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University of Alberta Law Index Score & Grade Conversion Guide


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Gamgee
  • Law Student

Hi All, 

Moved the below collected info from old form to reddit wiki and now hopefully to its final resting spot. No guarantees are made on its accuracy or any future changes that may impact how everything is calculated. Please reach out to the university & admissions directly if you have any questions or need confirmation. 

Special thanks to user "stqust" on the old forums for a lot of this information!

Official timelines, dates for deadlines, last LSAT accepted, application costs, etc. can be found on the university's website: https://www.ualberta.ca/law/index.html

Grading Scale:

UofA uses a 4.0 GPA scale for determining admissions and will convert your grades to their scale. The amount of credits used will be the L2 (last 2 years).

Calculating L2: Count from the last semester courses equivalent of 60 UofA credits, 2 full years of undergraduate study. If the last course counted is in the middle of a semester, all grades in that semester are used in the calculation.

Letter Grade: First each grade in L2 is converted to a grade point on the 4.0 system, then each of these grades are tallied up to a total sum. Then the total is divided by the total number of L2 courses to get your average GPA that will be used.

Percentage Grade: If your undergraduate grades are provided to you in percentages, then instead of the letter grade calculation, you will take the average percentage for your L2 courses and then convert based on the GPA conversion table below. (You do not convert individual percentage courses to 4.0)

Letter Grade Conversion Table:

Letter Grade UofA 4.0 GPA Scale
A+ 4.0
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
F 0.0

Percentage Grade Conversion Table:

L2 Percentage Average UofA 4.0 GPA Scale
87% 4.0
85%-86% 3.9
83%-84% 3.8
82% 3.7
81% 3.6
80% 3.5
79% 3.4
78% 3.3
77% 3.2
76% 3.1
75% 3.0
74% 2.9
73% 2.8
72% 2.7
71% 2.6
70% 2.5

LSAT:

Historically, UofA has averaged your LSAT scores. However, in the 2021 Fall cycle it was shared that they would instead use your highest LSAT score. It is not confirmed if this will continue being the case going forward, any specific questions regarding this should be directed to UofA law admissions.

Index Formula:

(GPA on 4.0 scale * 22.5) + (LSAT score)

Example: (4.0 * 22.5) + (160) = 250 .. then 250 is the index score of someone with a 4.0/4.0 GPA and 160 LSAT score.

Alternative index formula:

(GPA on 4.0 scale * 22.0) + (LSAT score)

Auto Admissions:

Historically, auto admissions have been 242 with the first formula and 240 with the alternative index formula. This does not mean in the future the auto admissions will always remain at these values and you should use this only as a relative reference of competitiveness based on historic data.

If you are below the auto admissions cut-off it doesn't mean you will not have a chance, but it appears being above the auto admission cut-off gives you a very strong chance.

The auto-admissions range primarily is for first year JD regular category admissions. Indigenous applicants and other applicants may have different requirements. Always confirm and check with the university if you have any questions.

Useful Links:

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CrimeAndPunishment
  • Applicant
13 hours ago, RUIQ said:

Hi All, 

Moved the below collected info from old form to reddit wiki and now hopefully to its final resting spot. No guarantees are made on its accuracy or any future changes that may impact how everything is calculated. Please reach out to the university & admissions directly if you have any questions or need confirmation. 

Special thanks to user "stqust" on the old forums for a lot of this information!

Official timelines, dates for deadlines, last LSAT accepted, application costs, etc. can be found on the university's website: https://www.ualberta.ca/law/index.html

Grading Scale:

UofA uses a 4.0 GPA scale for determining admissions and will convert your grades to their scale. The amount of credits used will be the L2 (last 2 years).

Calculating L2: Count from the last semester courses equivalent of 60 UofA credits, 2 full years of undergraduate study. If the last course counted is in the middle of a semester, all grades in that semester are used in the calculation.

Letter Grade: First each grade in L2 is converted to a grade point on the 4.33 system, then each of these grades are tallied up to a total sum. Then the total is divided by the total number of L2 courses to get your average GPA that will be used.

