Over half of ABA-approved law schools now accept the GRE exam for admissions, rather than solely requiring the traditional LSAT exam. This policy change took effect in November 2021 after the ABA determined the GRE sufficiently assesses applicant abilities.
Accepting the GRE opens law school admissions to those with a broader range of academic backgrounds potentially increasing student diversity. This expanded pool can lead to a richer academic experience.
Taking the GRE instead of the LSAT can save applicants time and money. This guide breaks down the GRE to LSAT conversion process and shares tips to optimize scores for law school applications.
Understanding the GRE
Before understanding the GRE to LSAT conversion, it is best to know the difference between the LSAT vs the GRE. Although both tests aim to measure applicants’ aptitude for future study, their exact objectives and methodologies differ. This fundamental divergence is significant for the GRE to LSAT score conversion and vice versa.
Global graduate programs and schools of business use the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), a standardized test. The Educational Testing Service is in charge of administering it.
The GRE law school tests three key skills:
- Verbal Reasoning: This portion evaluates reading comprehension through passages on topics like social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. It then asks questions about interpreting the texts, word meanings in context, reasoning, and drawing conclusions. Strong language and vocabulary abilities are vital.
- Quantitative Reasoning: This section assesses mathematical and analytical problem-solving across data interpretation, algebra, geometry, and arithmetic concepts. You’ll need to understand and manipulate quantitative information, graphs, diagrams, and other representations.
- Analytical Writing: Examinees write arguments and critiques by responding to complex ideas and questions on social topics. Analytical writing tests how well you articulate thoughts, organize ideas, support them with examples, and formulate critiques based on logic. This section determines critical thinking and written communication strengths.
High GRE scores demonstrate mastery of the essential subjects—written communication, reasoning, critical analysis, and numeracy literacy—necessary for graduate-level education. The purpose of the test is to assess a student’s readiness in each subject area for graduate school requirements.
The GRE Scoring
The scores for the Verbal and Quantitative sections are reported on a scale ranging from 130 to 170. Test takers receive a separate 0-6 score for the Analytical Writing portion. The GRE relies on scaled scoring and adapts questions based on correct and incorrect answers during the exam for an accurate score.
Understanding the LSAT
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a standardized exam specifically for law school applicants, administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). It aims to measure skills considered vital for law school success including:
- Logical Reasoning (2 Sections): This section aims to assess core skills like detecting logical gaps, evaluating reasoning, and crafting strong counterarguments. It plays a key role in evaluating law school readiness as lawyers must be adept at scrutinizing reasoning and making persuasive cases.
- Analytical Reasoning (LSAT Logic Games): This tests the ability to understand conditional rule-based scenarios. Students must arrange elements, identify restrictions, and make logical deductions to solve sequencing and grouping puzzles.
- Reading Comprehension: This section measures students’s abilities to understand complex texts with accuracy and insight. Passages are presented across a range of topics.
- LSAT Writing: Law schools receive this writing sample in addition to the LSAT score report, even though it does not have an immediate impact on the scores. The LSAT Writing Sample gives colleges a glimpse into how well you can write logically and persuasively. These skills are vital for legal education, so the writing sample holds significance in admissions decisions.
The LSAT Scoring
Compared to the GRE scoring system, the LSAT scoring system includes percentiles and raw score conversion. The LSAT percentiles measure your performance relative to the entire pool of test-takers. This percentile rank provides useful context for evaluating scores.
The LSAT Raw Score Conversion maps the number of questions correctly answered to the 120-180 LSAT score scale used by law schools. This helps admissions contextualize percentile rankings on the score scale.
Together, the percentiles and score conversions offer admissions committees a greater perspective in assessing applicants against the broader pool. Rather than solely focusing on the scaled score, these tools allow law schools to understand exceptionally strong or poor performance areas in relation to other test takers.
While both the GRE and LSAT evaluate analytical skills, their approaches differ significantly. This is why an LSAT to GRE conversion tool can be useful for understanding relative performance. The LSAT uniquely focuses on core law school-relevant abilities, while the GRE takes a broader approach.
The GRE to LSAT Conversion Chart
|GRE Verbal Reasoning Score
|GRE Quantitative Reasoning Score
|Predicted LSAT Score
The ETS uses statistical methods to analyze the performance of test-takers who have taken both the GRE and LSAT exams to equate their scores and identify any patterns. After generating these patterns, a conversion table is created to correlate GRE to LSAT scores.
The GRE conversion to LSAT table considers the GRE Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning scores together to estimate an equivalent LSAT score. However, schools may interpret GRE performance differently.
It’s important to note this GRE to LSAT conversion has about a +/- 5 point margin of error on the 120-180 LSAT scale. The conversion chart provides a predictive model to help inform score targets and law school prospects. So treat it as an estimative tool rather than an exact score translation. Understanding its limitations is key to planning strong law school applications.
