LSAT or GRE
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
The LSAT is required by most law schools in the U.S.; although several law schools now accept the GRE as an alternative, you should assume that you will need to take the LSAT! It is a standardized test focusing on reading comprehension, as well as analytical and logical reasoning skills. You must allow adequate study time as law schools will see all of your scores. Test scores do not typically improve significantly with retakes.
The LSAT is offered several times a year and there are pros and cons to consider for each date:
Pro: This test date is the only one offered on a Monday afternoon and taking it between your junior and senior years allows you to concentrate exclusively on the application process in the fall.
Con: If you are scheduled for a tough spring semester, adding LSAT preparation to that class load may be too much.
September / October:
Pro: You can prepare for the LSAT during those long summer days and nights. After taking the LSAT, the remainder of your fall may be devoted to your applications and personal statement.
Con: Though this test date generally falls before midterms, a different date may be better for you if you have a heavy course load in Fall semester.
Pro: Taking the December test will allow you to get your application in by the first of the year so as to take better advantage of potential scholarship awards.
Con: The test date generally overlaps with UGA final exams. If you miss the December test, you may end up waiting another year to begin law school since you may not be considered for admission because many law schools have rolling admissions. In addition, you will be preparing law school applications along with preparing for the LSAT (not to mention those pesky undergraduate courses in which you are enrolled!).
Pro: You can get a jump-start on other juniors by taking the LSAT in February. This allows you to use the summer and early fall for researching and applying to law schools.
Con: If you are a senior, the February test is generally too late to be considered for acceptance into law school in the coming academic year. The February test is also the only non-disclosed test, meaning that you will not receive individual section scores nor see your actual test booklet for review in preparing for any potential re-takes.
What types of questions are on the LSAT?
The LSAT is comprised of four 35-minutes sections, one of which is not graded. There is also one variable section which is unscored that is used to evaluate new test questions. There is also a 35 minute Writing Sample which is not scored, but is sent to the law schools that an applicant submits an application to.
The questions types are:
- Reading Comprehension
- Analytical Reasoning
- Logical Reasoning
For further information about the LSAT, please vist the Law School Admission Council website at http://lsac.org.
How do I finance the LSAT??
Unfortunately, you will not be able to finance the LSAT or your LSAT preparation with student loans. If you have an economic need, make sure to request a LSAC fee waiver. Apply at least six months before you plan to take the test.
What's on the GRE?
Some law schools allow applicants to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in place of the LSAT. The GRE consists of three sections: Quantitative, Verbal, and Analytical Writing. Although you do not need any specific course before taking the exam, you should expect to study for at least a couple of months in advance.
Average combined GRE scores for accepted students tend to be in the range of 305-310 range. Also, a score of 4 or greater on the writing portion is preferred.
Please visit the GRE website for more information, registration dates, and study guides. The Pre-Professional Advising Office has a Resource Library from which you can check-out GRE prep books as well as Study Rooms which can be reserved.