Percentage Grade: If your undergraduate grades are provided to you in percentages, then instead of the letter grade calculation, you will take the average percentage for your L2 courses and then convert based on the GPA conversion table below. (You do not convert individual percentage courses to 4.0)

Letter Grade Conversion Table:

Letter Grade UofA 4.0 GPA Scale
A+ 4.0
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
F 0.0

Percentage Grade Conversion Table:

L2 Percentage Average UofA 4.0 GPA Scale
87% 4.0
85%-86% 3.9
83%-84% 3.8
82% 3.7
81% 3.6
80% 3.5
79% 3.4
78% 3.3
77% 3.2
76% 3.1
75% 3.0
74% 2.9
73% 2.8
72% 2.7
71% 2.6
70% 2.5

LSAT:

Historically, UofA has averaged your LSAT scores. However, in the 2021 Fall cycle it was shared that they would instead use your highest LSAT score. It is not confirmed if this will continue being the case going forward, any specific questions regarding this should be directed to UofA law admissions.

Index Formula:

(GPA on 4.0 scale * 22.5) + (LSAT score)

Example: (4.0 * 22.5) + (160) = 250 .. then 250 is the index score of someone with a 4.0/4.0 GPA and 160 LSAT score.

Alternative index formula:

(GPA on 4.0 scale * 22.0) + (LSAT score)

Auto Admissions:

Historically, auto admissions have been 242 with the first formula and 240 with the alternative index formula. This does not mean in the future the auto admissions will always remain at these values and you should use this only as a relative reference of competitiveness based on historic data.

If you are below the auto admissions cut-off it doesn't mean you will not have a chance, but it appears being above the auto admission cut-off gives you a very strong chance.

The auto-admissions range primarily is for first year JD regular category admissions. Indigenous applicants and other applicants may have different requirements. Always confirm and check with the university if you have any questions.

Useful Links:

Thank you for taking the time to write all of that out, it should be pinned. 

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TobyFlenderson
  • Articling Student
3 minutes ago, CrimeAndPunishment said:

Thank you for taking the time to write all of that out, it should be pinned. 

It is 😁

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CrimeAndPunishment
  • Applicant
1 minute ago, TobyFlenderson said:

It is 😁

Smh didn't see that, before anything that was pinned had a yellow tone on my screen lol

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TheMidnightOil
  • Law Student

(A correction to the 'Letter Grade' section, I believe it should say '4.0' rather than '4.33'.)

 

The 2021 cycle was pretty crazy: 1) Almost certainly more applicants, 2) Better LSAT scores, 3) The sudden and quiet announcement mid-cycle that the UofA would be taking the highest LSAT score of a given applicant (hiLSAT) and not their average of LSAT scores (avgLSAT). Based on a few statistical analyses from the old lawstudents.ca forum, the average hiLSAT score of admitted applicants went up about 3.5-4 points. Moreover, there were people waitlisted with stats just as strong as some who were admitted a month or two prior, which means that the validity of the unofficial index calculator is now in question.

For any 2022 applicants, I would definitely reach out to the adcom to get as much certainty as possible on if they're taking hiLSAT or avgLSAT -- though the adcom did give out incorrect information about avgLSAT when people asked them last summer. Don't be like me and a few others who went in all-or-nothing on the UofA due to its previous predictability; apply to any other schools which you wouldn't mind getting a law degree from (especially considering the UofA's tuition hike starting with 2022 admits).

Speculating, I think that next cycle will be just about as tough as this one, assuming that the hiLSAT change stays in place. Now that people know (or are under the impression) that they can retake the LSAT multiple times without fear of dragging down an average, this should in theory bump up hiLSAT. I would say that the new 'safe' threshold isn't a 242 anymore, but likely around 246.5. This all depends on what they're doing with the LSAT, though. They've finally updated the JD Admissions page's LSAT blurb (far too late) to include vaguer language, so it's definitely uncertain.

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СлаваУкраїні
  • Law Student

@TheMidnightOil You're sure right about it being vague - they don't even say whether it's gonna be the highest score or the average. They're sure giving themselves a lot of wiggle room.

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TheMidnightOil
  • Law Student
3 minutes ago, Salazar said:

@TheMidnightOil You're sure right about it being vague - they don't even say whether it's gonna be the highest score or the average. They're sure giving themselves a lot of wiggle room.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that a law school words such things so carefully.

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TobyFlenderson
  • Articling Student
30 minutes ago, TheMidnightOil said:

(A correction to the 'Letter Grade' section, I believe it should say '4.0' rather than '4.33'.)

I believe you’re right. I’ve corrected it!

