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GRE vs. LSAT: Ultimate Guide

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Admission tests are always a part of any school application – whether it is for college, graduate, or post-grad applications. GRE and LSAT are two of the most common admission tests in the United States.

Although they are both used to assess whether to accept an applicant or not, these two tests have huge differences between them.

This article will guide you through the differences between GRE and LSAT and which one you need to take.

GRE vs. LSAT: Main Differences

The GRE or Graduate Record Examination is mainly used as a graduate-level admissions test, including business and law. Your GRE score is an important part of your application for admission into grad schools since this reflects how good you are in certain areas.

However, aside from the GRE score, admission officers also consider many factors before accepting applicants. These are the applicants’ work experience, research experience, undergrad GPA, letter of recommendation, personal statement, and interview.

GRE scores can also be used if you apply for a law school since some schools accept GRE or LSAT scores. To increase your score, you can ask for help from The Economist GRE. Check our Economist GRE review to learn more about their test prep courses.

On the other hand, LSAT or Law School Admission Test evaluates applicants into law schools. It is a standardized test that was approved by the American Bar Association.

Unlike GRE, which can be used in other course areas, LSAT scores are only used for law school applications. It depends on what you’re applying for if you’re going to choose between GRE vs LSAT.

Read along for a more detailed list of differences between these two tests.

· Test Structure and Allotted Time

In the US and most countries, the GRE test is a computer-based admission exam; however, a paper version of it is used in the Far Eastern countries and China.

The exam starts with Analytical Writing, in which the taker has 1 hour to complete.

It is followed by the Verbal Reasoning section, which requires another 1 hour to be done.

Lastly, Quantitative Reasoning has 1 hour and 10 minutes of the allotted time. There is usually an unscored part at the end, which the taker needs to complete within 35 minutes.

On the other hand, the LSAT test is a paper-and-pencil test that consists of 4 scored sections.

It starts with Logical Reasoning I and II with 35 minutes allotted time each.

The next part is Analytical Reasoning followed by Reading Comprehension with an allocated time of 35 minutes for each section.

The test ends with 2 unscored sections. Namely, an Experimental and Writing sample with also 35 minutes allotted time for each.

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· Format

Another main difference between GRE vs LSAT is their format. They are both multiple-choice tests, but the GRE test can be done on a computer while the LSAT is a paper-and-pen test.

On the GRE test, the takers will get separate scores for every section. The maximum score for this test is 170, with the average score falling to 150.8.

In the LSAT test, only 4 sections contribute to the overall score of the taker. The last part is an unscored writing sample that will be sent to the law school you’re applying for. This test is scored on a scale of 120 to 180. The average score a taker can receive is 153.

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· Length

You may be wondering which test is longer, LSAT or GRE? The GRE only lasts for 3 hours and 45 minutes. Meanwhile, the LSAT takes 3 hours and 30 minutes long. GRE takes more time than LSAT to be completed by the test taker.

· Sections

The GRE only consists of 3 sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. All of these sections contribute to the overall score of the test taker.

On the other hand, the LSAT test has 6 sections: Logical Reasoning I and II, Analytical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Experimental, Writing. Only the first 4 sections are scored and contribute to the test results of the taker.

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When Can I Take the GRE and LSAT Exams? GRE and LSAT Sign up Dates 2021-2022

Most people opt to take the GRE online test because of its versatility in the schedule. There are more test dates available, plus it can be taken for at most 5 times a year as long as it has a 21-day interval each.

You can register almost anytime for the online test. The earlier you register, the more options you have for your desired test date.

However, there’s a limit on how many takers are accepted per day, which is another factor to be considered.

With the current condition nowadays, some LSAT test schedules have been canceled for safety purposes.

However, registration can be done almost anytime as long as you meet the registration deadline for a certain exam schedule. This test is administered 7 times a year, making it more convenient for applicants to choose a schedule that fits them the best.

If you’re planning to take the LSAT, now is the time to register and have more exam schedules to choose from.

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GRE vs LSAT Difficulty: Which is Easier?

One of the common questions asked by test takers is, “is GRE harder than LSAT”?

Some people may think that the LSAT is harder than GRE or the other way around. Comparing these two exams is like comparing apples to bananas. Both of them have a similar purpose: an admission test, yet they differ from one another.

It can be reasonable if you think that the LSAT is harder than the GRE. Since it is a standardized exam for admission to law schools, this exam has specific skills and knowledge areas tested.

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LSAT is focused more on analysis through its logic games which require the taker to analyze the situation on the spot and find solutions through appropriate logic. Finding answers on the LSAT is not a formula-based method but rather a purely logical analysis.

Many people get curious, is the GRE easier than the LSAT? GRE is an exam designed to measure one’s competency in a graduate program. Therefore, it has broader and more general skills to measure compared to LSAT.

