Before the LSAC submits results to law schools, first-time LSAT test takers can view the score at the cost of $45. Read the blog to figure out how.
LSAT Score Preview – How Should You Be Using? This Cool New Feature
If you’re taking LSAT for the first time, you now have an extra choice when it comes to reviewing your scores. Before the LSAC, the organization in charge of administering the LSAT submits your results to the law schools; you are now able to view your score. But wait, there’s more, too! If you didn’t get a desired LSAT score earlier and don’t want the law school to see it, then you cano remove your score using the LSAT Score Preview tool.
Let us now take a closer look at what the LSAT Score Preview option has to offer.
How Much Does it Cost?
Of course, this feature isn’t free for now. You’d have to spend extra bucks on it unless you were given a fee waiver. If you register before the test date, the LSAC will charge you $45 for this choice. The cost rises to $75 if you wait until after the test date.
Unfortunately, only first-time test takers have access to the LSAT Score Preview option. The good part is that having this option will ease your anxiety and serve as a key point of distinction from the GRE.
This can be a challenging situation for those of you who cannot easily take out a sum of $45 from your finances. For you, it is really a game of what you are going to do with this information. If you are in this situation and have not yet requested a charge waiver, do so now! You could perhaps wind up saving much more than $45.
Is it Really Worth the Money?
Now that you know how much the LSAT Score Preview costs, let’s consider whether it is worth paying that much money.
For this, consider these three possible situations that might exist:
- You cancel your score without seeing it.
- You take a look at your score and then cancel it.
- Alternatively, whether you have seen the score or not, you decide to keep it.
You will never know for sure if you made the right decision regarding how you performed if you cancel your score before viewing it, and you will be forced to retake the LSAT (unless you already have another score on record). Total cost: $200.
If you change your mind about your score after seeing it, you still have to retake the LSAT (unless you already have another score on record). Total cost: $245 or $275.
If you keep your score – regardless of whether you know it in advance or not – you retain the option of retaking the LSAT, but you will also still have the choice to forego doing so. The total price varies from $0 to $275.
In either of these cases, whether the test is canceled or not, the decision to retake it depends on one simple fact: do you have a practical reason? Yes.
Perception of Having Two LSAT Scores on Your Application to Admission Offices
The admissions committees’ perception of applications with two scores versus one score and cancellation is something else to take into account. In all scenarios, the law schools will accept the higher score, and they will not hold a cancellation against you. Thus, if you retake a test and gain or lose 3 points, the law schools will only take your greatest score into account. If you withdraw and later retake the test, they will not make any negative conclusions about your withdrawal and will credit your score.
Read More: The Ultimate Checklist to Decide If You Should go to Law School
So whether or not that first score is on your record has no meaningful bearing on how the law school admission committees will evaluate your application. The admission offices will only ask questions if your score jumps by at least five points since that is considered noteworthy. The admissions committees will request an addendum in that situation to explain how the significant spike came about. If you canceled the first score, they would obviously not require such an explanation since they would never see it.
How Should You Be Using the LSAT Score Preview?
LSAT Format and Raw Scores
A raw score and a scaled score are generated after taking the LSAT. The quantity of accurate responses you received makes up your raw score because wrong responses do not lower your overall score. A scaled score ranging from 120 to 180 is then created from this raw number. The number of questions on each LSAT varies slightly because each test is different.
Regardless of the fact that your score comes in two different formats, law schools only look at your scaled score when evaluating your application.
Each LSAT presented normally has 100 or 101 questions, and each LSAT result is dependent on the total number of questions a test taker successfully answers. This sum is referred to as the raw score. The raw LSAT score is first calculated, and then it is scaled using a special Score Conversion Chart created specifically for each LSAT.
LSAT Raw Score Conversion
The LSAT uses a 120–180 scoring range, with 120 being the lowest possible score and 180 being the highest. This scoring range has been in use since June 1991.
Even though the average number of questions per test has stayed fairly steady throughout time, the level of logical complexity has changed for each test. This is understandable, given that humans created the test and that there is no accurate way to fully predict logical difficulty. The test developers adjust the Scoring Conversion Chart for each LSAT to take into account these variations in test “toughness,” so that similar LSAT results from many tests are given the exact meaning.
By making the December LSAT scale “looser” than the June scale, for instance, a 160 on both tests would signify the same level of performance even though the LSAT given in December may be theoretically more difficult than the LSAT given in June.
For law school admissions offices across the nation, this scale modification, also known as equating, is crucial. Imagine the challenges unequaled exams would present: admissions officers would have to consider each applicant’s LSAT score in addition to the LSAT from whence it was obtained. An informational madness would result from this.
It is crucial to keep in mind the meaning of the scores while analyzing the LSAT scale. There are 61 different possible scores on the 120 to 180 test scale. A student’s relative position in relation to other test takers is determined by their individual scores. A percentile that corresponds to each score serves as a representation of these relative situations.
The percentile shows where the test-taker fits within the general population of test-takers. A student who received a score of 160, for instance, performed better than 80.1 percent of test takers between June 2014 and February 2017. This is known as the 80.1 percentile. The percentile is important because it provides an accurate picture of where you stand among test takers and, consequently, among candidates to law schools.
LSAT Score Band
The score band and what it implies is confusing to many people who take the LSAT. The score band is a region surrounding your scaled score that shows where your true score is probably located. Your score range, therefore, ranges from three points above or below your scaled score. Given that not everyone is a great test-taker and that test results do not always accurately reflect an applicant’s level of ability as a whole, the goal of this is to help law schools better comprehend your knowledge of the subject.
LSAC started including a “score band” of around plus three and minus three points, with each LSAT result starting with the June 1997 exam. For instance, a test taker scoring 160 would have a score range of 157 to 163. The goal of score banding is to draw attention away from specific numbers and toward the broad range that each test taker fits into.
As previously stated, most people regard a score of 160 or higher to be above average on the LSAT. Obviously, not all legal programs are created equal, and some may not want such a high mark, while other prestigious programs may demand a much higher mark.
However, top-tier schools generally give applicants with above-average test scores a higher priority than those with normal to slightly above-average test scores. We advise students to repeat an exam if their score is not in this range or higher, even though it is feasible to get into your selected institution with a score below 155-160.
You can also research the optimal score for your target school. Try searching for “what LSAT score do I need for [school name here]” on Google as an example. Although a score of 160 should get you into most law schools, the best law schools, like Stanford and Harvard, favor students with a score of 170 or higher.