In the days following each LSAT, students often worry about how their LSAT will be scaled. A more generous scoring scale can positively affect scores whereas a harsher curve can adversely affect scores. For those of you considering your possible test scaling, let’s examine a few historical facts about LSAT scoring scales, and then examine some recent trends in scoring.
Here are a few facts about LSAT tests and scoring scales:
Average number of questions per LSAT: 100.71
Greatest number of questions on an LSAT: 102
This occurred only once prior to the October 2010 LSAT, on the October 1992 LSAT
Least number of questions on an LSAT: 99
This has occurred numerous times. Total question counts of 99, 100, and 101 have all occurred multiple times with 101 being the most common question total.
Average number of questions correct needed to achieve a 180: 98.47
Greatest number of questions correct needed to achieve a 180: 100
This has occurred numerous times, most recently on the December 2005 LSAT (which contained 101 questions)
Least number of questions correct needed to achieve a 180: 96
This occurred on the October 1997 LSAT, which was originally a 101 question test, but then had one question removed due to a question integrity issue.
So, we know that LSATs range from 99 to 102 questions, but what about how many questions can be missed on a given test? The following lists the greatest number of misses allowed to achieve certain target scores:
Average number of questions correct needed to achieve a 180: 98.59
Greatest number of misses allowed to achieve individual scores:
180: -4 questionsThis has occured twice, in October 1997 and in February 1999.
175: -10 questionsThis has occured twice, in October 1997 and in December 1998.
170: -16 questionsThis has occurred twice, in October 1997 and in December 1998.
165: -23 questionsThis has occurred on three occasions, all in the 1990s.
160: -31 questionsThis has occured on four occasions, all in the 1990s.
For more information about LSAT scoring, read this article about LSAT Scoring Scales.