If you are looking to push your LSAT score up from a 160 to a 170, here are some ways you can make that happen. But first of all, congrats on making it to 160! That’s no small feat!
[And if you aren’t yet up to the 160, or perhaps even feel like that’s a long way off, my hope is that you’ll still be able to get a lot out of this post. The logic here is that what will push a student from 130 to 140 on the LSAT might not be enough to push a student from 160 to 170, but what will push someone into the 170s will also benefit the students lower on the scoring scale. I’ll address this post to a student in the low 160s, but translate it to your own situation regardless of where you’re at.]
How you got to 160
When you first started studying for the LSAT, you probably (hopefully!) worked on foundational skills. Understanding arguments. Learning how to diagram the games. Memorizing question types and lists of flaws. And drilling your areas of weakness.
But when you’re trying to get from a 160 to a 170 on the LSAT, you’ll need something different. What got you to where you are now probably won’t get you the rest of the way. It’s probably not going to be as simple as identifying what is coming up most often in your mistakes and reading chapters from Powerscore or the LSAT Trainer to learn how to approach those questions. You likely know that content at this point.
The components of your new study plan
If you haven’t already, it’s time to shift your study plan so that it includes these pillars of a robust study regimen:
- Timed practice
- Future-focused review
The most important of these is the future-focused review. So let’s knock out a discussion of the first two so that we can spend the rest of this post diving into what that future-focused review should look like.
In the low 160s, you probably still have a few well-defined areas of weakness. Based on your recent practice tests, figure out what those are.
One way to do this is to create a free account on 7sage, then input your answers from practice tests into their system. If you then go into Analytics, you can pull up some very informative summaries of your performance on the tests. (You may need to translate some of 7sage’s question type or game type terminology into the terminology you are more familiar with. Here’s a resource that may help with that.)
Once you’ve identified these areas of weakness, you can drill questions to address them. LSAT Demon is a great drilling resource that might help here, but you can create your own drill sets with just a Lawhub subscription as well.
For RC, every test has a law passage, a science passage, and a humanities passage. Every test after 2007 has a comparative passage. So pretty much just pick a practice test and use whichever passage type you need to drill.
Drilling can help you get out of the low 160s. It won’t get you all the way to 170, but it will be an essential step to making sure that you take advantage of any low-hanging fruit. The closer you get to 170 (and beyond), the less you’ll be able to make progress through drilling and sheer repetition.
Once you feel like you’ve made measurable progress on one of your areas of weakness through drilling, it’s time to put that to the test by doing some timed practice. You should sometimes do just a timed section to get more immediate feedback about whether you are making the progress you think you are. But you also need to do timed full-length tests to make sure you’re also building the necessary stamina to be able to maintain intense focus throughout the entire exam.
Once you’re getting close to the 170 mark, try doing some timed practice using particularly difficult practice test sections. (Use these sections as a learning opportunity, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you do this. Keep in mind that the curve for a more difficult test will also be more forgiving. That’s the standardized part of a standardized test.)
Don’t overdo it with the timed practice, even at this stage. Remember that the purpose of timed practice is to check how you are doing. It’s about assessing where you are at. So taking them repeatedly, without doing anything else, is just measuring yourself repeatedly. It’s like trying to lose weight by jumping on the scale all the time. I mean, I suppose you’ll get a little exercise from all that jumping, but that’s not what’s going to drive most of your weight loss.
So if timed tests are about assessing your progress, then what actually pushes you forward?
Having solid review habits does. Which is why this next section about future-focused review is so incredibly important.
Up to now, you might be accustomed to reviewing by checking your answers, reading through an explanation you find online, and maybe redoing some of the games if you feel that you need to.
You may have heard of blind review, and maybe you have been doing that. (Blind review is essentially resolving questions you weren’t sure about to see if you can get them right without time pressure.)
But chances are you can deepen the review you are doing and therefore get more out of the review. And this is really what is going to push you from 160 to 170 on the LSAT.