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Toad
  • Articling Student

Since LSAC sends the LSAT scores to the schools, they are able to track the number of applicants each year. They have volume reports for both Canadian and American law schools.

https://report.lsac.org/VolumeSummaryOriginalFormat.aspx?Format=PDF

It looks like there were 8,122 law school applicants across Canada in 2021 versus 6,853 for 2020. An increase of 18.5%. There was also a 29.5% increase in applications to law schools in Western Canada.

I suspect that the increase in competitiveness comes almost exclusively from the increase in the number of applications rather than the change from average to highest LSAT. When I was applying to the University of Alberta I read every accepted thread in the subsection. During the Great Recession the cycle was noticeably more competitive with people who would normally get accepted in January not getting accepted until April/May. Luckily there was only one cycle that was super competitive and things returned close to normal the following cycle.

That being said, I haven't been keeping track of the admission process after I got accepted in 2018, so take everything I say with a grain of salt.

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Renerik
  • Law Student
40 minutes ago, TheMidnightOil said:

Speculating, I think that next cycle will be just about as tough as this one

Might not be very representative, but different professional pre-law groups (Spivey consulting, LSAT Demon) predict that the upcoming cycle will be less competitive than this one, but still more competitive than pre-pandemic cycles. They suspect that a return to a 4-section LSAT, recovering economy, and reactions to the current cycle weaken the attractiveness of the admissions process to many. The possible permanent change to hiLSAT might drastically change the dynamic of admissions at UofA though, many might take the LSAT multiple times.

Edited by Renerik
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TheMidnightOil
  • Law Student
2 minutes ago, Renerik said:

Might not be very representative, but different professional pre-law groups (Spivey consulting, LSAT Demon) predict that the upcoming cycle will be less competitive than this one, but still more competitive than pre-pandemic cycles. They suspect that a return to a 4-section LSAT, recovering economy, and reactions to the current cycle weaken the attractiveness of the admissions process to many. The possible permanent change to hiLSAT might drastically change the dynamic of admissions at UofA though, many might take the LSAT multiple times.

Yeah, good points. In my mind, I'm expecting these factors to more-or-less balance out the increased competitiveness caused by the knowledge/anticipation that hiLSAT is now (probably) a thing.

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Gamgee
  • Law Student
8 hours ago, TheMidnightOil said:

(A correction to the 'Letter Grade' section, I believe it should say '4.0' rather than '4.33'.)

Ah thanks for catching that!

7 hours ago, TobyFlenderson said:

I believe you’re right. I’ve corrected it!

Thanks for updating!

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maybemaybe
  • Applicant
On 6/6/2021 at 11:45 PM, Renerik said:

Might not be very representative, but different professional pre-law groups (Spivey consulting, LSAT Demon) predict that the upcoming cycle will be less competitive than this one, but still more competitive than pre-pandemic cycles. They suspect that a return to a 4-section LSAT, recovering economy, and reactions to the current cycle weaken the attractiveness of the admissions process to many. The possible permanent change to hiLSAT might drastically change the dynamic of admissions at UofA though, many might take the LSAT multiple times.

But we don't know yet whether the new lsat policy will stay. I emailed them and they said they can't confirm it and that they changed the policy because of COVID. I feel people won't rewrite unless they know for sure an averaged score won't be used

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Renerik
  • Law Student
7 hours ago, maybemaybe said:

But we don't know yet whether the new lsat policy will stay. I emailed them and they said they can't confirm it and that they changed the policy because of COVID. I feel people won't rewrite unless they know for sure an averaged score won't be used

For sure, it's hard to know how many will go through with retakes. I suspect most will not retake. Given the points I made in your quote, and If UofA goes through with the proposed law tuition increases (10 ->16k/yr), I cannot see next cycle comparing to this cycle because many out of province applicants apply to UofA in great part due to the low tuition. Why do that now? Same with high ranked applicants: why attend a mid-tier school for the proposed mid-tier pricing? The economic incentive is reduced. Many in-province students might elect to attend UCalgary instead if the price differential between both schools shrinks.

Those with lower stats and greater financial support should be relishing next cycle at UofA.

Edited by Renerik
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maybemaybe
  • Applicant
On 6/12/2021 at 4:24 PM, Renerik said:

For sure, it's hard to know how many will go through with retakes. I suspect most will not retake. Given the points I made in your quote, and If UofA goes through with the proposed law tuition increases (10 ->16k/yr), I cannot see next cycle comparing to this cycle because many out of province applicants apply to UofA in great part due to the low tuition. Why do that now? Same with high ranked applicants: why attend a mid-tier school for the proposed mid-tier pricing? The economic incentive is reduced. Many in-province students might elect to attend UCalgary instead if the price differential between both schools shrinks.

