LSAT vs. GMAT (Meaning, Similarities, Differences, Scoring system)7 min read

There are many exams out there, and every one of them is used to evaluate a candidate’s ability to demonstrate various skills.

Two of such very important exams are the LSAT and GMAT. These exams respectively determine the students who want to get into law and business studies, and yes! They are unique and challenging.

Most MBA programs expect students to write the GMAT exam, while most Juris Doctor Programs expect that students write the LSAT.

LSAT vs. GMAT

What is LSAT?

LSAT stands for Law School Admission Test. It evaluates students’ ability to reason logical arguments, demonstrate their reading comprehension, and write with accuracy.

The LSAT is an exam that students take to be chosen for admission into Law Schools in the US.

It was a four-times-a-year paper-and-pencil examination. Presently, LSAT is taken on a computer, usually a tablet, nine times a year.

These changes were made as of July 2019. Despite the fact LSAT went digital, the exam still kept its old school format. How? The exam gives test takers the ability to go back and forth on the section they are working on.

For instance, a candidate may not know the correct answer to question one; he or she can move on to question two and later go back to question one.

Many people prefer this method, in which they are free to write tests in any sequence they want and can return to them if they get new insight into a subject they previously answered.

LSAT vs. GMAT

What is GMAT?

GMAT stands for Graduate Management Administration Test. It is an exam that evaluates students’ ability to read and write, decipher information, and solve math.

This test is used to decide a student’s qualification for MBA programs. GMAT is a computer-based test that is taken once every 17 days, all through the year.

In this test, candidates cannot skip a question with the hopes of returning to it, nor could they change their previous answers to a question.

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Answers are not merely predetermined; a computer program generates questions based on the candidates’ prior responses.

This method is unpopular with many people. Without a doubt, the GMAT structure is more difficult than the LSAT because GMAT test takers engage in more mental stress.

LSAT vs. GMAT: Similarities

LSAT and GMAT both possess a typical Reading Comprehension section that selects boring and unclear passages to derive tricky questions from.

LSAT vs. GMAT: Differences

The differences between LSAT and GMAT can be found in their structure, their various sections such as

  • Logical reasoning (LSAT)/ integrated reasoning (GMAT)
  • Logic games
  • Reading comprehension (LSAT)/verbal section (GMAT)
  • Writing sample (LSAT)/analytical writing assessment (GMAT)
  • Variable section
  • Quantitative

Structure:

 The LSAT test lasts for two days. On one day, candidates work on the multiple-choice section, while on the other, they work on the writing section.

The order is based on the day on which they take the exam. This avoids cheating and ensures that there is no time for students to chat about the exam’s questions with themselves.

Moreover, there are five test sections in total. Students have 35 minutes for each section, and time is not transferred between sections.

For this reason, students focus on speed as part of their preparation for the LSAT. Candidates cannot obtain a high score with a slow speed.

On the other hand, GMAT has four sections. The sections comprised an analytical writing assessment, integrated reasoning, a quantitative section, and a verbal section.

The writing and reasoning sections of the exam last 30 minutes, while the quantitative and verbal sections last 62 minutes.

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Logical Reasoning/ Integrated Reasoning:

LSAT has two logical reasoning sections. Both sections could have 24 to 26 multiple choice questions.

At the same time, GMAT has one integrated reasoning section. This tests a student’s ability to interpret data. It has 12 questions that must be completed in 30 minutes.

Logic Games: 

This section of the LSAT is very tough because it is difficult to study. Recently, LSAT added this section to its structure, and it involves four short games.

It is applicable to GMAT but a different format altogether.

Reading Comprehension: 

This section of the LSAT exam involves reading from the passages and answering questions that follow.

The three passages have between 400 and 500 words, accompanied by an equivalent reading section with two brief passages.

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Candidates must answer a total of 26-28 questions. The LSAT reading comprehension section is quite easy because the answers can be gotten from the passages.

Moreover, candidates must find out the author’s perspective, discover certain information, conclude on their findings and state their own opinion about the passage’s structure.

The verbal section is found on GMAT, and it has quite a lot of diverse questions.

In this section, there are questions for reading comprehension, sentence correction, and reasoning.

Each question that is provided here has five answers to pick from. Candidates only have 62 minutes to finish this section.

Writing Sample: 

This section of the LSAT is very direct. It is the concluding part of the exam that offers candidates a topic with two choices.

This section is quite different because the marks are not added to the total LSAT score.

Rather, the writing samples are sent to colleges for deliberation. Conclusively, this section can be said to be completely negligible because students usually write application essays.

On the other hand, the analytical writing assessment found in GMAT is closely similar to the writing sample found on LSAT.

Here candidates are provided with a topic to debate on and expected to show good writing skills and understanding of logic. Moreso, this section lasts for 30 minutes.

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Variable Section: 

LSAT has a variable section. Candidates are allowed only 35 minutes to conclude this section. At first, they do not know what to do because it could misalign the information.

Yet, this is the most challenging of all the other sections. This section is usually used to sample new questions. GMAT does not have this section.

Quantitative:

This section is exclusive to GMAT. It is very difficult because candidates are not allowed to use a calculator, and they have a limited time of 62 minutes to solve questions on algebra, geometry, and general mathematics.

The answers are written on graph paper. There are only provided with an erasable pen.

How are LSAT and GMAT Scored?

LSAT Scoring system:

LSAT has a complex scoring system. LSAT scores are graded from a bell curve that decides the scale a candidate falls into.

This system is complex because the number of questions that decide each candidate’s percentile is calculated before the exam.

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This means that the scores that fall in 120 and 180 are shared on the bell curve.

Yet, the score is understandable. Candidates can get scores ranging from 120 to 180. 150 is the 50th percentile, while 166-167 is the 99th percentile.

Moreso, candidates that make 177 scores and above generally enter the 99.9th percentile.

GMAT Scoring system

On the other hand, the GMAT provides candidates with a scoreline ranging from 200 to 800.

The scores are incremented by ten and are graded on a bell curve too. The standard deviation is around 120.

GMAT percentiles are greater than LSAT’s. For instance, the 68th percentile consists of scores ranging from 430 to 670, giving candidates a little opportunity for mistakes.

This method also provides candidates with higher percentiles more gap from students with lower percentiles.

Conclusion

The LSAT and GMAT are very challenging exams that require multiple hours of studying to pass.

Also, know that a candidate’s readiness for one test does not equate to the readiness for the other.

LSAT is the best choice for law schools, while GMAT is chosen for those who wish to be admitted for MBA programs.

GMAT is business inclined, and many top business programs show the average scores candidates must surpass to gain admission.

Most Law schools, on the other hand, also show the average scores they want candidates for the LSAT test to acquire before admission.

LSAT and GMAT also provide scholarships and grants to candidates who have high scores.

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