Reviewing questions you got right as well as the questions you got wrong. Even if you got a question right, you may have been unsure or you may have gotten it right for the wrong reason. There’s usually something more you can learn from a question. Figure out what that is.
Make sure you study the questions until you really understand the reasoning. It should have a feeling of “clicking into place” when you finally figure it out. If you’re at the stage of “I see why it’s C, but B still sounds good too” then you’re not done yet.
This might sound like an aggressive, intense way to review, and it is. But it’s not easy to break 170 on the LSAT, so you need an aggressive method.
What future-focused review looks like
Here’s where a lot of advice about review on the LSAT falls short. It’s easy to get caught up in looking back at the questions, seeing where you went wrong and thinking about what you should have done instead.
But it’s equally important (or more important!) to make sure you are also looking forward. Your review isn’t worth much if it’s not going to impact what you do next time you do a timed practice test section.
The easiest way to make your review future-focused is to ask yourself what’s the one thing you can take away from this question to apply to future questions.
Try to drill down into why you missed a question. Get more precise than “I didn’t understand the stimulus” or “I didn’t read carefully.”
Did you miss that LR question because you didn’t notice the subtle shift in wording? Because you didn’t initially see how the correct answer was relevant to the stimulus? Or because you didn’t diagram some of the formal logic? Or because you were putting too much of your focus on one little thing in the stimulus instead of what actually mattered?
Once you find this reason, turn it into a takeaway. If you missed the question because you didn’t notice the shift in wording, then your takeaway should be to pay attention to the exact phraseology used in the stimulus so that you can check for shifts.
At the end of your review session, look back over your list of takeaways. Did anything show up on your list pretty often? Which ones are the most important? Figure out what you should apply to future questions and put systems into place so that you won’t miss those future questions. Write them on post-its and have them handy next time you practice.
(If you want a guide to help you with future-focused review, check out my LSAT Practice Test Review Guide.)
Future-focused review tips by section
Here are a few specific things to consider in each section when you review to help push your LSAT score from 160 to 170.
- Are you making mistakes in the rules or in the questions? These mistakes can be subtle sometimes!
- Do you ever forget about a rule? If so, what can you do to make the rule more obvious?
- Is your diagramming clear and consistent?
- Are you using your previous work effectively? Are you doing the questions in the most effective order so that you can capitalize on previous work?
- Do you have a good process for the rule substitution questions?
- Do you always know what question type you are dealing with and exactly how to deal with it?
- What are the little words/connections/subtle shifts you sometimes don’t notice in the argument?
- Do answers sometimes seem irrelevant even if it actually turns out to be relevant (or vice versa)? What is keeping you back from understanding the true scope of the argument?
- Do you diagram when it’s helpful to do so? And do you ever make mistakes in your formal logic?
- Do you go into your answer choices with a clear idea of what to expect?
- When reading, do you need to be paying more attention to the structure of the passage? To viewpoints?
- Do you find specific support for all of your answers?
- Are you tempted by answers that start off ok but go off track later on?
- Do you have a plan of attack for the questions that ask simply “Which of these things is in the passage?”
- How are your focus and stamina?
- Are you pacing yourself appropriately?
- Are you able to get yourself back on track if your focus fades or your confidence falters?
The journey from 160 to 170 on the LSAT can be a long, difficult one. It’s not going to come through quick wins, and it’s going to require a significant mental investment. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
The best thing you can do for yourself as you enter this new stage of your LSAT prep is to recognize that you’ll need to shift your focus away from learning question types, diagramming methods, and step-by-step strategies. Instead, you’ll need to focus more on identifying exactly what’s holding your reasoning back and where exactly you’re not seeing the things you should be in the questions. Hold yourself to a high standard, don’t skimp on your review, and keep asking yourself what, specifically, you can learn from each question you do.
