HomeEducational Assessment and evaluationGREIs the GRE Easier than the LSAT? | TTP GRE Blog

Is the GRE Easier than the LSAT? | TTP GRE Blog

According to a February 2023 Forbes article, currently more than half of ABA-accredited law schools accept GRE scores in addition to LSAT scores. So, with two law school admission tests to choose from, many aspiring JDs have the same question: is the GRE easier than the LSAT, or vice versa?

The thing is, while the LSAT and the GRE have many similarities, each also requires different skills. So, students will have varying assessments of GRE vs. LSAT difficulty, depending on their particular strengths and weaknesses.

In this article, we’ll provide a GRE/LSAT comparison, including the major similarities and differences between the two tests. We’ll also discuss how the different facets of the tests make the LSAT vs. GRE harder or easier. Finally, we’ll tackle some common questions whose answers will help you determine which test is right for you.

The decision of whether to take the GRE or LSAT for law school shouldn’t be made lightly. This article will give you the facts you need to make an informed choice!

Here are the topics we’ll cover:

First, let’s bust the myth of the “easy” test.

Busting the Myth of the “Easy” Test

When thinking about whether the GRE or LSAT is easier, we must keep one key fact in mind. Any test to get into law school is not going to be “easy” for the vast majority of people.

Sure, one test may be somewhat easier for you because it plays more to your strengths. But even if that is the case, that test is still likely to be a challenge for you. Certainly, most students have to devote a significant amount of time to test preparation even if they’re already familiar with the types of content on their test of choice.

Of course, if you give yourself the time you need, use a comprehensive GRE preparation or LSAT preparation resource, and really dedicate yourself to the task, there is no reason why you can’t master whichever test you take. Nevertheless, I think it’s important to go into the discussion of which test is “easier” with a clear-eyed view of the time commitment and serious effort that both tests require. “Easier” doesn’t mean “easy.”


Take a clear-eyed view of the time commitment and serious effort that both GRE preparation and LSAT preparation require.

Now that we’ve had our reality check, let’s get an overview of the similarities between the GRE and LSAT.

How Similar Are the GRE and LSAT?

One key similarity between the GRE and LSAT is that, for the most part, they are both multiple-choice tests. The GRE features one type of Quant question, Numeric Entry, that does not present answer choices. Instead, these questions require you to enter an answer you’ve calculated. LSAT questions are all multiple-choice. That said, you’ll likely see only 2 or 3 Numeric Entry questions on the entire GRE. So, those questions don’t represent a major difference between the two tests.

Another key similarity between the GRE and LSAT is that both are administered either online or in-person. So, regardless of whether you want to take your test at home or at a test center, you can take either the GRE or the LSAT.

However, scheduling for the LSAT is more restrictive than for the GRE. The GRE is administered year-round, and for remote testing, basically 24/7. The LSAT is administered on a limited number of dates (generally 4 per month) from October through June.

Importantly, for either exam, testing accommodations are available to test-takers who qualify.

In terms of the content tested, there are some significant similarities between the GRE and LSAT. For one, both include Reading Comprehension questions that test your ability to understand and interpret passages of text. They also both include passage-based “Argument” questions that test your critical thinking and logical reasoning skills. These questions ask you to analyze given arguments in various ways.

Additionally, both exams feature an essay portion.

While those may seem like many similarities, the two tests have just as many differences between them. You’ll want to focus on these differences in making your decision about which test may be easier for you.

So, let’s dig into our GRE/LSAT comparison, starting with the structures of the two exams.

GRE vs. LSAT Structure

The first aspect of any standardized test that may affect its difficulty for a test-taker is the testing time. So, let’s start there.

Test Length

Until recently, the GRE was notably longer than the LSAT. But with the release of the new GRE in September 2023, the LSAT is now the longer exam. However, in effect, the difference in testing time is not that great.

The new GRE clocks in at just 1 hour and 58 minutes. Note that there are no breaks during the exam.

The LSAT takes roughly 3 hours to complete. HOWEVER, the essay portion of the LSAT is administered separately from the rest of the exam. In effect, the LSAT is a 2.5 hour test (2 hours and 20 minutes, plus a 10-minute break) with a separate 35-minute essay task.

Thus, test day isn’t exactly a marathon for either exam. Since the LSAT is broken into 2 separate administrations, you will need roughly the same level of mental and physical stamina for either exam.