Those with lower stats and greater financial support should be relishing next cycle at UofA.

Hmm im not sure about the tuition part. I remember posting something about that in the lawstudents.ca forum and someone mentioned that tuition has been increased in the past at other schools and it did not impact applications significantly. Also Edmonton is still generally a lower cost of living compared to other places. 

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Renerik
  • Law Student
2 hours ago, maybemaybe said:

it did not impact applications significantly.

I'm not opposed to that possibility, I'm certainly basing a lot off of anecdotal evidence. UofA is definitely at the top of my list, but when I get acceptances back next year, the greatest deciding factor for me will be financial. I'll go wherever would be cheapest, within reason, so UVic, USask, etc. A fair few folks on the old forum have also said it was their top choice mostly because of financial reasons as well. While it might not lower the number of applicants or their quality, I cannot see them increasing.

Edited by Renerik
Clarified a sentence
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maybemaybe
  • Applicant
15 hours ago, Renerik said:

I'm not opposed to that possibility, I'm certainly basing a lot off of anecdotal evidence. UofA is definitely at the top of my list, but when I get acceptances back next year, the greatest deciding factor for me will be financial. I'll go wherever would be cheapest, within reason, so UVic, USask, etc. A fair few folks on the old forum have also said it was their top choice mostly because of financial reasons as well. While it might not lower the number of applicants or their quality, I cannot see them increasing.

maybe, its all speculation at this point. Even given the tuition increase, UofA is still pretty cheap compared to other places and on par with places like USask. I think UManitoba might be cheaper

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maybemaybe
  • Applicant
On 6/6/2021 at 11:50 PM, TheMidnightOil said:

Yeah, good points. In my mind, I'm expecting these factors to more-or-less balance out the increased competitiveness caused by the knowledge/anticipation that hiLSAT is now (probably) a thing.

The thing with the hiLSAT though is that its still not been confirmed. When I emailed them about it, they specifically said it was COVID-19 and emphasized that they could not confirm the same policy for next year. But yeah, I expect the index score to be around 245 like you mentioned unless the tuition hike and other factors deteriorating UofA (newly announced $250 million budget cut) affect the amount of people interested

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TheMidnightOil
  • Law Student
6 hours ago, maybemaybe said:

The thing with the hiLSAT though is that its still not been confirmed. When I emailed them about it, they specifically said it was COVID-19 and emphasized that they could not confirm the same policy for next year. But yeah, I expect the index score to be around 245 like you mentioned unless the tuition hike and other factors deteriorating UofA (newly announced $250 million budget cut) affect the amount of people interested

I’m really cheesed off that they still aren’t clarifying how LSAT will be considered. Not a good look at all for the adcom.

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Renerik
  • Law Student
1 hour ago, TheMidnightOil said:

I’m really cheesed off that they still aren’t clarifying how LSAT will be considered. Not a good look at all for the adcom.

This might doxx me but oh well. I was premed before a mentor changed my view on a lot of stuff this year and got me looking into law. In the med school application process, many schools ask you to take the CASPER, a personality/ethics test. Much like other tests it's learnable. It's an after-thought for most and mostly used for cut-off purposes so there's no point wanting to score in the top quartile, everyone just doesn't want to be at the bottom (a few schools use it to assign discretionary points but that's irrelevant to my story). Due to family obligations. I had only applied to one local school that was very explicit in that they only used the CASPER to cut applicants who score in the bottom 5%.  This was written in bold all over the application. I took the exam after an afternoon of studying and finished my application. Come late October, I was sent an email saying that I was not going to be offered a chance to interview purely because they realized they had too many applicants, changed the CASPER cut-off after everyone wrote the test, and decided not to interview anyone who scored in the bottom 25% of the CASPER. My kick-ass GPA, ECs (including over 4000 hours of volunteering with the homeless) and MCAT be damned. I'll likely apply to that school's law program this coming cycle but if another school takes me, money, reputation, interest be damned, I might go elsewhere. 

