GMAT v/s LSAT: Which exam is harder for you?

Exam: LSAT Test - Law School Admission Test: Logical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Analytical Reasoning

It is important to know which professional career you want to pursue? Both are standardized tests, usually people aspiring for an entrance to MBA program or somewhere in the business world are likely to appear for GMAT, or else people who want to become professional lawyers appear for LSAT.


LSAT and GMAT are alike in several ways: Both GMAT and LSAT have “Reading Comprehension section” with fairly same question type, both have similar approach to their “Analytical Reasoning section”, “Writing section”, a single essay.Being strikingly similar both of them are uniquely different.

In terms of time and efforts both the tests are demanding in their very own way.

A 75-minute Quantitative section sets GMAT apart from LSAT. LSAT has no sentence correction or math section or analogue task and apparently lawyers do not need math or grammar correction as per LSAC.

The “Law School Admissions Council” or LSAC, gives its LSAT students access to larger official questions bank library than made available to GMAT students by GMAC.

GMAT vs. LSAT Critical Reasoning

GMAT’s “Critical Reasoning” and LSAT’s “Logical Reasoning” are designed to test your analytical skills.

LSAT has 2 sections, with 25 questions and 35 minutes per section whereas GMAT has 14 questions and 25 minutes to complete. LSAT tests are more technical, longer arguments, denser that explicitly test your ability to dissect an argument. LSAT takers do have serious headaches because of Parallel Reasoning and Parallel Flaw; have less time and they can prove to be very tough section as compared with GMAT. GMAT adapts to your performance, include shorter arguments, which mostly focus on business-related issues. You may not get a chance to see Parallel Reasoning questions on the GMAT test, which is highly common in LSAT.

Reading Comprehension

Most of the lawyers are expected to read a lot as they have to deal with long passages and refer to books in their professional life.

The LSAT has allotted 35minutes to complete 4 long passage (400 to 500 words) questions whereasGMAT allots 25 minutes to 3-4 passage (150to 350 words) questions.

The Reading Comprehension of LSAT as compared to GMAT may appall you, as significant amount of reading has to be done in a very short span of time, which mean less time per question. It is challenging and skipping a passage altogether can bring you back to the starting point. If you’re reading skills are not good enough you might be threatened or lose your focus attempting LSAT’s passages.

GMAT Quant vs. LSAT Analytical Reasoning (Logic Games)

LSAT allots 35 minutes to serve 25 questions and GMAT, 75 minutes to 37 questions.

For most of the people logic games are the easiest and scoring section. There are geniuses that can blast through the questions in no time but for some it can be very challenging due to time pressure and its complexity. All the questions in the section revolves around one passage, failure to dissect the puzzle may lead to a major setback. The GMAT Quant is mostly based on basic math and formulas, identifying and applying those formulas in the correct places can be challenging for some. If you have a very strong base in math and you don’t have to struggle through, then GMAT is your answer. But if you are not a math person you may have to reconsider, as Quant is half of your GMAT score whereas Logic games comprise one fourth of your LSAT score. The non-math type students mostly prefer to work on games rather than solve GMAT’s Quant.

GMAT Sentence Correction

Students who might have appeared for SAT are already familiar with similar grammar section. A portion of the sentence is underlined where a decision has to be made between the original sentence and 4 other variations of the underlined portion. It can be easy for most students but some can really have a tough time. You can refer to “The elements of Style” for enhancing your grammar.

Format War

The GMAT is administered on a computer while  LSAT is a classic, a pencil-and-paper test. GMAT can be challenging for law students, as everything is on the computer screen, cannot take notes due to insufficiency of paper, absence of a highlighter, cannot go to the previous questions or does not allows you to go back to a specific question and change the answers which option is available in the LSAT. Most of the students skip or prefer to do a question later, when they have the time to come back. It can even be difficult for the GMAT students to attend all the questions in an order.

Some students having a terrible or bad handwriting can have a tough time as LSAT essays have to be handwritten whereas GMAT is wholly administered on a computer.

Test Prep’s availability

The students appearing for the GMAT have trouble preparing for their tests, as GMAT is secretive regarding its release of their official practice tests. There are only 4 official practice tests available by the GMAC. Whereas the LSAT have abundant prep tests available to its students as they release almost every LSAT ever conducted.

10 pack official prep cost around $30 which includes shipping whereas 4 pack of GMAT, out of which 2 are free, costs almost $40.


The median score on the GMAT is usually around 550 on a 200-800 scale. The LSAT is about 150 on a 120-180 range.

Figure out your strength and what you really want (GMAT can work for you if you are better at math and enjoy puzzles, but if you are good with philosophy and reading comprehension, the LSAT could be more favorable).

A word of caution, both the tests are complex and prepare you differently for different careers, so trying to study simultaneously may backfire.

Related IT Guides

  1. How many times should you take LSAT?
  2. How to do well in LSAT essay section?
  3. How to do well in LSAT logical reasoning?
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