Score Big on the LSAT: Strategies for Achieving the LSAT Max Score


As you prepare for a future in law, the Law School Admission Test stands as a crucial hurdle. Your study sessions are important, but your understanding of the LSAT’s scoring mechanics is equally essential. Comprehending how the test is scored, especially how to achieve the LSAT max score, is a game-changer in your preparation journey. 

This article aims to demystify the scoring process, from how raw answers are converted to final scores. We’ll offer an in-depth analysis of the LSAT scoring system to assist you in striving for the highest possible score.

A woman in a knitted white sweater taking an exam- LSAT Max Score

Overview of LSAT Score Reporting

When students complete the LSAT, they receive a comprehensive score report that gives insight into various aspects of their performance. This report is essential for understanding one’s standing in law school admissions. The report primarily includes:

  • Raw Scores: These scores represent the number of questions the student answered correctly.

  • Scaled Score: The LSAT score report presents a scaled score ranging from 120 to 180. This score is an adjusted version of the raw score, modified through a process that ensures consistency across different test versions.

  • Percentile Rank: This rank indicates a student’s performance compared to other test-takers over the past three years. It offers a comparison of their performance in relation to a wide range of candidates.

How long are LSAT scores valid? Students who have taken the LSAT multiple times in the last five years will get a report showing the average of their scores and individual scores for each attempt. LSAT scores remain valid for five years, meaning only scores from the last five years are considered when calculating the average.

Understanding the LSAT Scoring System

The LSAT is structured into several LSAT sections, each contributing to the overall score. This test typically includes 99 to 102 questions that are counted towards the total score, with around 100 questions being the most common scenario. The scaled score is derived from the raw score through a process named “equating,” which links specific raw scores to each possible scaled score outcome. 

Achieving a perfect score on the LSAT, a maximum of 180, even with less than 100 correct answers, is possible. Equating may exclude specific scores within the scale, such as a scaled score of exactly 177 on some test versions. The score differences caused by the scaled scoring process are usually small, involving only a question or two. Equating serves the purpose of adjusting for variations in test difficulty.

LSAT Percentiles and Rankings

The LSAT percentile rankings show how well students did compared to others who took the test in the past three years. For example, a student with a percentile ranking of 72 knows that nearly 72% of their peers scored lower. LSAT score percentiles stay pretty consistent from year to year. 

For instance, a scaled score of 168 had a percentile ranking of 95.6 in 2014-2015, 95.4 in 2015-2016, and 95.9 in 2016-2017. The median LSAT score for those years was between 151 and 152. The number of students achieving a perfect score of 180 has varied over the years. In 2014-2015, 22 students got a perfect score, which went up to 43 in 2015-16 and then down to 20 in 2016-17.

Significance Of Score Bands In the LSAT

LSAT scores are given to law schools with a score range because the estimate of skill provided by a score is not perfect. The LSAC uses score bands to enhance the accuracy of the LSAT, reflecting the test-takers ability range and considering the margin of error. For instance, a student scoring 160 might see a score band from 157 to 163, providing a realistic range of their performance level. 

The LSAT Score Table

This table clearly explains how raw scores from the December 2012 LSAT are converted into scaled scores and percentile ranks. It compares three types of LSAT scores, facilitating a better grasp of the scoring system.

Raw Score Scaled Score Estimated Percentile
99-101 180 99.97%
98 179 99.94%
97 178 99.87%
96 177 99.77%
95 176 99.64%
94 175 99.47%
93 174 99.27%
92 173 98.97%
91 172 98.60%
90 171 98.03%
89 170 97.37%
88 169 96.67%
86-87 168 95.77%
85 167 94.48%
84 166 93.14%
82-83 165 91.71%
80-81 164 89.91%
79 163 87.84%
77-78 162 85.71%
76 161 83.07%
74-75 160 80.37%
72-73 159 77.47%
70-71 158 74.17%
69 157 70.90%
67-68 156 67.30%
65-66 155 63.80%
64 154 60.00%
62-63 153 55.83%
60-61 152 52.03%
58-59 151 48.03%
57 150 44.37%
55-56 149 40.23%
53-54 148 36.53%
52 147 33.20%
50-51 146 29.67%

A man signing a document.

What Is The LSAT Scored Out Of?

