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What is an LSAT&Reg; Raw Score?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2019
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The LSAT® is an examination taken in the final years of undergraduate college studies that is required for admission to most law schools. It measures performance in analytical reasoning, logical reasoning and reading comprehension, in addition to offering an ungraded writing section. High scores on this test are required to get into top law schools, but this specifically means achieving a high, scaled score. When test takers receive their test back, they actually get three scores: the LSAT® raw score, a percentile ranking and a scaled score. The LSAT® raw score is a count of the number of questions that were answered correctly, and it is partly used to calculate the scaled score.

Admitting law schools don’t tend to look at or count the LSAT® raw score. Unless it is near perfect, it doesn’t tell much about the areas of the test where students may be weak or strong. To reiterate, it’s just a count of correctly answered questions that are given a one point value each. Instead of relying on the LSAT® raw score, which may be worth up to 101-103 points, universities evaluate the student based on the scaled score, which is derived from complex formulas. Universities also don’t look at the percentile, which is a measure of how well students did compared to other students in the prior two to three years of test scores.

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What can be useful is to understand how the LSAT® raw score corresponds to the scaled score. Fortunately, there are many books and websites that have tables showing basic relationship between the 100 points or so received raw and the possible 180 points on the scaled score. These are not always completely accurate, but they can provide a guide that helps when taking LSAT® pre-tests.

Most students find that working on pre-tests is a viable part of studying for the LSAT®. The best tests include material is taken directly from previous LSAT® tests, and there are a few official study books available that will feature close models of the present LSAT®. When taking these tests, because it is difficult to accurately scale them, the LSAT® raw score can be used as a measure of proficiency. Generally, students who miss few questions have a correspondingly stronger scaled score.

It’s important to note that students should do well in all sections of the test. An LSAT® raw score that corresponds to excellent performance in two sections and poor performance in the third will not scale as highly. Students should ignore raw results that don’t speak to sectional performance and should work on mastering all LSAT® test areas for the highest score.

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