LSAT Score Percentiles

LSAT Score Percentiles

November 6, 2018

Understanding LSAT score percentiles is an important part of the application process. More than likely you're immersed in a sea of test day strategies and techniques claiming to increase your exam performance and overall score. Naturally, this is crucial when looking at percentiles, where you truly get a feel for your own competition. Now, now, we don't want to bog ourselves down unnecessarily with this information—after all, who succeeds on a test when they are worried about others performing better than them? But percentiles are a crucial building block in the application process; they can inform a lot about your score's relationship to your chosen law school.

In this article, we are going to delve into LSAT scoring fundamentals to set a basic foundation, then detail general percentiles and school-specific percentiles, then reflect briefly on 2017 LSAT median scores and their implications. More than likely you have done some percentile investigating of your own; hopefully, the information in this article build upon that and encourage you to go a step further.

LSAT Scoring Fundamentals

In order to understand percentiles and specific law school requirements, it's important to first understand the structure of the exam as a whole. Below you will see the LSAT outlined by section. Please note—subject contains one section, except for the Logical Reasoning, which consists of two sections. Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what you are sure to encounter on test day as it relates to this important hallmark of the law school application process.

LSAT Test Section# of QuestionsLength of Time# of Sections
Analytical Reasoning22-2335 minutes1
Reading Comprehension26-2835 minutes1
Logical Reasoning24-2635 minutes2
ExperimentalN/A35 minutes1
Writing1 essay35 minutes1

LSAT Percentiles

Okay—onto the subject at hand. Percentiles are important, as schools will typically work with them when publishing data about their acceptance rate. Finding out where you align with your LSAT percentile is important when weighing your own admission chances and odds. Do you have your score handy? Hopefully you do so you can figure where you match to better understand the admissions process.

LSAT General Percentiles
LSAT Scaled ScoreLSAT Percentile
18099.9
17999.9
17899.9
17799.8
17699.7
17599.6
17499.4
17399.1
17298.7
17198.2
17097.5
16996.6
16895.6
16794.4
16693.1
16591.7
16489.6
16387.3
16285.2
16182.7

When browsing published data available online as it pertains to the 25th and 75th LSAT percentiles, schools are typically very transparent. Keep in mind these numbers are not intended to scare you, but simply shed some light on acceptance rates as it relates to LSAT scores. (Note—if you don't see your school listed here, you can visit their website, where most of this data is published openly.)

Law School 25th & 75th Percentiles
Law School25th Percentile75th Percentile
Harvard170175
Yale170176
Columbia169173
Stanford169173
Chicago166172
NYU168172
Duke165170
Pennsylvania165171
Georgetown163169
Michigan165170
Northwestern161171
Cornell165167
Vanderbilt163169
USC163167
Emory157166
Notre Dame160165
UC-Davis159164
SMU157163

LSAT Score Averages

LSAT score averages tend to go hand-in-hand with percentiles, so including 2017 median LSAT scores for the handful of elite schools below also should give you further insight into your competition. Similar to percentiles, LSAT median scores are also transparently published on most schools' websites. These statistics, in particular, were published in a recent U.S. News & World Report.

2017 LSAT Averages for Top Schools
Law School2017 Median LSAT Score
Harvard173
Yale173
Columbia171
Stanford171
University of Chicago170
Duke169
NYU169
University of Pennsylvania169
University of Virginia169
Northwestern University168
Washington University (St. Louis)168

The Takeaway

Focusing on your own course of study is paramount for LSAT success—any law school student who has been through this process will tell you so. Keeping these percentiles in the back of your mind when approaching a rigorous LSAT preparatory curriculum should motivate you, not discourage you from applying to the school of your dreams. Remember that you are not just a blanket LSAT score, but a diverse and complicated human being vying for admission to an elite law school. Enhance your overall application while working towards increasing your LSAT score. This can go hand-in-hand to give you the confidence you need to succeed on your law school interview, as well.

 
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