If this post resonated with you, I’d love to stay in touch. About once a week, in the form of an email newsletter, I share useful strategies and insights I’ve picked up during my years teaching the LSAT. “LSAT Notes” you can use to study more effectively and raise your score.
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It's nearly impossible to go from 160 to 170 if you ever make mistakes on the first 15. If you're going to score 180, you're going to need to be perfect on the entire test.How long should I study for the LSAT to get a 170? ›
We recommend that most students look to spend 150–300 hours on LSAT prep; that's a healthy range over a two or three-month period at around 20–25 hours per week, which is a standard amount for most students.How do I get past 160 on LSAT? ›
In order to get an LSAT score of 160, you would need to get about 70-75 out of the 102 questions correct. In other words, you should be aiming to get around 70-75% of questions correct per section.How hard is it to get 170 on the LSAT? ›
A 170 represents a percentile of 97.4%, meaning that test takers with a score of 170 have a score higher than 97.4% of all LSAT takers. So, that's pretty good! But what does it take to achieve that score? On the most recent LSAT, you would have to answer at least 89 out of 101 questions to receive a 170.How many LSAT questions can I miss and get a 170? ›
To achieve a score of 170 requires a test taker to correctly answer 90 out of 101 questions.How many questions missed is a 160 on LSAT? ›
Every LSAT throughout the year is different, but on a typical LSAT, you can still get 25 wrong and end up in the 160s— or about 20 wrong and get a 164, a 90th percentile score. Even a perfect score of 180 often allows for a question or two to be missed.Can you get into Harvard with a 165 LSAT? ›
Schools like Harvard and Yale, which are the top two, rarely accept applicants with less than 172 on the LSAT.What is the average LSAT score without studying? ›
The LSAT is scored on a 120-180 scale.
From our independent research, we've found that students who take the LSAT without studying achieve scores between 145 and 153.
A student scoring a 160 is in the 80.4 percentile because the student scored better than 80.4% of test-takers. You can hover over the blue outline to see a tooltip for all each LSAT/percentile combinations.Should I retake the LSAT if I got a 160? ›
Before deciding whether to retest, you need to critically examine what your LSAT score was and why you got that score. Lower scores are, by their nature, easier to improve upon; it is easier to go from a 150 to a 160 than it is to go from a 160 to a 170, and it is harder still to get from a 170 to a 175.
As you can see from these numbers, an LSAT score of 170 or higher and a GPA above 3.75 will give you a chance of gaining admission to Harvard Law School. If you have a GPA of 3.94 or higher and above a 175, you are pretty much a lock for admission, particularly given the class size of ~560.How many LSAT questions can I miss and get a 175? ›
Scoring a 175 means you missed 5 questions on the test, which can be the equivalent of an entire logic game. Scoring a 170 means you missed 10 or 11 questions, which is nearly half of an entire section. The point of all this is that there is room to make mistakes.What was Obama's LSAT score? ›
The easiest to predict, by far, is President Barack Obama's score, mostly because we have some data. Based on admissions records, we can deduce — somewhat reliably — that Barry-O scored between the 94th-98th percentile on his LSAT. Using today's grading system, that'd place him somewhere around a 170.Are LSAT prep tests harder than actual LSAT? ›
That said, it will take mental focus and commitment to make the required effort–LSAT prep isn't easy. In my time observing LSAT prep students, the ones who were really serious and intense about it grossly outperformed the slackers on the real test and made way bigger improvements along the way.What month is the LSAT easiest? ›
You'll look at my LSAT PrepTest Raw Score Conversion Charts and calculations of what it takes to get an LSAT score of 160 or 170. Using that data, you'll find that the December exam consistently has the easiest "curve," and the June exam consistently has the hardest.What did Elle Woods get on her LSAT? ›
As you probably know, the LSAT is scored from 120 to 180. Elle Woods was able to raise her score from a 143 to a 179 just by diligently preparing.What is a 76 question on the LSAT? ›
The LSAT Flex typically has 75 to 76 questions, which means a perfect score of 180 can come from getting all 75 to 76 questions correct.Is 2 months enough time to study for the LSAT? ›
Two months is the optimal LSAT prep schedule for many students. While you can make great score improvements with one intense month of study, practice, and review, most expert LSAT faculty will recommend a longer schedule if one is possible for you.How many can I get wrong for a 160? ›
In order to get 160, you can have 27-29 questions wrong. If you totally guess 1 passage RC and get 1 question right from your guess (-6), and get 1 wrong on each of the passage you actually did, this would results a -9 from RC.What is a 75% on the LSAT? ›
Estimated Score Conversions.