How many points is the LSAT? The LSAT score ranges from 120 to 180. Simply put, this is the score range of your raw score. The average score hovers around 151, but for aspirants aiming for the top 25 law schools, a score significantly above 170 is often necessary.

 While there’s no specific score guaranteeing admission into a law program, LSAT scores are classified into proficiency levels. Achieving scores above 160 is regarded as excellent, and scores between 140 and 160 are considered average. Scores under 140 are considerably lower than average. 

To reach that LSAT max score or get as close to it as possible, thoroughly preparing and utilizing resources like LSAT practice tests can be beneficial.

How Is The LSAT Score Sent?

Your LSAT score will be available on your LSAC account status page, and you will receive an email notification when it’s ready. To see your score or have it sent to law schools, you need to have a completed LSAT Writing sample on file.

LSAT scores are typically released within three to four weeks after the test. LSAT grading is primarily electronic, but hand-scoring is available for a fee and must be requested within 40 days of the test date. This thorough process ensures the accuracy and integrity of the LSAT scoring system.

Understanding the Role of LSAT Scores in Law School Admissions

The journey to law school begins with understanding the significance of the LSAT. It’s a pivotal element in the admissions process, often holding the highest weight in determining a candidate’s suitability. Most law schools use a combination of your LSAT scores and undergraduate GPA to compute what’s known as an “index formula.” This formula is a numerical representation of your academic strength.

A strong LSAT score not only meets the law school requirements but also enhances your academic profile, significantly boosting your chances of admission into prestigious institutions and scholarship opportunities. To illustrate this point, consider the LSAT percentiles of accepted students at top law schools. These figures reflect the competitive nature of law school admissions and underscore the LSAT’s crucial role.

Law School Median LSAT Score LSAT Scores (25th-75th Percentile) Median Undergraduate GPA Acceptance Rate
Yale University Law School 175 171-178 3.94 5.7%
Harvard Law School 174 170-176 3.92 10.1%
Stanford University Law School 173 170-176 3.94 6.9%
University of Chicago Law School 173 169-175 3.91 14.2%
Columbia University Law School 173 171-175 3.87 11.9%
Duke University Law School 170 168-171 3.85 10.7%
University of California, Berkeley Law School 170 167-172 3.83 12.5%
University of Texas, Austin Law School 170 166-171 3.84 14.6%
Vanderbilt University Law School 170 163-170 3.90 14.5%
Boston University Law School 170 164-171 3.84 16.3%

How to Achieve an LSAT Max Score on the LSAT?

Here are some tips to help you prepare for and improve your LSAT score:

1. Understand LSAT Scoring

Get to know the scoring system of the LSAT. Know the LSAT max score you can achieve and what score range your desired law schools typically accept. This awareness helps set a clear target and measure your progress against it.

2. Familiarize Yourself With the LSAT Format

Familiarize yourself with the various question formats in each section, as this will help you feel more at ease with the test structure and alleviate any test-day nerves.

3. Utilize Study Guides 

Invest in well-structured and comprehensive LSAT study guides. These resources offer crucial insights and effective strategies tailored for each test section. The right guide can be a roadmap to navigating the complexities of the LSAT.

4. Consistent Practice

Regular practice under timed conditions is vital. This builds your speed and accuracy and simulates the test day environment. Consistent practice tests will help you gauge your preparation level and adjust your study plan accordingly.

4. Analyze Mistakes

After each practice test, take the time to review and thoroughly understand your incorrect answers. This analysis is critical to learning from your mistakes and avoiding them in future tests.

5. Master Time Management

Develop and hone your time management skills. The LSAT is a timed test, so learning to allocate time to each section and question efficiently is crucial. Practicing this skill will ensure you can complete all questions within the allotted time.

6. Seek Expert Guidance

Consider enrolling in an LSAT Prep Course or engaging with LSAT Tutoring. Odyssey’s expert guidance can provide personalized strategies, deeper insights into the test, and feedback on your performance. 


Unlike other standardized tests, the LSAT demands a distinct combination of analytical reasoning, logical thinking, and reading comprehension skills. Hence, understanding its format and dedicating oneself to thorough preparation can significantly help achieve the LSAT max score. To help you get started, we offer LSAT Free Consultation to assess your needs and design a personalized study plan. This initial session will give you a clear roadmap and the confidence to aim for the highest scores.

Therefore, investing time and effort in LSAT preparation is beneficial and imperative for those aiming for a successful legal career.