LSAT Performance with Regional, Gender, and Racial/Ethnic Breakdowns: 1999-2000 Through 2005-2006 Testing Years (TR-06-03)
by Susan P. Dalessandro, Laura A. Marcus and Lynda M. Reese

Executive Summary

The purpose of this report is to provide summary information about Law School Admission Test (LSAT) performance for test takers classified by country, region of the United States, gender, race/ethnicity, and race/ethnicity within gender. LSAT performance is summarized for the 1999–2000 through 2005–2006 testing years. By compiling this summary information into a single report, trends with regard to the performance and representation of various subgroups may be tracked and monitored. The primary results observed for the time period covered by this report are summarized below.

In evaluating the results reported below, 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 performances across region, gender, or racial/ethnic subgroups cannot be attributed to these subgroups in general, but merely to representatives of these subgroups who chose to take the LSAT and identified themselves as belonging to these groups.

General Trends Regarding the LSAT

  • There had been an upward trend in test-taker volume from the 1999–2000 to 2002–2003 testing years, with the 2003–2004 test-taker volume remaining essentially constant. The volumes have decreased since, with the 2005–2006 test-taker volume decreasing 7.6% from the 2002–2003 volume.
     
  • The overall distribution of LSAT scores has remained fairly constant.
     
  • The largest numbers of test takers have taken the LSAT at the September/October and December administrations.
     
  • Average LSAT scores have been slightly higher for the group of test takers who test at the June and September/October administrations and slightly lower for the group of test takers who test at the December and February administrations.

Trends Regarding Canada and Foreign Countries

  • Approximately 6% of test takers have taken the LSAT in Canada.
     
  • Approximately 1.5% of test takers have taken 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 have had slightly higher mean LSAT scores than test takers from the United States.

Trends Regarding the United States

  • The percentage of test takers who have taken the LSAT in each region of the United States has remained fairly constant. The highest percentage of test takers tested in the Northeast region for all testing years except 2000–2001 and 2001–2002. In the 2000–2001 testing year, an approximately equal number tested in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions. In the 2001–2002 testing year, the largest number of test takers tested in the Great Lakes region. The smallest percentage tested in the Northwest region for all testing years covered in this report.
     
  • The performance of test takers from the various regions has remained fairly constant. Test takers in the New England region have scored the highest for all testing years covered in this report. Test takers in the Southeast and South Central regions have scored lowest on average.

Trends Regarding Gender

  • From the 1999–2000 to 2002–2003 testing years, there were slightly more female test takers than male test takers. There were slightly more male test takers than female test takers for the 2003–2004 through 2005–2006 testing years.
     
  • Male test takers have consistently scored slightly higher than female test takers.

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  • The percentage of test takers who did not indicate their gender has fluctuated between .03% and .33% for the seven years covered by this report. For the 2005–2006 testing year, .08% did not indicate their gender. Those who did not indicate their gender had the highest mean LSAT score over the past seven years.
Trends Regarding Race/Ethnicity
  • Caucasian test takers have been the largest percentage of test takers. African American test takers and Asian American test takers have been the next largest groups in terms of percentages.
     
  • Average LSAT scores have been highest for Caucasian and Asian American test takers. African American test takers and Puerto Rican test takers have had the lowest mean LSAT scores.
     
  • The percentage of test takers who did not indicate their race/ethnicity had been fairly low in 1999–2000 (0.56%), 2000–2001 (0.41%) and 2001–2002 (0.47%), then increased for the 2002–2003 (2.54%) and 2003–2004 (2.66%) testing years, but decreased again to about 0.98% for both the 2004–2005 and 2005–2006 testing years. The No Response group 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 have been more male than female test takers, while there have been more female than male test takers for the African American and Asian American subgroups.
     
  • The number of test takers who indicated neither their gender nor their race/ethnicity was noticeably higher in the 2002–2003 testing year compared to previous and subsequent testing years.
LSAT Performance with Regional, Gender, and Racial/Ethnic Breakdowns: 1999-2000 Through 2005-2006 Testing Years (TR-06-03)

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