|Raw score*||Scaled Score||Est. Percentile**|
On average, getting a raw score of 87 (out of 101) or above converts into an LSAT score of 170 or above. Note that a score in this range places you, on average, in the 98th percentile, meaning that only 2% of all those who take the LSAT score a 170 or above.What is the lowest LSAT score for Stanford? ›
The admission's process is highly selective with only 9-11% of applicants being accepted. If Stanford is on your list of dream schools to attend, you will want a GPA of at least a 3.75 and an LSAT score of at least 171.Does LSAT outweigh GPA? ›
A strong LSAT score can compensate for a low GPA, so it is well worth the investment of time and effort it takes to do well. Many competitive law schools screen applicants using a weighted index of their grades and LSAT scores, so extra points on the LSAT may effectively boost your GPA.Can you get into NYU law with 165? ›
NYU Law School LSAT numbers
NYU Law School's median LSAT score is 169. Its 25th percentile on the LSAT is 166. Its 75th percentile is 171.
Each June (which is considered the start of the testing cycle), about 80% of the test takers are first-times. This percentage drops off in successive tests: 73% of September/October testers are first-timers, 58% of December test takers are LSAT virgins, as are 57% of February test takers.Is LSAT more important than GPA? ›
Just how important the LSAT relative to other elements of your overall application package varies a little from school to school. However, generally, your LSAT score alone is thought to be anywhere from twice as important as your GPA to four to five times as important!Do law schools only look at highest LSAT score? ›
You will find that most law schools look at the higher or highest LSAT test score for applicants with multiple scores. However, applicants should keep in mind that Admissions Committee members will see all scores and may be negatively influenced by a large number of tests or a downward trend in scores.What schools accept a 160 LSAT? ›
160 is the average-admitted LSAT score at the next tier up, schools like George Mason, Tulane, University of Arizona, and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.Is it hard to get a 159 on LSAT? ›
First off, if you're in this score range, you're already officially above the mean (and above median, though we can't speak to mode – sorry stats fans). Within this score range, you're besting 64-78 percent of your peers, putting you solidly within the top half of test takers!Can I get into law school with a 143 LSAT score? ›
Quite frankly, if your LSAT score is below 147, it will be difficult to be admitted to an accredited law school, not impossible but very difficult. Your GPA will have to do some heavy lifting. If your LSAT score is 150 or above, your chances increase if you choose prospective law schools wisely.
