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

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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.

I improved my score by 25 points and got a 177 on the LSAT.

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