Interpreting Your GRE LSAT Conversion
Properly interpreting your statistically converted LSAT score from your GRE scores is key. This estimated LSAT provides insight into how you may have performed on the actual LSAT exam based on your GRE verbal and quantitative scores. This is especially relevant for law schools starting to accept GRE scores alongside traditional LSAT requirements.
Putting your converted LSAT score in the context of law school admissions is pivotal. The LSAT prediction offers perspective into your competitiveness at law schools that conventionally weigh LSAT scores and law school GPA heavily. For instance, if your converted LSAT is above a particular law school’s median admitted student LSAT, this signals a stronger applicant profile.
While LSAT GRE conversion varies across schools, understanding your estimated LSAT can help assess your chances at programs accepting GRE-based applications versus those relying on LSATs. This allows better law school selection by LSAT and GPA.
The Law School Predictor is an additional resource that you can make use of. It uses your GPA and LSAT results to evaluate your odds of being admitted to different law schools. Aspiring law students can use it as a useful tool to plan their academic path and target their applications to the universities that provide them the best chances.
Limitations of GRE to LSAT Score Conversion
The ETS GRE to LSAT conversion table offers an estimated LSAT score prediction based on GRE performance. However, applicants need to be aware of the various limitations associated with this conversion procedure.
- Not an Apples to Apples Comparison: The GRE and LSAT assess different fields of knowledge and abilities. Although both assess analytical writing, logical thinking, and verbal reasoning abilities, they are inherently dissimilar examinations. The LSAT focuses more narrowly on abilities needed for law school. As such, the GRE to LSAT conversion is not a direct comparison.
- Statistical Estimation Only: The ETS conversion table provides a statistical prediction of LSAT performance based on GRE scores. However, this may not fully equate to actual LSAT exam results were you to take the test. Individual strengths vary and the conversion chart has a margin of error.
- Varying Conversion Practices: While ETS provides a score conversion guideline, not all law schools use this same process. Some schools have their own methods to convert GRE scores to the LSAT scale. Therefore, converted scores could differ depending on the schools’ practices.
- Limited Utility for Law Schools: Since the conversion process is imperfect, converted LSAT scores are harder for law schools to accurately interpret. This could limit their utility in the law school admission process when comparing applicants. Some law schools may ignore converted LSAT scores altogether.
Law Schools That Accept GRE Scores
Although some law schools now accept GRE scores, the majority of ABA-accredited programs still require or prefer the LSAT exam. Several top-ranked law schools accept strong GRE scores, including:
- Columbia Law School
- Cornell Law School
- Georgetown University Law Center
- Harvard Law School
- Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
- Stanford Law School
- UC Berkeley School of Law
- University of Michigan Law School
- University of Pennsylvania Law School
- Yale Law School
While the GRE provides additional flexibility, the LSAT remains the standard exam for admission at the majority of competitive law schools. Crafting applications supported by strong LSAT scores allows consideration by a wider selection of programs and flexibility in school choice. With proper preparation, the LSAT is surmountable, and it continues to be the exam weighted most heavily by law school admission committees and law school scholarship decisions.
Achieve a Strong LSAT Score with Thorough LSAT Prep
If you are unsatisfied with your GRE scores or converted LSAT estimates, taking the actual LSAT may be beneficial. Although challenging, the LSAT directly evaluates abilities needed in law school. Additionally, more law schools currently accept the LSAT versus the GRE for admission eligibility.
With Odyssey Test Prep’s expert LSAT support, you can feel fully confident and prepared to achieve a strong LSAT score for admission.
LSAT Prep Courses
Enroll in our LSAT Prep Course and unlock your path to legal success with expert guidance and comprehensive preparation. Odyssey’s comprehensive LSAT prep courses across logical reasoning, logic games, analytical reasoning, and writing sections. Expert instructors provide full-length practice tests tailored toward students’ needs and offer personalized feedback on performance. Whether attending prep in-person or online, students obtain the personalized instruction and practice essential to feeling confident for LSAT test day.
Elevate your LSAT performance with personalized guidance and receive expert one-on-one support tailored to your unique needs. We offer personalized LSAT tutoring tailored to address each student’s unique problem areas and knowledge gaps. Our professional LSAT tutors conduct detailed reviews of practice exams to identify weak points and provide one-on-one coaching focused on strategies for significant score improvement. Students find our customized approach vital for mastering LSAT sections.
Law School Admissions Consulting
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While your GRE scores cannot be directly converted into LSAT scores, ETS does provide a statistical conversion table to predict LSAT performance based on GRE scoring. This GRE to LSAT conversion gives an estimate but does have limitations in accuracy. Additionally, not all law schools utilize the same methodology. Still, the LSAT prediction provides some comparative insight when initially gauging law school eligibility.
It’s essential to research individual law schools’ requirements regarding standardized exams. The majority still expect or prefer the traditional LSAT, while other law schools permit GRE applicants. Choosing the test most aligned with your strengths and goals is pivotal.