I confess, I googled this too when I got my LSAT score: is there a correlation between LSAT scores and IQ? For the amount of effort and money one puts into the LSAT, it would be probably be nice if they gave you your IQ score too, but alas, you just get an LSAT score. So is there a formula or chart out there that converts LSAT scores to IQ scores?

There is one such chart at least, but the value and accuracy of the LSAT to IQ conversion is very debatable. The LSAT is, however, certainly testing something a lot closer to the what an IQ test does than say, the SAT, which is not even  close. It seems at least plausible then that the LSAT could give you a ballpark idea of what you’ll score on an IQ test. We’ll show you the best attempt we saw to convert LSAT to IQ and do a little lay analysis.


Just remember that while it’s okay have fun assigning yourself an IQ based on the charts, but I would hesitate to brag about your new “IQ score” at parties. Other than the issue of good taste, the number probably isn’t terribly accurate!

LSAT TO IQ Chart #1

180     146+

179     146+

178     146

177     143.8

176     142.3

175     140.8

174     139

173     137.8

172     135

171     134.8

170     133.4

169     132

168     130.4

167     130

166     127.4

165     126

164     124.4

163     123

162     121.5

161     120

160     118.5

This chart, courtesy of some grad student’s quant blog, runs a linear regression analysis from the numbers used by five high IQ societies that accept LSAT tests for entrance. IQ societies appear to simply use the percentile LSAT as if it would be equivalent to an IQ test percentile as long as you accounted for difference in the two populations taking the test.

They do this because the LSAT only measures you against other LSAT takers, not the general population. The LSAT is a pool of people who have gone to college, generally did well there, and are still seeking more education, so the average LSAT taker is arguably quite a bit sharper (IQ test wise anyway) than the average person in the population at large. So, if a High-IQ society requires a 99th percentile IQ for entrance, then a somewhat lower percentile LSAT score will get you in as well. Mensa, for example let’s you in with a 98th percentile IQ test score (meaning you did better that 98% of people), whereas you’d only need a 95th percentile LSAT score score to join up and do whatever it is that Mensa people do (anyone know what that is? I’ve always been curious).

IQ societies, then, are treating the LSAT as if it does in fact test IQ in more or less the same way as a “regular” IQ test does. Obviously, people who don’t believe the LSAT tests the same skills as a general intelligence test are going to have a big problem with that.

Also, this blogger used an IQ of 105 as the base line for the average LSAT taker, 105 being the supposed average IQ of all college graduates. Even if that 105 number is right (it seems a little low) I’d venture a guess that the average LSAT taker has a somewhat higher IQ than the average college grad. If I’m right, the IQ number that corresponds to a given LSAT should be adjusted upward for a lot of these.


All in all though, this conversion probably does give you some idea of what IQ range you’d be in. High IQ societies apparently believe based on what they’ve seen that the LSAT score is a fairly good predictor of IQ score, and that someone who scores X number of standard deviations above the mean on the LSAT will put up an equivalent performance on an IQ test. That or they are just trying to get more members, and letting in great LSAT scorers is one way to do it that looks legit.

Note too that even if the LSAT is a good predictor of IQ in the higher ranges (169+), that doesn’t mean it’s good at predicting IQ for those who score more in the middle. A separate issue is that while getting your best score may be able to tell you something, underperforming probably tells you nothing. Smart people bomb the LSAT all the time and only later pull it together to get a great score. I’m betting their lower score doesn’t tell you much of anything about how they’ll perform on an IQ test.

Have you taken both? Do LSAT to IQ conversions predict IQ scores well or are they total BS? Please let us know what you think. I’m not a quant, so it’s likely I’ve missed some dimensions here. Comments, as always, can be completely anonymous. Feel free to use an assumed name and brag about your high IQ/LSAT all you want.



  1. I took the LSAT and got a 162, which was a lower score than what I was getting in practice.
    I also had my IQ tested as a child, and those results would suggest that this analysis is skewing low. One reason might be that while only college educated individuals take the LSAT, there’s probably an even finer selection bias toward the more academically successful college educated people. It seems unlikely that people who did poorly in college would apply for law school.

    I think the main thing that throws this analysis off is that the LSAT is a test that you can easily improve your score on with tutoring. I know someone who took a prep course and improved his score by over 10 points, which put him in the 170s. I didn’t take any test prep, just reviewed sample tests on my own. So it’s difficult to compare apples to apples. You’d have to only take the LSAT scores of people who took it cold or with minimal coaching.