Students who take the LSAT just once with a high score may have a slight edge over those who take it multiple times. However, it does not hurt your chances of getting into law school if you take the LSAT more than once.What if I do worse on my second LSAT? ›
Even if you retake the exam again and knock it out of the park, you should write an addendum to explain why the most recent score is the best representation of your abilities. If there were extenuating circumstances when you got a low score, you should cite that situation.What is the average LSAT score for first time takers? ›
Conducted over a series of five 35-minute sections which contain 35 multiple-choice questions each, the highest possible score you can get on your LSAT is 180. The lowest being 120, which by logical reasoning would therefore suggest that the average LSAT score is around 150…which it is, or near abouts.What is the average LSAT for Berkeley? ›
|LSAT Score (Median)||168||165|
|LSAT Score (25th-75th percentile)||165-170||162-168|
|GPA Range (25th-75th percentile)||3.64-3.90||3.66-3.90|
To have great chances at Georgetown University Law Center, you will want an LSAT score around the 167+ range and an undergraduate GPA in the 3.7+ range.Can I get into Harvard Law with a 173? ›
In its 2022 class profile, Harvard Law School reports the following LSAT scores for the middle range of admitted students on the LSAT: 25th percentile – 170. 50th percentile – 173.Does the LSAT get curved? ›
The LSAT is graded on a “curve” so that even if a test was relatively easy or difficult, a 160 on any given test is equivalent to a 160 on any other test. This means that not all tests are exactly the same level of difficulty.What is 60% on LSAT? ›
The LSAT score range is 120–180, and the median score is approximately 152. You need to get about 60 questions right (out of 99–102 questions) to get that median score of 152, which means you need to bat about 60 percent.Will a 180 LSAT get you in anywhere? ›
Whelp, you can apply to pretty much anywhere with confidence. Scoring in this range makes you extremely competitive for a variety of great law schools.What is Kim Kardashian LSAT score? ›
In a clip from the show, Kim revealed to sisters Khloé and Kourtney that she failed the important test. In order to pass, Kim needed a score of 560. She scored 474.
The LSAT is not an IQ test. Contrary to popular belief, the LSAT does not measure intelligence. Therefore, the test does not render those with higher scores smarter than those with lower scores. The LSAT is one of many factors relied upon by law schools to predict a person's chances of first-year success.What is Harvard median LSAT? ›
As of the most recent application cycle, Harvard Law's median LSAT score is 174. Assuming the rest of your application is perfectly “average” for Harvard Law, if your LSAT score is below 174, your chances of getting in are below average. If it's above 174, your chances are above average.What is the hardest LSAT section to improve? ›
On the other hand, Reading Comprehension is the generally the most difficult section to improve. That is because your reading speed plays a big role in how well you perform, and reading speed is challenging to substantially increase in a short period of time.What is the hardest portion of the LSAT? ›
Many students will find this section to be the most tedious of the LSAT because this section was designed so that test-takers have no prior knowledge of this section. Those who find themselves in the throes of the LSAT reading comprehension section will have 35 minutes to complete four parts.
Yes! All practice questions (including the full exams and timed mini-sections) are from past, official LSAT exams developed by the LSAC.How many hours a week should I study for LSAT? ›
We recommend that most students look to spend 150–300 hours on LSAT prep; that's a healthy range over a two or three-month period at around 20–25 hours per week, which is a standard amount for most students. Keep in mind that those hours include any classes or private LSAT tutoring sessions you might be using.Is 2 weeks enough to study for LSAT? ›
For most students, a three-month period of preparation (of approximately 20 hours per week) is a great goal. This is, of course, an estimate; most students are not all students. To find out how much LSAT prep time you're likely to need, we recommend taking a practice LSAT to get a baseline score.How many days a week should I study for the LSAT? ›
If take 5 months to study for the LSAT, you'd need to spend between 12 to 18 hours every week, on average. This means you'd need to spend between 2.5 and 3.5 hours a day studying, 5 days a week. If you are on an extended 6-month schedule, you only need to study a manageable 10 to 15 hours per week.Is 160 a good LSAT score? ›
160 score: A score of 160 or above is typically considered a good LSAT score. Although it may not be high enough to get into the highest tier of law school, there are many very reputable law schools with median LSAT scores in this area.What percentage of people score a 160 on the LSAT? ›
A student scoring a 160 is in the 80.4 percentile because the student scored better than 80.4% of test-takers. You can hover over the blue outline to see a tooltip for all each LSAT/percentile combinations.
Generally, there are between 75 and 76 questions on the LSAT. In order to get a 160, you'll need to get around 54 of these questions right. Between the 3 scored sections, that's about 18 right answers for each section. If you're good at one section, but not so good at another, your score will average out.What law schools accept a 160 LSAT? ›
|School Name||75th LSAT||50th LSAT|