Technically, the LSAT is about an hour longer than the GRE. However, the 35-minute Writing portion of the LSAT is administered separately from the rest of the exam.

So, as far as difficulty is concerned, exam length shouldn’t be a deciding factor.

Test Structure

The GRE and LSAT are fairly similar in terms of overall test structure.

The GRE features 5 sections:

  • an Analytical Writing section containing 1 essay task that you have 30 minutes to complete
  • 2 Verbal Reasoning sections that are 18 minutes and 12 questions and 23 minutes and 15 questions, respectively.
  • 2 Quantitative Reasoning sections that are 21 minutes and 12 questions and 26 minutes and 15 questions, respectively.

(A detailed breakdown of the GRE format is available here.)

The LSAT also features 5 sections, although as we noted earlier, the Writing section is administered separately. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 2 Logical Reasoning sections (starting August 2024) that are each 35 minutes long and each contain 24-26 questions.
  • a 35-minute Reading Comprehension section containing 26-27 questions split among 3 passages and 1 “passage pair.” A “passage pair” is a set of 2 shorter passages.
  • a 35-minute unscored section that could be an additional section of either Logical Reasoning or Reading Comprehension.
  • a 35-minute Writing portion (administered separately).

So, the sections of the GRE are a bit shorter than the LSAT sections.

Section Order

On both the GRE and LSAT, the test sections may appear in any order. Furthermore, the section order may differ for each test sitting if you sit for either exam more than once.

The exception is the Writing section on either exam. On the GRE, the Writing section always appears first. After that, the sections can appear in any order.

For the LSAT, you’ll schedule a separate time to take the Writing portion. So, when you’ll need to write your essay is one aspect of either exam that you can predict.


With the exception of the Writing portions, sections can appear in any order on both the GRE and the LSAT.

The Writing portions of the GRE and LSAT are one point of divergence that you may want to consider when determining which test might be better for you. So, before we get into the more substantive content differences, let’s delve a little deeper into the essay sections.

Writing Samples

We’ve already touched on a couple of key similarities and differences between the essay section on the GRE vs. LSAT. For one, you’ll have roughly the same amount of time to write your essay on either test. On the GRE, you have 30 minutes, compared to 35 minutes on the LSAT.

However, on the GRE, you must complete your essay task at the beginning of your exam, on test day. For the LSAT, you can schedule the Writing portion for a time after your exam or up to 8 days prior to it. So, you have the benefit of focusing on just the essay task, rather than having to sit through an hours-long exam that same day.

Another major difference is what the essay task on each test asks you to do.

On the GRE, you’ll see an “Analyze an Issue” task, which presents a brief statement of opinion about a certain issue. Your job is to write a response to that opinion. (See some example GRE essay prompts here.)

The LSAT essay prompt asks you to argue in favor of one of two choices presented, given two competing criteria. (Learn more about the LSAT Writing portion here.)

For either test, you’ll have to write a logically organized, cohesive, and persuasive essay that demonstrates sound reasoning and analysis. Furthermore, you should be able to support your position with examples.

Now, given the importance of demonstrating writing skills to law school admissions committees, the ability to sit for the LSAT Writing portion separately may be a considerable mark in the “easier” column for the LSAT.

However, there is one further point to consider before you decide that the separate Writing portion is a “clincher.” Let’s discuss.

Score vs. Submit

There is another key difference between the writing portions of the GRE and LSAT that you may want to account for in comparing the exams.

The GRE provides a numerical Analytical Writing score (0-6 on a half-point scale) but does not submit your essay along with your GRE scores.

The LSAT, on the other hand, does not provide a Writing score but does submit your essay to law schools. So, essentially, your LSAT essay serves as a writing sample, whereas schools won’t see what you wrote in your GRE essay.

Of course, you’ll want your GRE Writing score to be an impressive one. Nevertheless, some test-takers may feel more comfortable knowing that admissions won’t see their actual essay if they take the GRE.

Alternatively, you might welcome the fact that the LSAT essay is sent to admissions, particularly if writing is one of your notable strengths. After all, you’ve got another chance to show off your skills!


GRE test-takers submit an Analytical Writing score but not the actual essay to schools. LSAT test-takers submit the actual essay, which is not scored.

Now that we’ve covered the Writing portions of the LSAT and the GRE, let’s compare how the GRE and LSAT test verbal skills.

GRE vs. LSAT Verbal

One major difference in how the GRE and LSAT test verbal skills? On the GRE, the various types of Verbal questions are all mixed together in the two Verbal sections.

