WHERE AN LSAT SCORE STANDS WITH RESPECT TO THE FIRST-YEAR CLASS
LSAT AND UGPA: WHAT TO DO WHEN THEY ARE NOT IN SYNCH
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is an examination administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) for prospective law school candidates. It is designed to assess logical and verbal reasoning skills. Administered four times a year, it is a required exam for all ABA-approvedlaw schools. The test has existed in some form since 1948, when it was created in order to give law schools a way to judge applicants uniformly. Since then, it has evolved significantly, with the current version starting in 1991. The exam has a total of six sections consisting of four scored sections, an unscored experimental section, and an unscored writing section. Raw scores are converted to a scaled score ranging from 120 to 180, with a median score at about 151. When an applicant applies to law school, all the scores in the past five years are reported. Abridged from Wikipedia (February 26, 2011)
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) administers the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Their, website, LSAC'S WEBSITE, is one of the best organized that I have seen and it is a great source of information about the LSAT test. It is de regueur to read LSAC's response to LSAT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS. For additional information from LSAC, check out the LSAC SITE MAP (See the left column).
For an introduction to the LSAT test, read LSAT ORIENTATION; especially note their first item, which is LSAT at a Glance.
Frank X.J. Homer (University of Scranton, Pennsylvania) provides a good introduction to the THE LAW SCHOOL ADMISSION TEST; you may also see the same article at LSAT ADVICE and elsewhere. Reading one of these webpages is de rigueur for anyone contemplating taking the LSAT test. Frank X.J. Homer gives facts about the LSAT test, eight common misconceptions about the LSAT test, preparation for the LSAT test, four important points to remember about the LSAT test, and some pointers to increase testwiseness. Frank X.J. Homer also gives the excellent advice, "Applicants can help themselves by working with an elementary logic text, learning to recognize common fallacies, many of which may exist in their own thinking." Of course, taking a course in logic is a good idea.
Pre-Law Studies at Florida Atlantic University considers HOW LAW SCHOOLS DECIDE ON WHOM TO ADMIT considering the effect on admission of the LSAT score, GPA, letters of recommendation, and personal statement.
WIKIPEDIA provides some general information abouet the LSAT.
The University of Massachusetts Pre-Law Advising has some useful information about the LSAT.
4LawSchool provides information about many aspects of the LSAT.
Ideally, preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) should begin six months to a year before the LSAT is taken (we recommend one year) and this preparation should be so serious that there could be no reason to repeat the LSAT although there may be reasons not to take the LSAT at the scheduled time (e.g. illness, family emergency).
Napoleon said that "God is on the side of the big battalions." If Napoleon were applying to law school today, he would probably say that GOD IS ON THE SIDE OF THE HIGH LSAT SCORES.
For the LSAT test, you may want to adopt the motto NO EFFORT TOO MUCH. At the age of 26, Constantin Carathodory, the scion of a powerful Greek family, gave up a promising career as an engineer to return to school and devote himself to the study of pure mathematics. His family, whose motto was No Effort Too Much, considered his plan foolishly romantic. He made significant contributions to several areas of mathematics including the calculus of variations and the theory of functions.
IMPORTANCE OF THE LSAT
Law schools Admission Committees first focus on the applicant's LSAT score and UGPA. On a typical undergraduate's application, these two factors are paramount. However, most law schools will tell you that the student's entire application is reviewed and considered. As a result, it would be to your advantage to supplement your curriculum with activities that demonstrate leadership, initiative, creativity, responsibility, analytical skills and research ability. University of California, Merced Law School Information
Law schools admission committees first focus in on the applicant's LSAT score and GPA. In many cases, these two factors alone, perhaps with a casual look at OTHER ADMISSION FACTORS, determine the admission decision. For other law school applicants, a more than cursory look at other admission factors may be necessary to determine the admission decision. Although it certainly happens that other admission factors may help an applicant overcome minor LSAT or GPA deficiencies, it is unlike that other factors will be able to overcome major LSAT or GPA deficiencies. Your primary focus should be on your LSAT score and GPA (probably in that order).
