LSAT or GRE: What’s the difference?

Are you applying or thinking about applying to graduate school but can’t decide which standardized entrance exam fits your desired program best?

The answer depends on what you’re planning to do after you complete your degree. If you’re not sure, it’s best to check with the schools that you are interested in attending to see which test they prefer. In the meantime, here is a breakdown of the LSAT and GRE so you can start comparing which suits your skill set and future goals best.

LSAT or GRE: What are they?

Both the GRE and LSAT are standardized tests that have a lot in common in terms of their purpose but differ when it comes to their content.

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a standardized test that law school applicants must take in order to be admitted to law school. The GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, is a general test that many graduate programs require as part of the admission process. But how do they differ?

LSAT or GRE: Format

The GRE has three multiple-choice sections, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Analytical Writing, and one unscored section that could be verbal or quantitative.

The LSAT exam sections are Reading Comprehension, Analytical Reasoning, and Logical Reasoning. The LSAT also contains an experimental section in addition to five multiple-choice sections (one of which is an unscored writing sample).

LSAT or GRE: Scoring system

LSAT is scored on a scale of 120-180, while the GRE uses 130-170 for their verbal and quantitative sections and 0-60 for analytical writing.

LSAT or GRE: The skills

Both exams measure skills that are important for success in graduate school, but they focus on different areas.

LSAT tests your ability to read, analyze and draw conclusions on complex texts under strict time constraints. LSAT is a logic test that will measure your logical reasoning and analytical thinking abilities.

The GRE, on the other hand, tests a wider range of skills. In addition to your ability to reason and analyze, the GRE also measures your quantitative abilities (math skills), verbal abilities, and critical thinking skills.

LSAT or GRE: Cost

LSAT costs $200 to take without the additional fees such as the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) ($195), and Law School Reports ($45). The cost of taking the LSAT can add up quickly if you decide to retake the LSAT.

GRE costs $205 with a $50 fee for each score report sent after the first four free reports.

LSAT or GRE: Which schools accept them?

You may have heard that the LSAT is the only test that law schools accept, but that’s not always the case. The GRE is also accepted by some law schools (see the list below). If you’re interested in going to law school, then the LSAT is the obvious choice. But LSAT is a test that is also accepted at some business schools, especially for JD/MBA.

Programs that accept both GRE and LSAT

University LSAT score GRE score
Harvard Law School 173 332
Yale Law School 173 332
Columbia Law School 172 329
Cornell Law School 171 324
University of Pennsylvania Penn Law 171 328

MBA programs that accept LSAT

Ross School of Business: GRE score: 320
Emory University’s Goizueta Business School: GRE score: 317

LSAT or GRE: Which graduate program do people choose?

The people who take the LSAT are more likely to go into law school while the people who take the GRE are more likely to go into other graduate programs. However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer and you should consider your skills and future goals when making your decision.

LSAT or GRE: The bottom line

Both the LSAT and the GRE can be challenging and have many similarities, but they’re not alike. Understanding the difference between these two exams can help you make an informed decision about which one to take. If you want a test that’s specifically designed for law school admissions, then go with the LSAT; if you need something more widely accepted or with year-round testing opportunities, take the GRE instead. But keep in mind that the GRE is not accepted by all law schools. Which test you choose depends on your own strengths and weaknesses. So, if you’re confident in your math skills and want to focus on your verbal abilities, the LSAT may be a better fit.

If you’re interested in taking a prep course for either exam, reach out to our tutors at ApexGRE or ApexLSAT. We offer 30-minute complimentary consultation calls where you can speak directly to a top-scoring instructor for the best and most comprehensive preparation courses. Still not sure? Read our comparison article between the GMAT and GRE.

So which is it? LSAT or GRE? Let us help you. Get in touch now.

Contributor: Cynthia Addoumieh

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