  2. As many of you have pointed out therd is some correlation but you can not just superimpose the two bell curves and match the numbers. The bell curve of the IQ test is standardized for the entire population, while the bell curve of the LSAT is standardized for the population of people who take the LSAT which generally are among the best and brightest of their universities ( mostly). So I can amost guarantee a 50th % 153 LSAT does not mean a 100 IQ score (also 50th %).

    Also the IQ is standardized for age bands…our cognitive processing speed decreases with age after about 21-22. In the LSAT we are all bunched together.

    I am a graduate student of psychology and I administer and score the WAIS-IV IQ test so I know all about it.

  3. This is interesting. I took something resembling an IQ test when I was in elementary school. I scored 118, which I still feel embarrassed about. I scored 166 on the LSAT after about 3 weeks of preparation. I also scored around 91st percentile on the GRE, which I took a few years ago after about a 1.5 weeks of review. I sometimes whether my score on these subsequent tests is more reflective of my IQ rather than that test that I took as a child, although I recognize that part of this is motivated by a desire to see myself as “smart” in quantifiable way.

  4. I got my BA in psychology a long time ago, but as I recall, real IQ tests aren’t timed. The LSAT is timed, very tightly timed, in fact, just as the ACT is. I can get a 180 if I take a practice LSAT and give myself extra time. With the strictest time limits, my score drops quite a bit. That means I need to read more and the test isn’t that fair because…

    Rich kids get extra time on the LSAT and ACT, sometimes double time…

    The LSAT favors philosophy students because it is basically a philosophy test.

    The LSAT also involves grammar. If a person wasn’t taught a lot of grammar in school, then understanding some of those sentences in a stressful, timed condition is going to be difficult.

    By the way, I’ve seen the Mensa test. It is VERY coachable. And it’s NOT a real IQ test. Anyone who gets coached should get a good score on it. But only an idiot would spend time practicing for a Mensa or IQ test!

  5. My iq was 138 and my LSAT was 166 with my now chemo brain and with no training. So would have scored higher with time to get better and training so probably reasonably close table.

  6. My IQ is 133- yet Ive been getting 160-162 on my practice LSATs – According to this chart I should be banging out 170s…

    Its the timer that keeps getting me. I always run out of time 🙁

    • doobie doobie doo on

      Anyone who writes “My IQ is 133” and believes that one number is meaningful has an IQ much lower than 133…

  7. I had my IQ professionally measured (for gifted placement in public school) at 142 and I only made a 153 on the LSAT.

    • I actually had my IQ measured as a child as well (for exactly the same reason you mentioned), and it was measured at 142 as well.

      When I took my first cold diagnostic LSAT, I got a 152 or 153 (more on my story here:

      It took me a few months of rigorous preparation to get to a 177, but I got there by test day.

      I think there are a couple of important things to remember when looking at this table:

      1) Unlike an IQ test, the LSAT is a very LEARNABLE exam.
      2) A high IQ doesn’t guarantee that you WILL get a high LSAT score… but it does mean that you probably CAN get a high LSAT score if you prepare properly.

      If your IQ is a 142, that puts you in the 99.75th percentile of the population…
      If your LSAT score is a 153, that puts you in the 55th percentile of test takers…

      You CAN close that gap if you prepare effectively for this exam. It would honestly shock me if someone with a 142 IQ prepared properly for the LSAT and weren’t able dramatically improve a 153.

      This chart is only really useful if you use it as a way to set a personal goal for yourself. If your IQ is really a 142, there is no way that you should settle for a 153 LSAT score. You should be intellectually capable of hitting 170+ after 3 or 4 months of serious study.

      I know you can do better than a 153. You know you can do better than a 153.

      What have you done so far to prep? What are you going to do differently between now & test day to ensure that you realize your true potential?

      Your certainly smart enough to CRUSH the LSAT… the only question that remains is this: Do you want it bad enough to put in the effort required to unlock your potential?

      If your answer is “yes,” we’re here to help push you along the way.

      Good Luck!

  8. Is 165-68 “more in the middle”? 169 strikes me as a rather arbitrary beginning for “the high range.” It would appear MENSA agrees, 168 being the 95th percentile minimum.

    • Yeah, I think Josh is just picking an arbitrary spot there, saying that hypothetically the LSAT could determine IQ well at some score ranges but not others. I’d suspect there wouldn’t be a hard line even if that’s the case.

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