The list of law schools that accept GRE is getting longer every day. Many have started to accept the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) along with or instead of the LSAT for a variety of reasons, which we’ll explore further here. However, most of the continue to require , and have not adopted the GRE. Regardless of these changes, the LSAT is still an important part of , but now you have the choice of which exam to take, rather than having only one option. This article will list all the major law schools that accept GRE, along with explaining what the differences are between the two, and how you can prepare for both.
This is an annotated list of the law schools that accept GRE, but the are different for each, meaning they may have different procedures for how to submit in lieu of LSAT scores. You should check with the law school you are interested in to see what procedures you have to follow to submit GRE scores instead of LSAT scores. But a lot depends on what kind of applicant you are, which we’ll address in the next section.
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Now that there are close to a hundred law schools that accept GRE in the US, you might be asking yourself which test you should take; it’s not an easy question to answer. The answer to what tests you should take to get into law school depends on the type of applicant you are; a traditional undergraduate who wants to go to law school after college, or a mature student who has decided to change careers and wants to give law school a shot, which is quite common.
A lot also depends on which test you would feel more comfortable with taking – the LSAT or GRE. We’ll get to the main differences (and similarities) between the two tests later, but if you’ve heard about compared to you’ll know that they are both challenging although not if you prepare adequately and study well in advance. For now, we’ll exam more closely what you need to consider about each test based on whether you’re a traditional or mature, non-traditional student.
The American Bar Association only recently voted to accept the GRE, so if you’re an undergraduate and you’ve already decided to go to law school, this change may or may not affect you. If you’ve already started thinking about or have gone the extra mile and enrolled in an it makes more sense for you to continue on this path, rather than switching to .
However, if you’ve only recently decided to go to law school and have done neither LSAT nor GRE prep, then you can decide on your own what test you want to take based on several factors. Neither test is knowledge-based so you don’t have to have any specific knowledge of a subject to be able to score well on either test. Many of the proponents of adopting the GRE made the argument that the differences between the two tests are negligible. The ABA and ETS have both commissioned studies to determine whether there are any differences between the two tests in predicting success in law school. Both studies found the GRE to be a “valid and reliable” test in terms of predicting law school performance, which was a major factor in getting the American Bar Association to accept the GRE. But, while the two tests do not have much difference in determining whether you’ll do well in law school, there are differences in taking the test itself, which might make a difference to you.
If matters to you, then you should know that, according to LSAC, the average test time for most LSAT test-takers is three hours. According to ETS, the average time it takes to complete the GRE is approximately two hours. While this time difference may not seem like a lot, you can use it as a deciding factor when you are thinking about which test to take as you prepare to apply for law school.
One of the main reasons behind law schools pushing for the GRE to be adopted is because they wanted to attract a different kind of applicant, namely, the non-traditional applicants. Non-traditional applicants are typically people who have established careers in other fields (medicine, engineering, business, education, etc.) and who may have already taken the GRE to get into their graduate programs (or not), and would be taking an unnecessary step to prove their readiness and suitability for law school if they were to take the LSAT.
These types of students can simply apply to law school without having to take the LSAT or retaking the GRE, and can focus on other aspects of their application, such as their or finding out more about However, one caveat to this is whether the GRE scores are still valid, and if they are older than the usual five-year cut-off that most law schools impose on applicants.
If your GRE scores are outdated, then you also have to decide whether you want to take the LSAT or retake the GRE. But you can also make your choice based on the law school you want to attend. If the law school you want to attend is among the that means that you can take the GRE; remember, there are no ABA-accredited law schools that do not require any standardized test, yet.
