Understanding LSAT Score Conversion
How to Convert Your Raw LSAT Score to Scaled Score and Percentile?
The LSAT test usually has 100 to 103 questions. All questions carry equal marks. These are first scored as raw scores and are later converted to a scaled score. For the LSAT score conversion a formula is used. This formula is different from test to test. This is done to equate scores of different exams. To standardize the difference that arises from the variation in the difficulty level, the scores are equated. So if you score the same raw score in two different tests that differed in the difficulty level, your equated score for the difficult exam will be higher than that of the other which was lower in the difficulty level. LSAC has standardized the scores since a score is valid for 5 years and students who have taken a test when the difficulty level was high should not lose admission to a law school due to the LSAC's differential tests.
All the questions in the examination are marked and the score that you get is the raw score. All questions carry equal marks. If there are 100 questions and you get 68 right answers, your raw score will be 68. It is a number between 0 and 100 or 103.
Scaled score is a number that falls in the range of 120 to 180. The raw score is converted to a score in this range using a formula. This score is also called the equated score. If you have got all the questions wrong your score will be 120. Usually it takes around 15 right answers for the scaled score to move beyond 120. And generally any score above 98 will get a scaled score of 180. After the score conversion the lowest score you can get is 120 and the highest is 180.
If a test is high on difficulty level, then even with a low score you can get a high scaled score. For example in October 2008 assessment there were 100 questions, to get a scaled score of 180, a raw score of 99 or above was required which gives an error margin of just 1 question. Whereas in December 2010 test there were 102 questions, but the same score of 99 or above could get a scaled score of 180. The error margin had increased and it allowed 3 wrong answers. This difference is due to the difference in the difficulty levels.
LSAC gives your score in the percentile form as well. This shows the number of students who have scored less than you. If you have scored in the 69th percentile it means that there are 69% students who have scored lower than you. If 100 students have taken the test and you get a percentile of 69, you have scored more than 69 students. Since most students score 150, 151 is the average 50th percentile in the test. The converted form of percentile gives you an idea of how well you have done in the examination in comparison to others. This is very important since this is a competitive exam.
Though conversion is done to standardize the scores, very slight differences are only seen between the different test scores. So there is no advantage in taking up an easy test. Many of the companies that coach for the assessment have the score conversion tables in their website. They have also given the conversion for all the past tests.
LSAT Score Conversion links