Why Your LSAT Percentile Matters
Scaled LSAT scores play a big role in the law school admissions process. However, your LSAT percentile rank, which shows how well you did on the exam compared to past test-takers, is an important factor too.
Most law schools only accept applicants who fall into a certain percentile, so knowing your ranking is essential to getting into your chosen institution.
LSAT Percentiles Explained
Learn How Ranking Works
Take a look at this post to discover helpful information on:
- What LSAT score percentiles are
- How to read your LSAT percentile scores
- What constitutes a good LSAT percentile rank
- Common law school acceptance rates for each LSAT percentile
We'll also provide a table of LSAT scores and percentiles so you can see what scores you need to help your test results rank higher and be more attractive to law schools.
Raw Scores, Scaled Scores, & Percentile Ranking
Along with your LSAT raw and scaled scores, your official test results will include your percentile ranking. Percentile scores reveal how well you did compared to those who took the LSAT in the previous three years.
Law schools use this information when publishing data about their acceptance rates, so understanding your rank can help you weigh the odds of getting into your chosen program.
Reading Your Report
General vs. School Specific LSAT Percentiles
When you receive your official exam results, there are two different types of LSAT percentile scores you need to consider:
- General Percentiles: Your score's general percentile rank shows the percentage of test-takers who scored lower than you during the last three years of LSAT exams. LSAT scores range between 120 and 180, making 152 the median score. Therefore, if you earn a 152 on the test, you will have scored better than 50% of students who took the LSAT in those previous three years.
- School Specific Percentiles: While general percentile scores give you an overview of how your LSAT results compare to the scores of other students, school-specific percentiles tell you what scores your target schools typically accept.
Since the LSAC makes small changes to the LSAT questions and format each year, they analyze tests from previous years for better accuracy. However, the results show relatively small shifts in score and percentile differences.
Evaluating Your Results
What Is a Good LSAT Percentile?
Typically, scoring between the 50th and 75th percentile will increase your chances of law school acceptance. However, like with all standardized tests, a good LSAT percentile is the one that gets you into the program of your choice.
Aim for a score high enough to compete with the top applicants at your target school, or learn the institution's school-specific percentile and try to score within that range.
Law Schools & Percentiles
The Admissions Process & Your Ranking
Your LSAT percentile score is similar to your numerical score in that it predicts how likely you are to succeed in your chosen law school program. Even the smallest difference in points can largely impact your overall percentile ranking, so LSAT test prep is crucial to earning the best possible scaled and percentile scores.
Law School Acceptance Rates
What Percentiles Law Programs Look For
Acceptable LSAT percentile ranks vary across different law schools, so you'll need to research the school-specific standards for your chosen programs to learn what scores you need for your application to be successful. Common acceptance rates for each percentile are as follows:
- 25th Percentile: If you fall into a school’s 25th percentile, you only scored better than 25% of the students who have already enrolled in that program. Scores in this percentile rarely make a good impression on law school admissions committees, so earning a ranking of 25% would be less than ideal.
- 50th Percentile: Landing in the school’s 50th percentile means you scored higher than half of the students who are currently enrolled in the program. Since earning an average score shows that you've essentially met the minimum requirements, you have a 50/50 chance of acceptance into the school.
- 75th Percentile: Scores in the 75th percentile and above are the most promising results and have the highest rate of acceptance. If you score in the 75th percentile, consider applying to higher-ranked schools to see if they offer more opportunities than a lower-ranking institution.
Whether you land in the 25th percentile or the 95th percentile, it's important to remember that other details on your application can increase your chances of law school acceptance.
Factors like a high GPA, extracurricular involvement, legal internships, strong recommendations, or a well-written personal statement can impress admissions committees and help you get into your chosen school.
LSAT Percentiles Table
Calculating Your Ranking
Slight changes in raw and scaled scores can have a significant effect on your LSAT scoring percentile. A single point could be the difference between meeting your chosen law school's standards and deciding to retake the LSAT exam and try for a higher score.
Take a look at the following table from the 2014-2017 testing years to see the percentile rankings for each reported score.
LSAT Scores & Percentiles
|Reported Score||Percentile||Reported Score||Percentile|
LSAT-Flex Scores and Percentiles
Test Format Considerations in the Admissions Process
Those who take the LSAT-Flex exam receive the same 120-180 scoring range and percentile ranking as those who take the test in person. However, the LSAC notes on your score report that you took the online, remote proctored version of the exam. Some law schools may be willing to take the test format into account when considering your LSAT scores and percentile rankings.