Those question types are:

  • Text Completion
  • Sentence Equivalence
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Reasoning

Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence are unique to the GRE.

GRE Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning questions are similar to LSAT Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning questions.

We’ll discuss all of these question types in further detail next. For now, the main point is that you may see GRE Verbal questions in any order, mixed together in a section. On the LSAT, Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning questions appear in separate sections. So, you’ll complete numerous Reading Comprehension questions in a row and numerous Logical Reasoning questions in a row.

Whether you find one of those test formats easier depends on your “test-taking style.” You may find that seeing different GRE Verbal question types in a section gives your brain a “breather” and keeps you more engaged. Alternatively, you may find it easier to maintain focus when you can dig into one question type at a time.

That said, you have the option of skipping around within a section on the GRE. So, conceivably, you could still complete all questions of a type in row, even though they aren’t presented that way.


GRE Verbal questions appear in any order, mixed together in a section. LSAT Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning questions appear in separate sections.

Now, before we get into the question types that are unique to the GRE, let’s look at the question types the GRE and LSAT share.

GRE Critical Reasoning vs. LSAT Logical Reasoning

GRE Critical Reasoning and LSAT Logical Reasoning questions are quite similar. Both present an argument in the form of a short, 1-paragraph passage and ask you to analyze that argument in some way.

For example, for either question type, you may need to select the answer that:

  • strengthens the argument
  • expresses an assumption upon which the argument depends
  • resolves an apparent paradox in the argument
  • presents an inference that can be logically drawn based on the argument

and so on.

Note that the LSAT may present two short arguments side by side that you must analyze in relation to each other. GRE Critical Reasoning does not feature that question format.

The real difference between GRE Critical Reasoning and LSAT Logical Reasoning, however, is how many questions you’ll face. You’ll see 48 to 52 Logical Reasoning questions on the LSAT, whereas you’ll see only around 2 to 4 Critical Reasoning questions on the GRE.

[Note that currently, there is 1 Logical Reasoning section featuring 24-26 questions and 1 Analytical Reasoning (Logic Games) section. In August 2024, the Analytical Reasoning section will be replaced with the second Logical Reasoning section discussed in this article.]

So, Logical Reasoning is a MAJOR aspect of the LSAT. There are roughly twice as many Logical Reasoning questions as Reading Comprehension questions on the scored portion of the test.

Conversely, Critical Reasoning is a minor aspect of GRE Verbal. All of the other Verbal question types appear more often on the test.

So, if Logical Reasoning is a serious weakness for you, you may find the GRE considerably easier than the LSAT.


If Logical Reasoning is a serious weakness for you, you may find the GRE considerably easier than the LSAT.

Now let’s discuss Reading Comprehension.

GRE vs. LSAT Reading Comprehension

There is considerable overlap between the Reading Comprehension (RC) question types that appear on the exams, including:

  • main idea and primary purpose
  • passage organization
  • function
  • detail
  • inference

and more.

However, on the GRE, you’ll see only about 2 to 3 RC passages per Verbal section, with roughly 2 to 3 questions per passage, for a total of around 5 RC passages and roughly 12 to 14 RC questions.

On the LSAT, you’ll see a total of 3 single RC passages and 1 “passage pair” (2 passages side by side), with anywhere from 5 to 8 questions associated with each passage or pair, for a total of 26 to 27 RC questions.

So, there are about twice as many RC questions on the LSAT as there are on the GRE.

Additionally, LSAT RC passages are generally much longer than GRE passages. GRE RC passages are typically just 1 or 2 short paragraphs totaling 150 words or less.

LSAT RC passages, on the other hand, are generally 400 to 500 words long. (In the case of the passage pair, each passage will be around 200 words.)

Now, you could see a long, multi-paragraph passage on your GRE — the test-makers aren’t ruling that out. That said, you probably wouldn’t see more than 1 or 2, and you may see none. Conversely, on the LSAT, all of the passages will be fairly sizable.

So, if you have a real issue with losing focus while reading long passages, or you’d prefer a test with fewer RC questions, you may find the GRE easier than the LSAT.


There are about twice as many RC questions on the LSAT as there are on the GRE.

Now let’s look at an area of Verbal ability that the GRE emphasizes far more than the LSAT does.

The GRE Is Vocab-Heavy

The GRE Verbal sections feature 2 question types that you won’t encounter on the LSAT: Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence. These questions present sentences containing blanks that you must fill with appropriate words or phrases presented in the answer choices.

