Published October 20, 2020
It’s a common question among law school applicants: should I take the LSAT or GRE? This blog post covers some of the common distinctions of both and discusses how the best choice for you might depend on your own particular situation.
As more schools begin to accept the GRE in addition to the LSAT, you may wonder which test you should take. It doesn’t make sense to discuss them in terms of pros and cons, but rather what test suits your situation, skillset and how it can best support you in your law school application journey.
Here you’ll find a few of the main points you should consider when deciding whether the LSAT or the GRE is right for your law school application.
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Although many schools are reevaluating standardized test requirements, most students currently in graduate school typically have a GRE score that is valid for five years and can be reused. If you’re in one of these camps, then you can save yourself time and money by reusing the results, provided you are happy with your score.
Perhaps the main distinction is that the LSAT is accepted by all law schools, while (as of writing) almost 70 law schools accept the GRE. Even if you are taking the GRE, every prospective law student must create an LSAC.org Account and apply to law school(s) through LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
Your decision might be an easier one to make depending on how certain you are of your school choices.
Both the LSAT and the GRE test you on your critical thinking and ability to find flaws in arguments. Both require extensive preparation and the results from both are good for five years. But there are still some big differences:
If you’re taking the GRE test, you can receive unofficial scores for the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections immediately after you finish, while your official results—including your analytical writing score—will be available in 10-15 days.
If you have an LSAC account with a registered email address, you should receive your LSAT score within three weeks. If they have to mail you your results it could take up to four weeks.
We saved the easiest for last. UB does not prefer one test over the other. Both the LSAT and the GRE are regarded equally during admissions committee review.
The LSAT and the GRE benefit applicants differently. Do your homework on both tests and make sure to practice, practice, practice. If math isn’t your strong suit, perhaps avoid the GRE. If you are particularly confident with your writing skills, perhaps go with the GRE since the writing is scored. With a little research after considering these points, you can maximize your application’s impact for the schools you’re most interested in.
Feel free to reach out to the Office of Admissions with any additional questions about the LSAT, GRE or the law school application process in general.
GRE Frequently Asked Questions
LSAT Prep Workshops & Practice Tests