Pre-Law Advising


The LSAT and GRE are two standardized tests used by prospective law schools to assess their applicants.

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

The standardized test for law school is the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Starting in August 2024, the LSAT will consist of 2 logical reasoning sections, one reading comprehension section, and one unscored section of either logical reasoning or reading comprehension that is used to pre-test questions for future tests.

The LSAT is offered several times per year in June, August, September, October, November, January, February, and April. Your scores are sent to law schools as part of your credential assembly service report. LSAT registration information, as well as detailed descriptions of the test, and preparation materials can be found at this LSAC website.

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

Beginning in 2017 a number of the 206 ABA-approved law schools announced they would allow applicants to take the GRE instead of the LSAT. Columbia, Georgetown, Harvard, and Yale are some of the approximately 115 of these schools as of 2023. The American Bar Association, which currently recognizes only the LSAT as an appropriate test, will be considering this change in the coming months and years.

Frequently Asked Questions

You should plan to take the LSAT in time to submit your applications on a sound timetable but also only when you are prepared to be successful. Some applicants find it helpful to study over the summer and take the LSAT in August while others find an earlier test date to better match their study plan. We recommend targeting late November through early December for submitting your application, and your application is not complete until all components, including your LSAT score, are entered in the LSAC portal, so plan your testing accordingly.

Many students take the LSAT more than once. All scores are reported, however, unless you cancel your score (the cancellation does show on your application). The margin for error on the test is plus or minus three points, so retaking makes sense if you have good reason to think you’ll improve your score by more than three points.  Exceptional circumstances such as technical difficulties, illness or other exigencies might counsel a different decision.

There is a limit on retakes within a particular period of time, and we don’t advise too many retakes. Having said that, however, we have seen students who have improved dramatically on a third and even fourth sitting and do well in admissions. The best approach is to prepare well for the exam, and to do your best when you take it.

In November of 2021, the American Bar Association decided to permit law school admissions to accept the GRE in lieu of the LSAT. Most of the more selective law schools now accept the GRE and there is no discernible bias against it. You should be aware that how schools evaluate GRE scores and the correlation between medians of GREs and LSATs is not clear. As a general rule, you should anticipate that the percentiles for GRE scores for a particular law school will be similar to the LSAT scores. The GRE may also make sense if you are applying for graduate programs in other fields or for a JD/PhD program for which the GRE is required.

We do not have any specific recommendations for LSAT preparation tools because every student learns differently and benefits from different types of study tools. The key to LSAT preparation is to take the time needed to truly prepare, take practice tests to determine your potential score and keep working on areas that need improvement. If you find that your score is no longer improving, change your study strategies and/or resources to find what works for you. Some students do fine with self-study; most find that some structured instruction, whether live or online, is helpful and there are many reputable test prep services available. Finally, one on one tutoring can be very useful for sharpening test taking strategies and techniques for solving particular kinds of problems. U-Funds may be available for preparation materials and tutoring, depending on your financial situation.

There is no fixed answer to this question. We suggest that you start six months or more out from a possible test date. Take a diagnostic test to see where you stand initially, then set a schedule of study for a few weeks and see how fast you are improving. This should help you decide if you need a course or tutoring. The most important thing is to develop a plan for study and stick to it.

LSAT scores are kept in your LSAC record for 5 years from the test date.