For both of these question types, vocabulary knowledge is paramount. In fact, GRE test-takers typically study hundreds of vocabulary words (sometimes over 1,000) during their GRE preparation. Furthermore, for Sentence Equivalence, test-takers need to have strong knowledge of which vocab words are synonyms of each other. For many test-takers, memorizing so many vocab words and synonyms is a significant aspect of GRE difficulty.

The LSAT does not have this heavy emphasis on vocabulary knowledge. You may encounter some LSAT Reading Comprehension questions that ask about the meaning of a word or phrases used in the passage. (GRE RC questions also may ask about word meanings, incidentally.) Additionally, you’ll need a solid foundation of English vocabulary to be able to comprehend LSAT RC passages, which are geared toward people at the graduate and professional levels.

However, for your LSAT preparation, you will not need to do the heavy vocab memorization that is associated with most people’s GRE preparation.

So, is vocab a big weak point for you, or do you find drilling vocab a particularly torturous task? You may consider the GRE harder than the LSAT. If you already have a strong foundation of vocabulary knowledge or are undaunted by memorization tasks, you may find the GRE easier.


Unless you’re prepared to study hundreds of vocabulary words over the course of your test prep, the GRE may not be easier than the LSAT for you.

Of course, before you decide which test to take, we must address the elephant in the room: math!

The GRE Quantitative Sections

Perhaps the biggest difference between the GRE and the LSAT is that the GRE features 2 Quantitative sections. These sections test a wide variety of concepts in arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. While the concepts covered don’t rise beyond high school math, GRE Quant can be challenging for many test-takers. (Not to mention, high school math is pretty far in the rearview for most people taking the LSAT or GRE.)

So, if math is not your strong suit or your math skills are very rusty, the question of whether the GRE or LSAT is harder may be an easy one to answer. Quant is a big part of the GRE, so it should be a big part of your considerations when thinking about GRE vs. LSAT difficulty.


If math is not your strong suit or your math skills are very rusty, you may not find the GRE easier than the LSAT.

Although there is no Quantitative section on the LSAT, you may still need some basic math knowledge for the exam. Let’s discuss.

Is There Math on the LSAT?

There are no math questions on the LSAT. However, some basic mathematical concepts may figure into some questions on the exam. For example, numbers or percentages could be part of a Logical Reasoning question. You will have to take that numerical information into account along with any other information given in the question.

That said, even if numbers are present in a couple of LSAT questions, the LSAT doesn’t require you to solve equations or memorize mathematical formulas — two things GRE Quant absolutely requires. So, in short, you don’t have to worry about studying math in order to prepare for the LSAT.


You don’t have to worry about studying math during LSAT preparation.

Now that we’ve reviewed the major aspects of each exam that may make one or the other seem “easier,” you may have an idea about which test you should take. However, there is one more pivotal step you can take to be sure you make the right choice.

GRE vs. LSAT for Law Students: A Foolproof Way to Choose

Reading about each test is a good first step in deciding whether to take the GRE or LSAT. However, even if you have a firm sense of whether the LSAT or GRE will be easier for you, I caution you against deciding which test to take without sitting for a practice test of each type.

For one, you might find that the test you thought would be much easier for you actually isn’t. That would be good information to have!

Secondly, it can be difficult to weigh all the pros and cons of each exam purely theoretically. If you take a practice test of each, you eliminate all the guesswork and theorizing. Experiencing for yourself what it’s like to take each test is very different from simply reading about each test or hearing information secondhand.

So, if you have even the smallest doubt about which test will play most to your strengths, or you simply want to confirm your suspicions, take a full-length, official practice test of each. All else equal, the test you score higher on is likely your best bet.

The good news is that you can access a free practice LSAT here and a free practice GRE here. So, sitting for these tests won’t cost you anything but a little time. In fact, you don’t even have to do any significant preparation for these tests — it’s better not to. Simply review the exam formats and rules for each, and the sample questions I’ve linked in this post. With that basic foundation, you’ll have a sense of what to expect and be able to create realistic testing conditions for yourself.


Take an official practice GRE and an official practice LSAT to determine which test is easier for you.

Key Takeaways: Is the GRE or LSAT Harder?

Remember, both the LSAT and the GRE are challenging exams — they’re just challenging in different ways. So, really consider your strengths and weaknesses objectively, and take an official practice test of each to confirm which test will more likely allow you to apply to law school with the highest test score possible.

