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Admission tests are always a part of any school application – whether it is for college, graduate, or post-grad application. 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 do you need to take.

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 a lot of 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’re applying for a law school since some schools are accepting GRE or LSAT scores.

On the other hand, LSAT or Law School Admission Test is a test used to evaluate 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 which has 1 hour and 10 minutes allotted time. There is usually an unscored part at the end which the taker needs to complete within 35 minutes.

On the other hand, LSAT test is a paper-and-pencil test that consists of 4 scored sections. It starts off 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 each section. The test ends with 2 unscored sections, namely, Experimental and Writing sample with also 35 minutes allotted time for each.

· Format

Another main difference between GRE vs LSAT is their format. They are both multiple-choice test 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 on 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.

· 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 namely, 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.

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 LSAT, now is the time to register and have more exam schedules to choose from.

One of the common questions asked by test takers is which is harder, LSAT or GRE? Some people may think that 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 which is an admission test yet they differ from one another.

It can be reasonable if you’re thinking that is the LSAT harder than the GRE. Since it is a standardized exam for admission to law schools, there are specific skills and knowledge areas that are tested by this exam. 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 pure 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 LSAT. One can even discover a pattern in the previous problems and use it as a basis in solving a new problem.

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 on that law school is not for you.

Aside from that, there are still other factors that 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 in a year while there is no limit in taking LSAT. With these factors, a test taker can pick one that suits his schedule best.

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 he or she 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.

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 on how you’ve done on your past years at 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 by 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.

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 in law school. The good thing is, you can take GRE frequently and be able to 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 which makes 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 in this test.

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 fee of $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 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 he or she applies into.

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 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 be able to answer the test well. Also, be sure to set your study method based on your study habits.

The goal of LSAT is to test a taker’s ability to understand, analyze, and reason complex material. 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 a lot different from each other especially on the skills and competencies that they measure. Making the 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.