LSAT Performance With Regional, Gender, and Racial/Ethnic Breakdowns: 2007–2008 Through 2013–2014 Testing Years (TR 14-02)
The purpose of this report is to provide summary information about Law School Admission Test (LSAT) performance, including performance classified by country, region of the United States, gender only, race/ethnicity only, and both gender and race/ethnicity. Information regarding LSAT performance is summarized for the 2007–2008 through 2013–2014 testing years and compiled into a single report, enabling trends with regard to the performance and representation of various subgroups to be tracked and monitored. The primary results observed for the time period covered by this report are summarized below.
In evaluating these results, the reader should bear in mind that the test takers who contributed to the various regional, gender, and racial/ethnic statistics were self-selected. That is, these test takers chose to take the LSAT themselves; they were not randomly chosen to be assessed. Also, test takers voluntarily self-reported their gender and race/ethnicity. That is, individuals chose whether or not to respond to these classification questions and decided how they would respond (especially with regard to race/ethnicity). As a result, differences in LSAT performance across regional, gender, or racial/ethnic subgroups cannot be attributed to those subgroups in general, but merely to representatives of those subgroups who chose to take the LSAT and identified themselves as belonging to those subgroups.
General Trends Regarding the LSAT
- There was an upward trend in test-administered volume from the 2007–2008 through the 2009–2010 testing years. Since 2009–2010, however, volumes have decreased, with the 2013–2014 test-administered volume decreasing 38.5% from the 2009–2010 volume. A similar trend was observed for test-taker volumes, showing an increase from 2007–2008 through 2009–2010. The test-taker volume has since decreased for the 2010–2011 through 2013–2014 testing years.
- The overall distribution of LSAT scores remained fairly constant.
- The largest numbers of test takers took the LSAT at the September/October and December administrations.
- Average LSAT scores were slightly higher for test takers who tested at the June and September/October administrations and slightly lower for test takers who tested at the December and February administrations.
Trends Regarding Canada and Foreign Countries
- Approximately 8.0% of test takers took the LSAT in Canada.
- Approximately 3.0% of test takers took the LSAT in a foreign country. (For the purpose of this report, a foreign country is defined as any country outside of Canada and the United States.)
- Canadian and foreign test takers had slightly higher mean LSAT scores than test takers from the United States.
Trends Regarding the United States
- The percentage of test takers who took the LSAT in each region of the United States remained fairly constant across the 7 testing years. The highest percentage of test takers tested in the Northeast region for all testing years covered in this report. The smallest percentage tested in the Northwest region for all testing years.
- The performance of test takers from the various regions remained fairly constant across the 7 testing years. Test takers in the New England region scored the highest for all testing years covered in this report. Test takers in the Southeast and South Central regions scored the lowest on average.
Trends Regarding Gender
- There were almost equal numbers of male test takers and female test takers in 2007–2008. For the next 4 testing years, 2008–2009 through 2011–2012, there were slightly more male test takers than female test takers. In 2012–2013 and 2013–2014, there were slightly more female test takers than male test takers.
- Male test takers consistently scored slightly higher than female test takers.
- The percentage of test takers not indicating their gender (i.e., the Gender No Response subgroup) fluctuated between 0.04% and 0.16% for the 7 years covered in this report. For the 2013–2014 testing year, 0.11% did not indicate their gender. The Gender No Response subgroup had the highest mean LSAT score across the 7 testing years.
Trends Regarding Race/Ethnicity
- Caucasians comprised the largest percentage of test takers. The next two largest subgroups in terms of percentages were African American test takers and Asian/Pacific Islander test takers, respectively.
- Average LSAT scores were highest for Caucasian and Asian/Pacific Islander test takers. African American test takers and Puerto Rican test takers had the lowest mean LSAT scores.
- The percentage of test takers who did not indicate their race/ethnicity was close to 1% for the 2007–2008 through 2008–2009 testing years. The percentage greatly increased for the 2009–2010 (2.70%), and 2010–2011 (2.19%) testing years, but decreased to about 1.65% in the 2011–2012 testing year and to 1.56% in the 2012–2013 testing year. For 2013–2014, the percentage increased again to 3.35%, the highest number for all years covered in this report. The percentage of test takers not indicating their race/ethnicity (i.e., the Racial/Ethnic No Response subgroup) had the highest mean LSAT score for all testing years covered in this report.
Trends Regarding Gender and Race/Ethnicity
- Among the Caucasian subgroup, there were more male test takers than female test takers, whereas there were more female test takers than male test takers for the African American and Asian/Pacific Islander subgroups.
- The number of test takers who indicated neither their gender nor their race/ethnicity was highest in the 2009–2010 and 2010–2011 testing years.