GRE Now Accepted for Admission at Georgetown Law and Northwestern Law

Posted by Jonathan Evans on

New Options for Law School Applicants 

 The GRE General Test for law school admissions began as an experimental pilot program initially adopted at the University of Arizona and then expanded with Harvard's announcement this spring; now that Northwestern Law (officially) and Georgetown Law have announced their adoption of the GRE for law school admissions, the floodgates appear to have opened.

With several top caliber law school accepting the GRE and others certain to follow, potential law school applicants now face a real decision, previously somewhat abstract, of whether to consider writing the GRE as an alternative to the LSAT or taking both to have the option of submitting a superior score to different schools based on their policies. 

While our existing advice to law school applicants remains the same—prepare for the LSAT if interested exclusively or primarily in law school admissions—these rapid developments require us to qualify this advice somewhat depending on individual circumstances:

  • Interested exclusively in law school: take a free practice LSAT, assess your performance, and plan to prepare for the LSAT. 
  • Interested in law school but also considering other graduate programs or dual degree programs: take the free practice LSAT but also take an official ETS computer based GRE; evaluate performance on both tests. Contact law programs and other graduate programs in which you are interested to determine their existing admissions test policies and any planned changes. You should weigh your relative desire to pursue law against your interest in other advanced studies as well as your ease with both tests to help make a final decision about which standardized test to take. If at any point you find yourself dissatisfied with your results with one exam, you now have the option to consider the other.
  • Interested primarily in graduate studies other than law: consider the GRE first. Take an official ETS computer based GRE; evaluate your performance; make a preparation plan. As law school adoption of the GRE continues, your GRE score may open additional doors for you. Should you wish to consider law, you could apply for law programs that intersect with your other academic and professional interests. 

In the following post, we highlight existing resources we have prepared for students weighing the GRE against the LSAT. In addition, before this latest news came out, I conducted an interview with a current GRE student who is preparing to use her score for law school admissions. Watch the interview to get some insight into Mckenzi's story and decision-making process. She has decided to prepare for the GRE to expand her options and make herself a more competitive law school applicant. Some of her circumstances may be familiar to you.

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Topics: GRE prep, Law School Admissions, LSAT Prep

The GRE and the LSAT: The Big Picture

Posted by Jonathan Evans on

Birds of a Feather?

Both are grad school admissions exams. Both are aptitude tests. Both have been around forever. Both test reading comprehension and critical reasoning skills. You've seen one standardized test, you've seen them all? How similar are the LSAT and the GRE after all? You may have guessed the answer to this one: it’s complicated!

In this post we'll discuss areas of convergence and divergence between the GRE and LSAT with the intention of helping students either decide which one to take or to understand how their existing preparation efforts for one of these tests contributes to preparation for the other. This post is principally written from the perspective of an LSAT student who wishes to consider the GRE as an additional option or as an alternative to the LSAT. However, GRE students who might be thinking about law school will likely also benefit from this discussion.

To make a long story short, preparation for the LSAT and skills you develop for the LSAT do contribute to success on the GRE General Test (and GMAT incidentally). Likewise, preparation for the GRE does in some respects overlap with LSAT preparation. There are also of course significant differences, and whenever we note similarities in an area, we must also note these differences.

Let’s consider two broad dimensions of the GRE and LSAT:

  1. Structure and Test Format
  2. Reasoning Skills and Content Knowledge Tested
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Topics: Grad School Admissions, GRE prep, Law School Admissions, LSAT Prep

GRE versus LSAT: Reading Comprehension

Posted by Jonathan Evans on

New Frontiers

Among those working in test preparation or law school admissions, news of law schools' expanding adoption of the GRE has been a seismic shift in the last two years. While initially an experimental pilot program, once the University of Arizona Law School began accepting the GRE, it was a safe bet that others would follow. When Harvard Law joined Arizona, the writing was on the wall. The latest law school to make overtures to the GRE is another top-tier program, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

The LSAC has (perhaps belatedly) decided to compete with the GRE on the latter's turf, expanding test dates (up to six in 2019) and exploring a computerized version of the LSAT, a prospect which as an instructor I personally do not savor but of which I understand the logic, as it were.

Leaving aside questions about the rate of adoption and whether the GRE will achieve a status for law school admissions similar to that which it enjoys in business school admissions, many students may wish to inquire about similarities and differences between the LSAT and the GRE.

While the tests are conceptually not as different as one might imagine—both are principally aptitude tests with the LSAT emphasizing fluid intelligence and the GRE crystallized intelligence—there are significant differences between the tests, even in sections that may appear analogous at first.

In this post, we will explore some of these similarities and differences as in reading comprehension questions on the GRE and LSAT.

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Topics: GRE prep, Law School Admissions, LSAT Logical Reasoning, LSAT Reading Comprehension, LSAT Prep