Along with accepting the GRE as a “valid and reliable” test for use in law school admissions, the American Bar Association has also voted to do away with all standardized tests in two years, although whether they will go through with it remains to be seen. This means law schools will no longer be obligated to use any type of standardized test. They can choose to go fully test-optional or blind (the former meaning that you can choose to submit or not submit test scores, while the latter means that none of your test scores will be considered), similar to
The reasons for law schools accepting the GRE are complicated and multi-faceted, but they have nothing to do with the perceived easiness or difficulty of either test. Law schools are not choosing the LSAT over the GRE, or vice-versa, based on which is easier or more difficult. They are both difficult tests to write, so don’t fall into thinking that the GRE is easier than the LSAT. Here we’ll go through the differences between the two tests so you can decide on which you would prefer to take based on your learning and studying preferences.
LSAT Sections vs. GRE Sections
- Logical Reasoning
- Analytical Reasoning
- Reading Comprehension
But, in addition to these timed and scored sections, there are two untimed and unscored LSAT sections; the LSAT Written section, and the experimental section that is usually a repeat of one of the three scored sections. The LSAT Written section is where you write an essay based on a specific prompt. You can complete your before or after your but your test will not be considered complete until you submit your written essay.
- Verbal Reasoning
- Analytical Writing
- Quantitative Reasoning
From this list, you can tell that there is no separate written essay section for the GRE. But the Analytical Writing section does require you write two different essays. However, this GRE section, which is also known as the Analyze an Issue section, has recently undergone a few changes; now, you only have to write a single essay based on a specific prompt provided during the test.
Unlike the LSAT Written section, the Analytical Writing GRE section is scored. So, if you are not the strongest writer, you may feel less pressure writing the unscored, untimed LSAT Written essay rather than having to formulate a concise, well-written essay under the pressure of a ticking clock to complete the GRE.
The other main difference between LSAT and GRE sections is the GRE’s Quantitative Reasoning section. This section consists of math problems that test your analytical and logical skills. So, if math is not your strongest subject and you wouldn’t feel comfortable studying and preparing for this section, taking the LSAT, which has , but no explicit math problems or questions, may be the better option for you.
LSAT Format vs. GRE Format
What do we mean by “format”?
In the case of the LSAT, the format refers to where, and how you complete the test, which is either at a LSAT testing center, or through a remote option that LSAC introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But “format” also refers to an important difference between the two tests, which is that the GRE is adaptive; the LSAT is not. The GRE is designed to adjust itself based on how accurate your answers are in the first sections of the test.
If you do well in the early sections, the difficulty of the questions in the proceeding sections is raised. If you don’t do well in the early sections, the proceeding section become easier, so the GRE is much more personalized than the LSAT. The LSAT offers the same test-difficulty for everyone, so it does not adapt and its difficulty does not change based on your answers.
The GRE is also written online, which allows it to have this adaptive quality, although there is a paper version of the GRE, but only 1% of GRE test-takers opt for the paper version. The LSAT is usually written on a computer, which is why you physically have to go to a testing site, or write a remotely proctored exam, where an LSAC official monitors your writing and computer activity, which is another difference between the two.
LSAT Test Dates vs. GRE Test Dates
The fact that 99% of all GRE test-takes decide to write the exam online not only means that it is adaptive, but also that you can take it anytime you want, from anywhere in the world. Since the GRE is often used in graduate school admissions, it means that more people write the GRE (467,277) than the LSAT (169,599) every year. Taking this into consideration, it makes more sense to let people take the GRE whenever and wherever they can rather than forcing them to take the test only at specific dates throughout the year and in specific formats (testing center or remotely proctored) as with the LSAT.
The flexibility of the GRE and is another reason why the list of law schools that accept GRE continues to grow. Being able to take the GRE anywhere and whenever you want is a huge relief to people who are working professionals, have families or any number of other commitments that would clash with the set dates for taking the LSAT. It’s also much more of a hassle to schedule an LSAT test date, as you have to keep in mind your law school’s application deadline, along with when your test scores will be released.
LSAT Retakes vs. GRE Retakes
Regardless of the test you choose to write, it may be necessary to rewrite or retake either test if your scores are not satisfactory. The only restriction on retaking the GRE is that you must retake the test at least 21 days after your last exam date and you can take the GRE a total of five times during a single calendar year. If you want to retake the LSAT, you are also allowed five retakes during a single application cycle, but you can only make seven attempts during your lifetime. The GRE has no limit on the number of times you can write the test during your lifetime, so that is another difference between the two.
