GRE vs. LSAT: 5 Tips to Help You Decide for Law School Admissions

Choosing between the GRE and LSAT can be a daunting task for aspiring law school applicants. Both exams assess your critical thinking, reading comprehension, and analytical writing skills, but they have their own unique nuances. While the LSAT has long been the gold standard for law school admissions, the GRE has gained traction in recent years, with an increasing number of schools accepting it as an alternative.

So, how do you decide which test is right for you? Here are 5 crucial tips to consider:

1. Know the Landscape: Not All Law Schools Embrace the GRE (Yet)

While the GRE is becoming increasingly accepted, it’s important to remember that it’s not yet universally embraced by law schools. Currently, over 200 law schools accept the GRE, but many still require the LSAT or have not yet announced their stance. Therefore, thoroughly research the specific schools you’re interested in to determine their testing requirements.

Here are some examples of notable schools that accept the GRE in lieu of the LSAT:

  • Arizona State University School of Law
  • Columbia Law School Cornell Law School
  • Duke University School of Law
  • Fordham University School of Law
  • Georgetown University Law Center
  • Harvard Law School
  • New York University School of Law
  • Stanford Law School
  • University of California, Berkeley School of Law
  • University of Chicago Law School
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Yale Law School

This list is not exhaustive, and new schools are constantly adding the GRE to their admissions criteria. Remember, staying updated on the latest developments is crucial.

2. Consider Your Strengths and Weaknesses:

Both the GRE and LSAT have their own strengths and weaknesses. The GRE is often considered more general, focusing on vocabulary, reading comprehension, and quantitative reasoning. The LSAT, on the other hand, is specifically designed for law school admissions and emphasizes logical reasoning and analytical writing skills.

Think about your academic background and test-taking preferences. If you excel in standardized tests and have a strong vocabulary, the GRE might be a good fit. However, if you enjoy logical puzzles and analytical reasoning, the LSAT might be more your speed.

3. Don’t Assume the GRE is Easier:

A common misconception is that the GRE is easier than the LSAT. While the GRE may have a broader range of content, the LSAT’s logical reasoning and analytical writing sections can be quite challenging. Remember, both exams require dedication and preparation to achieve a competitive score.

4. Factor in Future Flexibility:

While you may be set on law school now, consider your long-term career goals. The LSAT score is generally only valid for 5 years, while the GRE score is valid for 5 years from the test date. If you’re considering other graduate programs or business schools in the future, the GRE might offer more flexibility.

5. Seek Guidance and Resources:

Choosing the right test is a significant decision, and it’s helpful to seek guidance from experienced advisors or test prep resources. Familiarize yourself with the format, content, and scoring of both exams. Take practice tests to gauge your strengths and weaknesses, and develop a study plan tailored to your chosen test.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to take the GRE or LSAT is a personal one. Weigh your individual strengths, academic background, and future goals to make the most informed choice. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer, and both exams can pave the way for a successful legal career.

By following these tips and conducting thorough research, you can confidently navigate the GRE vs. LSAT decision and choose the test that best positions you for law school success.