. Unlike the raw to scaled score conversion, the conversion between scaled score to percentile score has remained relatively uniform over the years. The graph below is based upon data from 2020-2023 LSAT scores. 

For closer reference, the 50th percentile is around 153, the 75th percentile is around 161, the 95th percentile is around 170, and the 99th percentile is around 175. 

Which sections are scored?

The answers for three out of the four sections (two Logical Reasoning sections and one Reading Comprehension section) will count towards your score — your answers on the fourth section (also known as the experimental section) do not affect your score. In the experimental section, test-takers are given newly created questions for the sole purpose of generating data. LSAC will use the data from the experimental sections in order to determine the suitability of these questions for use in the scored sections of future LSAT variations. 

Although many test-takers may be tempted to try to identify the experimental section of the exam, we recommend that you try your best in every section of the test. There is no reliable way to distinguish whether a section is scored or unscored — you should put your all into every section because you have no way of knowing which may count.

What’s the deal with LSAT Writing?

The LSAT Argumentative Writing component is an unscored portion of the LSAT. In the writing component, you will have 50 minutes to choose between two decisions (or courses of action) and construct an argument in order to defend your choice. The purpose of this section of the exam is to provide law schools with samples of your writing skills while under pressure. 

The LSAT Argumentative Writing component is administered separately from the LSAT exam. Unlike the exam, the Writing component is only administered in an online format. Luckily, this means that you can take the Writing component at a time of your choosing (at any time within 8 days before your scheduled exam).

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