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LSAT vs. GRE: What to Choose?

  • By: Mace J. Yampolsky, Esq.
  • Published: October 30, 2016

The most common question that is often asked by the graduate students is the difference between GRE and LSAT. Although both are used for the graduate program admissions, LSAT is used exclusively for the law school admission programs whereas the GRE sets the path for other programs like science, business management, engineering, and others. Without passing GRE, it is very difficult to get admission in the different graduate programs.

LSAT versus GRE: Similarities

Logical reasoning and reading comprehension sections are the similarities between the two exams. In both the exams, a passage is offered that is followed by the questions. There is also some overlapping in the section of logical reasoning as well. That’s where their similarities end.

LSAT versus GRE: Differences

The differences list between LSAT and GRE is long. Both exams are quite different in nature.

Purpose: The GRE, test the students’ verbal proficiencies and analytical writing. The LSAT, on the other hand, tests the law school candidates on comprehension reading and reasoning proficiencies. Rather than subject knowledge, testing the reasoning skills are more focused on the LSAT exam. GRE is a mixture of two.

Test Nature: The GRE is an adaptive test which means that the performance in the first section in verbal and quant determines the difficulty level of the coming sections. GRE is also based on the vocabulary. However, the LSAT is not an adaptive test. If candidates are good at LSAT, they are likely to perform well in the verbal section of the GRE test. But for other sections, it’s a completely different story. The LSAT test taker who wants to explore more options through the GRE exam probably has to start the preparation from scratch.

Content: The main point when LSAT or GRE is discussed is the content. The LSAT measures the comprehension and reading of complex texts with insight and accuracy, the ability to critically think and write and also analyze and evaluate the arguments and reasoning of the others. While in GRE, the quantitative skills e.g. the concepts of algebra, arithmetic, data analysis, and geometry, verbal skills which include understanding the meaning of words, sentences, and the whole texts, and analytical writing in which the standard English writing skills are measured.

Reported Scores: In GRE, the separate verbal, quantitative, and writing scores can be reported and cannot be compared to LSAT scores not even by the percentiles, but in LSAT, the single score measured are reported and also the sample of critical writing is collected and forwarded to the law schools where the applicant applied.

Rigor: The LSAT test is designed to test the skills of applicants of the law schools and GRE, on the other hand, is designed to serve the broad range of the graduate programs.

Test Security: The testing model of GRE requires that questions be reused regularly this creates the possibility that test takers could get the access to the question papers before testing. While the LSAT forms and questions are highly secure.

Disclosure: many of the test forms in LSAT are disclosed freely at the time of reporting score. Then four months are given to the test takers to challenge the fairness, soundness, and equity of the test questions. Contrary to it, the limited tested review is granted in GRE but only to new York test takers.

Mace J. Yampolsky, Esq.

About the Author Attorney Mace Yampolsky has been achieving successful outcomes
during pre-trial negotiations as well as in the courtroom, defending
clients on nearly all types of criminal defense cases.

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