Remember also that deciding whether to take the GRE or LSAT for law school is not something that should be done lightly. So, be sure to consider not only what test day will be like, but also what the weeks and months leading up to your exam will entail. After all, your preparation will be quite different for the GRE vs. LSAT, and performing well on game day is all about preparation!

Still have more questions about GRE difficulty and LSAT difficulty? Check out the FAQ section below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Let’s answer some common questions about GRE vs. LSAT difficulty and whether to take the GRE or LSAT.

Is the LSAT difficult for nonnative English speakers?

You do not need to be a native English speaker in order to perform at a high level on the LSAT. That said, you do need to have strong English language skills. A big part of the work you’ll do on the LSAT is reading and analyzing lengthy, sophisticated passages of text. Even the shorter, simpler LSAT Logical Reasoning passages require you to be able to interpret the nuances of the arguments. Regardless of whether you take the LSAT, these are skills you’ll need to attend law school in the U.S.

Is the GRE better than the LSAT for nonnative English speakers?

Both tests present challenges for nonnative English speakers who don’t have a strong command of the English language. However, nonnative English speakers can excel on either test if they do have strong English skills and they properly prepare.

On the GRE, a broad base of vocabulary knowledge is essential.

On the LSAT, the ability to efficiently handle longer reading passages comes into play.

So, which test is “better” for a nonnative English speaker is really a matter of personal preference, just as it is for any other test-taker.

Is LSAT math harder than GRE math?

The LSAT does not present math questions, though some Logical Reasoning questions may contain some numerical information. On the other hand, the GRE features 2 Quantitative sections covering a wide array of math topics.

So, GRE math is harder than LSAT math, since the LSAT does not really feature math, per se.

Are the GRE and LSAT harder than the SAT?

Both the GRE and the LSAT are designed for students pursuing graduate-level work. On the other hand, the SAT is taken by high school students preparing for college. So, in a vacuum, the GRE and LSAT are certainly harder than the SAT.

However, you have to remember that when you take the GRE or LSAT, you will have more academic and professional experience than you did when you took the SAT. In other words, you’ll know more!

So, the GRE and LSAT are certainly geared toward a higher level of student than the SAT is. Here’s the thing: the students who sit for the GRE and LSAT are generally at that higher level. So trying to compare LSAT and GRE difficulty to SAT difficulty is a bit like comparing apples to oranges.

Can GRE scores be converted to LSAT test scores?

As you may know, the GRE and LSAT use different scoring ranges. However, GRE to LSAT conversions are possible. ETS, the maker of the GRE, provides this handy LSAT score predictor. Simply enter your Quant and Verbal GRE scores to see your estimated LSAT score.

Now, that tool is not meant to provide an exact score conversion. In other words, it isn’t perfect. And, importantly, law schools look at score percentiles to compare LSAT test scores with GRE scores among applicants. If you have a 90th percentile GRE score, law schools generally consider that equivalent to a 90th percentile LSAT score.

Do law schools prefer the LSAT or GRE?

More than a hundred accredited law schools in the U.S. now accept either GRE or LSAT test scores. This number includes top schools such as Yale, Stanford, and Columbia.

So, generally speaking, if a school accepts scores from either test, the school finds either test perfectly acceptable.

That said, every school is different! So, check the websites of the specific programs you’re interested in to see whether any specify a test preference. If you’re still feeling unsure, reach out to admissions to see whether they can provide further guidance.

Do medical schools prefer the GRE or LSAT?

I would not advise spending any time wondering about the GRE vs. LSAT for medical students. Neither test is required or preferred for medical school admissions. The MCAT is the entrance exam required for medical school admissions.

Which is best for Engineering students, the GRE or LSAT?

If you’re planning to apply to graduate-level Engineering programs and you need to fulfill a test requirement, then chances are you need to take the GRE. The LSAT is accepted for law school admissions only, not for admissions to other types of graduate programs.

What’s Next?

Wondering what types of GRE scores are considered good for law school? This guide will help you figure out what GRE scores law schools expect.

Plus, get more information here about the GRE difficulty level.

Rizwan Ahmed
Rizwan Ahmed
AuditStudent.com, founded by Rizwan Ahmed, is an educational platform dedicated to empowering students and professionals in the all fields of life. Discover comprehensive resources and expert guidance to excel in the dynamic education industry.


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