THE LSAT: A GREAT PREDICTOR OF LAW SCHOOL PERFORMANCE. "The LSAT is the only standardized measure that law schools have to predict law school performance. Every student's undergraduate record is different, even when students have the same major and attend the same undergraduate school. In fact, studies have shown that the LSAT is the best single predictor of first-year law school performance, while the best overall predictor of law school performance is a combination of the LSAT and undergraduate UGPA." University of Kentucky
AN ADDED BENEFIT OF PREPARING FOR THE LSAT. The LSAT involves thinking logically. Because of this, whether you go to law school or not, the material learned in studying for the LSAT will serve you well in life.
KEY FACTS ABOUT THE LSAT
LSAT STATISTIC. For the 180 fully-accreditated law schools and the 7 provisionally-accredited law schools, we have that the average of the LSAT 25th percentile is 150.8 and the LSAT 75th percentile is 156.2.
HOW SERIOUS IS THE LSAT. The LSAT test is much more difficult and involves more logical thinking than the SAT, GRE, or GMAT.
LSAT PRACTICE TESTS. Previously administered LSATs, all with an answer key, writing sample, and LSAT score-conversion table, are available from LSAC. Also available from LSAC is an online option, LSAT ItemWise, that not only gives the correct answers, but also provides explanations as to why your answers are correct or incorrect; note that LSAT is a paper-and-pencil test. Publishers, other than LSAC, have LSAT practice tests or LSAT sample tests, some with solutions; these are readily available at book stores.
LSAT PREPARATION. Since the LSAT does not test knowledge of a particular subject, the goal of studying is to become familiar with the LSAT test format and to develop methods to answer LSAT test questions with efficiency and accuracy. The best prepare for the LSAT is directly from LSAC.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD ONE TAKE THE LSAT? (Answer. (Ideally once) With the LSAT, do not plan on doubling your pleasure. When you walk in to take the LSAT, you should have the expectation of a score that you can be proud of based on your performance on actual, previously administered LSATs. As F. Scott Fitzgerald said, and the Great Gatsby demonstrated, THERE IS NO SECOND ACT IN AMERICAN LIFE. This is not quite true for the LSAT but unless your LSAT score is significantly below your score on actual, previously administered LSATs or you intend to change your way or amount of studying, do not take the LSAT a second time. Nationally nearly one in five will take the LSAT a second time. Most law schools average multiple LSAT scores. Do not take the LSAT unless you are ready (No LSAT before its time).
LSAT SCORE AND PERCENTILE RANK REPORTED TO LAW SCHOOLS. "Along with your numerical score, Law Services also reports a percentile rank, reflecting the percentage of candidates scoring below your reported test score. Over the past several years, a score of about 150 [perhaps 151 or 152] has generally fallen at approximately the 50th percentile, and a score of about 163 has fallen at approximately the 90th percentile." Kansas University Pre-Law Advising
TIME LIMITATION OF LSAT SCORES . "Law Services reports scores for five years. Scores for all LSAT exams taken in the five years prior to your application to law school will therefore be reported to the law schools you designate. Multiple scores will be averaged by Law Services in its report to law schools. Copies of your writing samples for those tests will be included, up to a maximum of three samples. Some law schools will not accept a score earned more than three years prior to an application (so, yes, you will have to take the exam again if [you apply to such a law school and] your score is more than three years old). Check the [law school] catalogs to determine if you need a more recent score." Notre Dame Prelaw
WHAT TO DO WHEN THE LSAT AND GPA ARE NOT IN SYNCH
f your LSAT score and UGPA do not match up, explain this discrepancy (without bitterness, anger or defensiveness) on a separate piece of paper entitled Explanation of LSAT Score or Explanation of UGPA. This separate sheet of paper would be part of your law school addendum. Johns Hopkins University Law School Option