Thursday, February 2, 2012

How Much Can I Improve My LSAT Score?

By Ryan R.

LSAT test-takers often ask how much they can improve their LSAT score? The answer is unequivocal: with the right preparation you can significantly improve your LSAT score.

What is the LSAT testing?

The LSAT tests a set of skills such as critical reading ability, deductive logic and inferential reasoning in addition to fluency with techniques such as formal logic and assumption recognition. While these skills are to a large extent critical for any successful law student or attorney to have, they are not innate and can be developed through practice.

How many point can your score increase?

It is not uncommon to become intimidated by the LSAT after your initial practice test. If you were a successful student in college then the idea of having just scored 60% on a test can be humbling. However, it should be noted that this score that would normally translate to failure on a college exam actually corresponds to the national average.

With a dedicated regimen of taking practice tests, studying specific question types and remaining devoted to your prep course, tutor and/or self studying, one can improve your starting LSAT score by more than 20 points.

Remember that you cannot assess your max potential strictly based on your starting score alone, but rather on how quickly this score improves.

Many people who start off by scoring in the 150s do wind up scoring in the 160s, and in some cases, even the 170s as these individuals have strong enough reading, writing and analytical skills when they first begin their prep, and once they develop the logic skills they never needed before prepping for this exam are able to achieve scores at the very top of the US population.

What about those starting with particularly low scores?

On the reverse end of the spectrum, individuals who start in the 130s and 140s do often improve their scores into the mid-150s. However, their ability to achieve a truly elite score may be hampered by their reading ability. Most people taking the LSAT believe that they have great reading skills, but when one is expected to have elite reading skills, scanning through the Sunday paper may not be enough practice.

If you’re starting with a low score approach, it is most prudent to consider investing a significant amount of time into studying, and not rushing into taking the test. It is also best to consider doing a lot of reading, as your score potential may be limited by your reading comprehension abilities.

Final Thought

In my experience as an LSAT tutor, I have found that those starting with particularly low scores are also the most likely to start their LSAT preparation particularly late as well and/or study less than their competitors. In this, they commonly create an additional disadvantage for themselves.

Like other standardized tests, the LSAT not only examines your aptitude, but also your work ethic. The amount you improve will be directly correlated with the amount of time you put into preparing for the LSAT.


Ryan R. offers LSAT Tutoring with Parliament Tutors, a New York Tutoring and Test Preparation service. He was raised in Long Island and graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 2009. After scoring in the 99th percentile on his LSAT, he joined Parliament Tutors over 2 years ago. Ryan will be attending University of Virginia School of Law in Spring 2012.

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