Why Does Your LSAT Score Matter So Much?

Thank you!

The full article is available below.

You will also receive a follow-up email containing a link so you can come back to it later.


article image

Why Does Your LSAT Score Matter So Much? 

If your LSAT administration is swiftly approaching, you’re likely frantically trying to get your LSAT skills honed as sharp as can be. With all the stress, have you stopped to ask yourself why this test matters so much in the first place? Probably not. Not many students do, in fact. In the Great LSAT Score Race, it’s easy to miss the forest for the many, many trees. However, asking and answering this question can help you refocus why you’re spending so much time studying for and worrying about the test. 

So, let’s ask and answer it: Why exactly is the LSAT so important? 

It’s a Comparison Tool 

Much like the SAT is used in college admissions, the LSAT is used as a standardized measure in law school admissions. Why? It is the only across-the-board numerical indicator that law schools have when comparing applicants. Admissions officers have no way of knowing how different degrees stack up from college to college. Or, how a 4.0 GPA compares between schools. It’s not an exact science. 

Common Ground 

With the LSAT, they know that everyone was given the same level of difficulty and very similar questions. This makes it the single most important number on your application. It can even be more important than your undergraduate GPA.   

Bad grades in college? The LSAT can fix that. If college was a never-ending party or simply a struggle, you may have a GPA that’s not so great. This could be a setback for a range of professions, but thankfully not so much when it comes to law. Your GPA does still matter, of course, but not nearly as much as your LSAT does. In fact, the typical admissions index puts something close to 70% weight on the LSAT vs 30% weight on GPA. This means a three-and-a-half-hour test can weigh more than four years of college! 

1L Prediction 

This test is considered an accurate predictor of first-year law school performance. Essentially, if you do well on the LSAT, you’re telling schools that you’ll do well your first, and arguably most difficult, year of law school. 

The PayBack For A Higher LSAT Score Can Be Tremendous 

Because higher-LSAT applicants tend to receive more generous financial offers, the investment in LSAT preparation is often repaid many times over. I’ve seen countless students spend $5,000 on LSAT prep, then garner a score which led to over $100,000 in scholarships from a single law school. From this perspective, LSAT prep is all about investing in yourself. It’s one of the few things you can do to directly and quickly lower your overall law school cost, and it can help you pay as little as possible to attend the school of your choice! 

The equation becomes much clearer when you look at higher LSAT scores and their impact on the costs of attending law school. Let’s compare two real students from the past cycle, both applying to the same Top 14 ranked school with roughly similar backgrounds: 

  • Student 1: 3.71 GPA, 171 LSAT score: Scholarship total = $105,000 ($35K per year) 
  • Student 2: 3.82 GPA, 167 LSAT score: Scholarship total = $74,000 ($24K per year) 

So, even though Student 2 had a better GPA by over a full tenth of a point, they received $31,000 less overall on their scholarship offer from the same school. The difference? Their LSAT score was 4 points lower. And there are many more examples aside from this one. 


The Bottom Line 

Use this information to your advantage. Think of it this way. If your GPA is below the median for the school of your choice, you can significantly improve your chances by thoroughly preparing for the LSAT and scoring in a high percentile. If your GPA is well above the median for your dream school, give yourself a virtual shoo-in by getting a high score. Couple this with a well-crafted application and you’re as good as gold. No matter which category you fall into, you can play the LSAT score game to your advantage. 

Unlock the Full Article

Bring Your Goals Within Reach

Tell us a little about yourself and your goals to display the full article and gain access to more resources relevant to your needs.


Interesting in reading more? Fill out the form to read the full article.


Ready for test day success?

Take the next step towards complete LSAT mastery and reach your full score potential with PowerScore’s collection of LSAT prep tools.