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How LSAC Calculates Your GPA

You’re applying to a number of law schools. But you’ve noticed that there are different versions on how LSAC has been calculating your GPA.

Daniel Waldman, a contributor at US News and admissions consultant at Stratus Admissions Counseling, recently discussed LSAC’s policies on GPA averages.

“There are a lot of intricacies and conflicting accounts out there, and many are just a result of conjecture or speculation.,” Waldman writes.

How Much Is An A+ Worth?

The most common question Waldman says he receives is whether an A+ is converted to a 4.33 or a 4.0.

Despite what many people may think, LSAC actually converts an A+ to a 4.33.

“One reason for the assumption is fairness – some schools don’t have +/- grades, putting their students at a possible disadvantage,” Waldman writes. “Another is simply that even colleges that do hand out A+ grades count them as a 4.0 on their own transcripts.”

Pass-Fail

Generally speaking, Waldman says, pass-fail courses are excluded from LSAC’s calculation of your GPA. However, students should proceed with caution.

“While a passing grade won’t do anything to impact your LSAC GPA, a failing grade will count as a 0,” Waldman writes.

The difficulty of your coursework makes a difference in admissions.

According to LSAC, “difficult or advanced undergraduate courses are often evaluated in a more favorable light than easier or less advanced subjects.”

While taking a difficult course as a pass-fail might seem like a wise strategy, Waldman warns that a number of law schools are suspicious about an applicant with too many pass-fail courses.

“In their mind, that student just took every remotely challenging class as pass-fail, making their GPA suspect at best and raising a red flag over their application,” he writes.

Sources: US News, LSAC