Edited by Renerik
Had a sentence in there that I'm not certain was true so I took it out.
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TheMidnightOil
  • Law Student
36 minutes ago, Renerik said:

This might doxx me but oh well. I was premed before a mentor changed my view on a lot of stuff this year and got me looking into law. In the med school application process, many schools ask you to take the CASPER, a personality/ethics test. Much like other tests it's learnable. It's an after-thought for most and mostly used for cut-off purposes so there's no point wanting to score in the top quartile, everyone just doesn't want to be at the bottom (a few schools use it to assign discretionary points but that's irrelevant to my story). Due to family obligations. I had only applied to one local school that was very explicit in that they only used the CASPER to cut applicants who score in the bottom 5%.  This was written in bold all over the application. I took the exam after an afternoon of studying and finished my application. Come late October, I was sent an email saying that I was not going to be offered a chance to interview purely because they realized they had too many applicants, changed the CASPER cut-off after everyone wrote the test, and decided not to interview anyone who scored in the bottom 25% of the CASPER. My kick-ass GPA, ECs (including over 4000 hours of volunteering with the homeless) and MCAT be damned. I'll likely apply to that school's law program this coming cycle but if another school takes me, money, reputation, interest be damned, I might go elsewhere. 

That's absolutely nuts! I have some insight into the med school application process, and it makes the stress of a law school app look like a cakewalk. Isn't it the case that for some (or all?) Canadian med schools, the interview amounts to 50% of an applicant's profile strength? That sounds absurd.

Edited by TheMidnightOil
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Renerik
  • Law Student
15 minutes ago, TheMidnightOil said:

That's absolutely nuts! I have some insight into the med school application process, and it makes the stress of a law school app look like a cakewalk. Isn't it the case that for some (or all?) Canadian med schools, the interview amounts to 50% of an applicant's profile strength? That sounds absurd.

Usually. For some schools, GPA and MCAT scores get you an interview spot alongside ~750 interviewees, then they choose the ~150 who are accepted purely based on interview performance.  No-one is accepted without sitting and killing the interview.

I didn't apply this law cycle, but I find some solace in that this rat race isn't the same clown fiesta as med school applications. Even this year is comparatively tame to the med side of things.

In case someone in the future reads this and thinks "Man, I can't get into med school, I might try for law school", I want to caution them that that might be a bad reason to go down this path. In my case, medicine was the incorrect call and it took me quite some time to come to that realization even with the help of some thoughtful mentors. If presented an unconditional acceptance to med school right now, I'm not sure I'd accept. 

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Gamgee
  • Law Student
43 minutes ago, TheMidnightOil said:

That's absolutely nuts! I have some insight into the med school application process, and it makes the stress of a law school app look like a cakewalk. Isn't it the case that for some (or all?) Canadian med schools, the interview amounts to 50% of an applicant's profile strength? That sounds absurd.

Another important factor that med applicants need to consider is their provincial residence status. For law applicants, most schools don't care if you live in a different province, but I hear that's significantly different for med apps, where the standards of entry are notably higher for out-of-province compared to in-province. 

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Renerik
  • Law Student
4 minutes ago, Gamgee said:

Another important factor that med applicants need to consider is their provincial residence status. For law applicants, most schools don't care if you live in a different province, but I hear that's significantly different for med apps, where the standards of entry are notably higher for out-of-province compared to in-province. 

Very true. Ontario is a little different but most provinces heavily bias in-province students. Take, lets say, USask (couldn't find data for UAlberta). They had 223 out-of-province applicants in 2020 and only took 6. Most of those had perfect GPAs and MCATs on the same level as a 173+ LSAT. The in-province protection system allows for many schools to hold tremendous power and influence over their province. 

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SYANG09
  • Applicant

I know this may sound irrelevant. But do some universities implicitly require higher LSAT scores from int'l students? I'm applying next cycle as an int'l student for both Canadian and American schools. A couple of U.S. law school are said only to look at LSAT and softs from foreign applicants. It is true that foreign GPAs are not easily convertible using the North American rubrics, giving the discrepancy between difficulties of undergrad programs taught around the world and intentional GPA inflation/deflation is not provable. Law schools now use third-party agency like WES for evaluating foreign transcripts, but clearly LSAT is a much more reliable index. However, I'm not so into the idea of dying for 170+ as many of my fellow applicants are (there's an obnoxious culture in my country that it's perfect scores or nothing). I have a decent cCPA and L2 (both around 3.88/4.0, WES certified) from a non-English speaking university. My first LSAT was 82% and I plan to rewrite this fall. Using the formula provided by OP, I think I do have a good odds for UAlberta right now. Still unsure if Alberta have a "special" treatment for foreign intake that they don't reveal. If that's the case, I'd be disadvantaged though I strove for high GPA but am not so good at standardized exams.

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