LSAT Score Percentiles

Calculation Process of LSAT Percentiles and Their Meaning

The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) results are expressed in two ways. First, the LSAT scores and the second is a derivative of the LSAT scores called the LSAT score percentiles.

Percentiles are numbers expressed in a percentage value. Percentiles are a mathematical way to express numbers, in comparison, on a scale of 100. LSAT score percentiles are therefore a percentile expression of an LSAT score.





Like percentages, percentiles also have quarterly divisions. The first quarter is 25%, the second quarter is 50% and the third quarter is 75%. High LSAT score percentiles are percentiles ranging between the second and the third quarter. An LSAT high score closest to 180 gets converted to a percentage value between 75%and 100%; a lower score gets converted to a percentage value in the second quarter and so on and so forth.

In simple terms, the LSAT score percentiles of a candidate denote the percentage of candidates who have scored lower than him or her. For example, if you score a percentile of 69 it means that you have got a better score than 69% of the candidates and the remaining 31% have got a better score than you.

The LSAT score calculations might look very complicated, but they are expressed in such relative terms only to reduce errors as much as possible. Because so many applicants take the test every year and answer different question papers, it can be very erroneous to give out the results in plain numbers.

There is another aspect to the LSAT score percentiles; the percentiles are not calculated from the current scores only but are a percentage comparison of the scores of three years i.e. the year of the latest test and the two previous years. A three -year comparison is beneficial and well as precautionary. It is beneficial because a high percentile means that the candidate has achieved a high score in comparison to so many other applicants over three years of comparative data. It is beneficial also because visibly, against the LSAT scores, the percentiles are always higher as any value expressed in percentages is always higher than just plain numbers. The three-year comparison is precautionary as it eliminates the chances, if any, of miscalculations because through the method of percentile calculations of scores using data of three years, the scores become a relative value than an actual number.

The LSAT Scores.......

  • A Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has around 100 questions.
  • Every question carries equal marks.
  • No marks are deducted for wrong answers.
  • If you answer 60 questions correctly, then your actual score is 60.
  • This score is then compared to the scores of other candidates and plotted on a chart.
  • The chart ranges from 120 to 180 where 180 is a high score and 120 the least.
  • Your score through this table is your 'LSAT score'.

Calculated as percentile scores......

  • Your 'LSAT score' is compared to all the other scores over the last three years.
  • The value is then converted into a percentage to arrive at your rank or position.
  • Just as an example, if your rank is 20 out of 80 candidates then that means that 60 candidates have got a lower score than you, over three years of available data, thus your percentile is 75% (60/80*100) i.e. 75% of candidates have got a lower score than yours.
  • Generally accepted LSAT score percentiles range between 75% and 100% which means you should try and maximise the number of correctly answered questions rather than the number of answered questions.
  • If you answer all questions that you are very confident about, first, then you can maximise your LSAT score percentiles.

Therefore.......

Before drawing any conclusions about the LSAT score percentiles, visit the official website of the LSAT which is www.lsac.org and try and get an idea about the correct meaning and conversion of your LSAT scores into LSAT score percentiles.




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