Did you know that people take between 100,000 and 150,000 LSATs every year? Or, that it’s a myth to think your LSAT is graded solely against your fellow test-takers on the same day? Check out our lists about the fun facts and myths about the LSAT below.
Did You Know?
Between 100,000 and 150,000 LSATs are administered every year. If every test-taker spends the full 3.5 hours to complete the exam, then each year prospective law students collectively spend between 364,700 and 518,000 hours taking the LSAT. That’s the equivalent of one poor prospective law student sitting down and spending the next 41 to 59 years taking the test!
When the economy tanks, people prepare to enter law school. Have you ever heard someone say that more people go to law school when the economy is weaker? Well, in general, it’s true. In general, in the last two decades, more people have taken the LSAT when the economy is weaker than when the economy is stronger.
More people take the LSAT in October than in any other month. The September/October LSAT is the most popular for two obvious reasons. First, students understandably tend to procrastinate undertaking such an unpleasant task. Second, the October/December period is when most students apply to law school, so it makes sense to take it only after committing to the law school application process.
5 Myths About the LSAT
MYTH: Your LSAT Score Is Graded On A Curve Of Fellow Test-Takers That Same Day. REALITY: The LSAT is not scored on a curve.
MYTH: It’s Better To Take the LSAT in October. REALITY: There is no advantage to taking the LSAT during one time of the year versus another. While it’s true that more students take the LSAT in October than at any other time of the year, you should take it whenever you are best prepared.
MYTH: The LSAT Measures Innate Intelligence, So It’s Pointless To Study For It. REALITY: While the LSAT does, to a significant degree, measure a student’s accumulated analytical and reading skills, you can always work to sharpen these skills. Even the LSAC, the LSAT creators, recommend that you prepare to take the exam.
MYTH: I Can Take the LSAT As Many Times As I Want Until I Get The Score I Want. REALITY: Most law schools will take your highest LSAT score, not the average of your scores. You should check with your dream school(s) to make sure they do not average.
MYTH: Most Law Schools Have Cutoff LSAT Scores Below Which They Will Refuse To Admit Someone. REALITY: Most law schools, especially top tier law schools, have ranges of LSAT scores that they consider acceptable or unacceptable for applicants. Yet, you will hear about exceptions. There are people who likely had something absolutely extraordinary on their resume or academic transcript that outweighed their especially low LSAT score.
Here’s Something Else People Forget
LSAT scores matter a lot less if you went to a lower-tier law school, did really well there during your first year, and are now trying to transfer to a higher-tier school that is taking a lot of transfer students — but that would never have accepted you based on your LSAT score. Why would a top-tier law school accept as a transfer student, someone who they never would have admitted originally? Here are a few reasons.
The first (benign) reason is that a high-achieving student at a lower-tier school now has a demonstrated record of academic achievement in law school. The LSAT, imperfect though it may be, is an attempt to predict future academic performance in law school so it becomes a lot less important once you can measure it against your actual first-year law school grades. A top-tier law school that accepts as a transfer student someone who they would have rejected before they started law school is essentially acknowledging the predictive limitations of the LSAT in favor of rewarding actual law school performance.
The second (less benign) reason is that law schools are not “penalized” with the lower-than-normally-acceptable LSAT scores of a transfer student because law schools do not report the LSAT scores of transfer students in describing the overall profile of a given class year. This allows some law schools to maintain the fiction that they are more selective than they actually are, thus driving up their rankings in publications like U.S. News.
The third (and neither benign or less benign) reason is that law schools are like any other enterprises with budgets. A law school falling below its enrollment projections or in need of raising additional revenue can go into the transfer student market and make up shortfalls. Maybe a law school has a budget shortfall because it wanted to game the rankings system so it admitted fewer 1Ls than it wanted and is now making up the difference with transferring 2Ls and 3Ls. Or, maybe a law school experienced fewer 1L acceptances or more transfers out than it expected and is now searching for transfers to increase its class size. Whatever the reason, a transferee’s LSAT score often accounts for a lot less than his or her first-year law school performance in the transfer process.