However, answering the GRE is more formula-based compared to the LSAT. One can even discover a pattern in the previous problems and use it to solve a new problem.

Another common question is, “what is easier GMAT or GRE?”. Check our guide to find out.

LSAT vs GRE: Which Test is Better for You?

Although scores from both these tests can be your key to your dream school, it would be wise to choose the right one before taking it. The LSAT is mainly used for admission to law schools and other public policy programs.

On the other hand, GRE is an application requirement for admission into graduate schools, but some law schools accept GRE as an alternative standardized exam. You can go for LSAT if you want to pursue law school or GRE instead of LSAT if you want more versatility, especially when you decide later that law school is not for you.

Aside from that, other factors affect a test taker’s choice in choosing between LSAT vs GRE. When it comes to schedule, you can choose from 3-4 schedules per month in GRE, while LSAT is only helped 9 times a year.

However, one can only take the GRE 5 times a year while there is no limit in taking the LSAT. With these factors, a test taker can pick one that suits his schedule best.

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Who Accepts GRE/LSAT Scores?

The GRE is a standardized test used as an admission test by relevant graduate schools. It measures the general competency of a taker in graduate studies.

Aside from that, the GRE is also accepted by 23 law schools as an alternative standardized admission test. Preferring GRE to LSAT gives a taker more versatility when it comes to schools they can get into.

On the other hand, the LSAT is mainly designed as an admission test for those who wanted to enter law school. It measures more specific skills that are needed in law school, especially analysis and reasoning.

LSAT scores are only accepted by the American Bar Association-approved schools and other public policy programs. If your main goal is to pursue law school, then this test is what you need.

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Which Exam is Recognized to Apply for Scholarship in the US?

Scoring well in GRE LSAT gives you advantages when applying for a scholarship in the US. Having a good score in GRE somehow gives an impression of how you’ve done in your past years at the bachelor’s level.

However, scores from standardized tests are not the only sole factors considered when applying for a scholarship. A good GRE score can help you in your scholarship application, but having a bad GRE score doesn’t mean you have no chance for a scholarship. This is when academic performance and other factors get into the picture.

For LSAT, better scores mean more law school options to choose from and higher chances of being awarded a scholarship. It depends on the school on what score range they award scholarships.

In most cases, a score of 170 above can definitely land you either a full or partial scholarship in a prestigious law school. Be sure to strive for a high LSAT score for more advantage.

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Which Exam Plays More to Your Strengths LSAT or GRE?

You can use your strengths to score great on either LSAT GRE. For instance, if you’re good at math and vocabulary, there’s a big chance that you’ll score high in the GRE.

However, you’ll have limited options if you’re planning to use the score for admission to law school. The good thing is that you can take GRE frequently and choose the score that reflects on your record.

If you’re not a fan of vocabulary and math, the LSAT might be a better option for you. The questions in LSAT focus more on logic and reasoning, which works well for people who work better with puzzles and logic games.

It doesn’t require formulas that need to be memorized, making it perfect for those who find it hard to remember math formulas. As long as you’re good at analysis and reasoning, there’s a big chance that you’ll score high on this test.

GRE vs. LSAT Cost

For those who are planning to take either the GRE or LSAT, here’s the amount you need to prepare.

The GRE General Test costs $150 all over the globe. If you want to have the GRE Subject Test, it costs $150 worldwide.

A taker also needs to pay an additional $50 if he wishes to change his test schedule, test center, or subject. For late registration, an extra fee of $25 will be charged.

The LSAT basic fee is $200, but additional charges may apply for special cases such as changing test date, center, and hand scoring.

Generally, a law school applicant spends around $500 for the LSAT alone.

Changing the test center and date will cost $125 each, while hand scoring requires an additional $100 fee. The taker also needs to pay $45 for each law school that they apply to.

Best Prep for GRE

Just like any exam, it requires adequate preparation to score great on the GRE. Studying overnight is not enough; it requires hard work, persistence, and focuses especially on improving your weaknesses.

It is recommended by the best GRE online prep companies to have an 8-week preparation with approximately 2 hours spent studying per day. Be sure to focus on your weak points and study more on them to answer the test well.

Also, be sure to set your study method based on your study habits.

Best Prep for LSAT

The goal of the LSAT is to test a taker’s ability to understand, analyze, and reason complex material. If you need assistance with your prep, you should ask for help from top prep companies. Check prep course rankings on our website to pick the best courses.

The recommended preparation time if you’re planning to take the LSAT is spending 4 to 6 hours of studying per week.

It should be done at least 3 to 4 months before the test date. Practice more on sample logic games, especially from previous LSATs, to be familiar with how the test looks like.


GRE and LSAT are both standardized exams, but they are different from each other, especially on the skills and competencies they measure.

Making a choice basically depends on your plan, whether you’re aiming for a law school or you want more versatility in options.

Be sure to know your goals to make the right choice on which among the two you need to take.


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