How to Explain an LSAT Score
(This post is from 2016; I am making updates on 6/18/19 and noting them in bold):
When should you explain an LSAT score in your law school application?
There are some situations in which it can help the law schools to have a better understanding of how they should interpret your LSAT score.
Here are some common types of law school addenda:
1. You Have a Proven History of Underperformance on Standardized Tests
This doesn’t mean that you simply wish you’d done better on the LSAT, but that you can use facts to demonstrate to law schools that the ACT/SAT failed to predict how well you’d do in undergrad and – therefore – the same can be said of your LSAT score failing to predict your law school performance. You should use numbers to make your argument. For example:
– “Although I entered UCLA with an ACT score of 26, when the median score for my class was a 31, I graduated with a 4.0, in the top 2 percent of my class. Likewise, my highest LSAT score of 149 does not reflect my academic potential in law school.”
2. You Took the LSAT Multiple Times
And one or more of the scores does not reflect your abilities on the test as well as your highest score does. For example, if your first score was taken at a time when you did not have as much time to prepare, and your second (higher) score was taken when you had the summer to focus on the LSAT, that might be something to point out to the schools. If scores are within 3 points of each other, there’s probably not much to explain here.
– “I first took the LSAT in June 2016 when I was a junior in college. I misjudged the amount of preparation required during a busy semester when I was president of my fraternity and also taking 18 credits. When I retook the LSAT in September 2016, after a summer spent focusing on preparing for the test, I improved my score 7 points to a 163.”
3. Your Score isn’t Competitive and You Can’t Retake the Test
If you have a score that you feel is not competitive and you are unable to retake the LSAT for this admission cycle due to work/personal circumstances/international travel (or you’ve hit your limit on the number of times you can take the LSAT. See the latest news on how many times you can take the LSAT)
4. You Were Not Granted Proper Accommodations
If you were not granted accommodations that you’ve always received and been entitled to – and you submitted an application to LSAC for accommodations in a timely manner – and this is the reason you believe your score is not representative of your abilities.
Ann Levine is the author of the best selling law school admission guide book: The Law School Admission Game and made admissions decisions at two ABA-approved law schools. In 2004 she founded Law School Expert and has helped thousands of applicants navigate the tough process to get into law school.
Get a free consultation with Ann on your own law school admissions journey today.