High achievers, goal-getters, and A-plus students may approach the LSAT with the intent of perfection.
While a perfect LSAT score is a worthy goal, you should know that only 0.1% of LSAT test-takers achieve it. That’s a clear indication of just how hard the LSAT is.
The LSAT is scored between 120 and 180. An average score of about 155 is obtained by getting about 60% of the questions correct.
If you have been a high-performing student all of your life, you may cringe at 60%. But, remember, the LSAT is not a knowledge-based test. It’s about displaying skills.
There are ways to work hard and get a high, or near-perfect score on the LSAT. If you’re ready to commit in a huge way, you may be able to pull this off.
Read on to get the inside scoop on how to get a perfect score on the LSAT.
Originally published on August 19th, 2020, this article was updated, fact-checked, and republished on September 12th, 2022.
What Is a Good LSAT Score?
There are two kinds of students who approach the LSAT:
- Those who want to do well and get into law school
- Those who want an excellent score to get into a top 25 law school
If you are looking to have a solid career in law and want to go to a standard law school, a good LSAT score is between 155 and 160. If you want to be at the top of your field and have your eye on an Ivy League or top-rated law school, you will want to aim for a 170 or higher.
Of course, a perfect LSAT score is something of a white whale. For some people, it may be possible.
Some LSAT study programs, like the Princeton Review, are laser-focused on facilitating study for students who want to get a high score. In other words, if you have this kind of ambition, you can easily find an LSAT class and study program that will help you excel.
Average LSAT Score Without Studying
Random Reddit threads and other online platforms are full of tips, ideas, and even claims about people who go into the LSAT without studying. For the most part, people who do this fail miserably. While some people brag about passable scores, the reality is that the average person who takes the LSAT without studying will not do well.
There are a load of factors in finding an average LSAT score for people who don’t study. The most reliable statistic is the average score on the diagnostic tests that people take as they start studying for the LSAT.
Because these are typically taken before any major studying has been done, it’s a number that could represent an average score for people who don’t prepare.
According to several study platforms and online forums, the average first time practice test score is around 140-148. With this score, it would be virtually impossible to get into any law school.
The LSAT is a difficult test. Whether or not you have legal knowledge isn’t really a determiner of success. Instead, the LSAT will test your ability to reason, logic, and articulate arguments. Because it is skills-based, it’s unlike any other test you will have taken, such as the SAT or ACT. It’s not about memorization, so you can’t cram at the last minute.
Whether you study a little or a lot, the bottom line is: you have to study for the LSAT. Compare the top online LSAT prep courses, and choose one that fits your goals.
How to Get a 180 on the LSAT
If you’ve read this far and want to know how to get a 180 on the LSAT, you’re obviously willing to commit. There are several key activities you need to implement if you’re going to have a shot. Here are some basic steps to activate your highest potential for a great LSAT score.
Commit Enough Time to Prepare for the Exam
There are some average timelines for the LSAT. Most people choose a two, three, or six month course of study. With each of these, there are important habits and routines to get into. For an average performance, most people study for 2-4 hours a day.
Want the highest LSAT score possible? Double it. Make studying nearly a full time job for at least a couple of months. Mastery of the skills required is going to mean a lot of repetition and practice. If you want to do well, you’ll simply have to practice more.
Aligning with a set study plan will ensure that you adequately master all of the relevant skills for the LSAT. Some prep courses include a custom study plan, but you can also make your own LSAT study schedule, according to your timeline.
Consistency is key here. Even if you’re studying for just half an hour a day, ensure that you stick to the study plan. Also, planned rest days are equally important to prevent burnout when it comes to LSAT preparation.
Master the Logic of Each Section
The LSAT has three sections that test different abilities:
- Reading comprehension is going to test how well you can understand what you read and glean meaningful information from it – both the content of the passage as well as the argumentative strategies conveyed by the author.
- Logical reasoning is going to test your ability to think analytically by testing skills like identifying logical flaws, strengthening and weakening arguments, finding assumptions in arguments, as well as many others. Check out these LSAT Logical Reasoning Tips to get started.
- Analytical reasoning is going to test your ability to solve puzzles and games. Here, you will look at the relationships that certain entities have with each other given specific parameters.
Each of these are process-oriented. You can only get correct answers after you follow sequential steps, make connections or contrasts, and set an argument in context. All good LSAT review programs will give you plenty of practice tests, because that is essentially the only way to become intimately familiar with the way each section is set up.
If you want to get a perfect LSAT score, you will have to spend even more time than the average person rehearsing these tasks until they become second nature.
Does one section trip you up more than the others? You can get faster at LSAT logic games with strategies and practice. Get additional resources, like these LSAT books, to focus on your weaker skills and get the practice you need.
And finally, don’t try to phone it in on the LSAT Experimental Section. Some people try to guess which section it is, and save some effort by breezing through it. This section will not be identified as experimental, so you can’t know for sure.
Don’t risk throwing away points — answer every section with maximum effort.
Do Practice Tests Repeatedly Until You Feel Comfortable With Them
Practice tests help you nail the processes and cognitive framework inherent in the test. If you want a high LSAT score, it’s not enough to do these from time to time. Practice tests must be a part of your life all day every day.
For the best LSAT score, you’ll want a study program that gives you as many practice tests as possible. While your real LSAT test won’t serve the same questions, these tests from previous years will give you insight into every possible way that questions can be structured.
Getting a better understanding of the patterns that underlie LSAT questions can help you build the mental muscles you need to work quickly through the test.
You can choose a free LSAT practice test from our roundup to get started — but make sure the course you choose comes with a good number of practice tests.
Another major element of taking practice tests is reviewing them afterwards. It is crucial to identify and work towards solidifying your strengths and fixing your weaknesses.
Efficiency is going to be key as you take the LSAT. Spending more time with practice material and rehearsing with old test questions is an important exercise. If you don’t get through all of the questions, you’ll never get a 180 on the LSAT.
If perfection is the goal, your timing will have to be impeccable.
While many LSAT test prep guides will have you hone in on areas of weakness, a perfect LSAT score means that you can have no weak areas. You need to master everything.
This will require ongoing review and revisiting every area of the test. A solid LSAT study course will give you access to expert instructors who can help pick apart the “why” behind questions you struggle with.
Regularly using flashcards is also a great tool for review and memorization.
Sign Up for a Prep Course
It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which anyone could get a 180 on the LSAT without immense support. If you want a perfect score on the LSAT, you need to buy just the right LSAT study course.
Some LSAT prep courses, like The Princeton Review, are designed for ambitious students who want to get into top-tier schools. TestMasters LSAT Prep Courses are actually written by someone who got a perfect score.
Most LSAT courses have the option for in-person or virtual study. You can also hire a private tutor for the LSAT, which could increase your chances for perfection. Sign up for and completely commit to a quality LSAT program.
Has Anyone Gotten a 180 on the LSAT?
Out of 144,000 LSAT tests administered by LSAC each year, 0.1% of candidates make a 180. So, yes, it happens, but very rarely. This doesn’t mean it’s out of reach for you.
If you are someone with a super high level of ambition and a willingness to work hard, you can get a great score on the LSAT. Doing so will open more doors, giving you any option of law schools and proving that you have the ability to excel.
And remember, not everyone knocks it out of the park the first time. If you are taking the test a second time, with enough effort, you can dramatically improve your LSAT score.