We went over all the reasons and conditions that can affect your choice to take either the GRE and LSAT, so you should be able to decide for yourself which test is most suitable for you, based on the type of applicant you are and which test is most convenient for you. If you are a traditional undergraduate student and have already started to prepare for the LSAT, you can continue on that road.
If you’re a working professional, or mature student that has been out of school for a long time, but have already taken the GRE, you might be more attracted to law schools that accept GRE simply because you do not have to do any extra work. But this applies only if your GRE scores are still valid, meaning they are not older than five years. If they are older than five years, you may still opt to retake the GRE, since you are already familiar with the format, and have your own strategies to take the test.
If you’re an undergraduate who has not taken either the LSAT or GRE and haven’t even started preparing, then you can choose based on where your strengths lie. If you’re comfortable with math and reading math equations, then you can master the GRE easily. But if you struggle with math, then the LSAT may be easier for you. If you’re more comfortable with writing essays or solving logic puzzles, the LSAT may be more attractive than the GRE.
Except, the writing section of the LSAT is not scored, so your writing skills may go to waste, as very few law schools actually read the LSAT written essay and take it into consideration when reviewing your application. But, the Analytical Writing section of the GRE is scored, so if you’re a strong writer, you can apply those skills to the GRE where they will bring dividends (namely, a high score), which will be noticed by law school admissions officers.
1. How many law schools accept GRE?
There are close to 95 law schools in the US that accept the GRE as part of their law school admission requirements.
2. Which law schools accept GRE?
The law schools we listed above all accept the GRE as part of the admissions process, but it is not an exhaustive list. Many of the law schools above are among the best law schools in the US according to .
3. Will law schools that accept GRE also accept LSAT scores?
This depends on the law school. Currently, even the law schools that accept GRE still prefer the LSAT since it has been the norm for a long time, and because the change to accept GRE was made fairly recently. But none of the law schools that accept GRE will make you submit both GRE and LSAT scores; you have to choose which test scores you submit or which test you’ll take.
4. What if I’ve already taken the LSAT or GRE?
If you’ve already taken either test, are happy with your scores, and they are not older than five years, then you don’t have to worry about taking either test again. You can submit your scores without hesitation. But if your scores are expired, or you feel like you can do better, you can choose to retake either test. But you should retake the test you already took, unless you want a challenge and want to see how you’d do on a new test.
5. Why should I take the GRE instead of the LSAT?
The GRE is more universally used and is applicable to many different fields of study. The GRE is also more personalized and changes according to your ability while you’re writing the test. You can also take the GRE anytime during the year, but only 21 days after you wrote your last test.
6. Why should I take the LSAT instead of the GRE?
The LSAT was specifically designed for the legal profession so it is tailored to predict your success in law school. The LSAT may also be easier for you if you do not have strong math and calculation skills, as the LSAT does not feature any mathematical equations or problem-solving.
7. Which test is cheaper to take?
The fees to take the LSAT and GRE are nearly the same. You have to pay $215 to take the LSAT test; it costs about the same ($220) to take the GRE. The cost of test prep for either exam depends on how much you invest and how much you need it, as many useful test prep resources are free-of-charge.
8. Is the GRE harder than the LSAT; is the LSAT harder than the GRE?
The question of which exam is harder is purely subjective. The GRE has sections that the LSAT doesn’t have (Quantitative Reasoning), and vice-versa for the LSAT and some may say that you should take the test that you’re most comfortable with. But historical data from previous tests has shown that your field of study does not affect how well you do on the test section most germane to your studies; math students did well on the written sections of both tests, while arts and humanities students did well on the math and logic sections. This goes to show that it is the amount of preparation you put into either test that most affects your outcome and not necessarily what subjects you are “strongest” or “weakest” in. You can do well on either test, regardless of your background, as long as you study.