Studying for LSAT & GMAT at Same Time

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dadownclub8

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Studying for LSAT & GMAT at Same Time

Postby dadownclub8 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:48 am

Hi. I apologize ahead of time if this is not the proper place for this question. After looking around online and in this forum, I wanted to try my luck this way as the information I found was helpful but not very much of it.

Thoughts on studying for the LSAT & GMAT at the same time? Better to study for one before the other?

On one hand I'm thinking that getting the LSAT out of the way (taking care of the harder of the two first) has its benefits however I have been contemplating studying for the GMAT and assuming I do well will help me to build confidence leading up to the LSAT although they are two different beasts. Any thoughts, input, or advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

Edit: Sorry I should have given this context before but I have taken the LSAT previously but ended up canceling. I am working full time right now but am seriously considering taking the "temporary" hit to quit work and focus on these exams for the next 6 months give or take. Not sure if that changes the context hugely.
Last edited by dadownclub8 on Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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armc808

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Re: Studying for LSAT & GMAT at Same Time

Postby armc808 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:12 am

I can't speak on the GMAT, but I truly believe that the LSAT is a test you should give your undivided attention to while studying. It doesn't test any kind of knowledge per se; instead it tests a particular set of skills which, unless you are born good at logic or have done plenty of coursework in logic, take time to develop and hone down. To get the highest score you possibly can, you will have to dedicate many hours toward rigorous and consistent studying. I'm not sure if it would be beneficial to take one test or the other first, but for the reasons above, I strongly recommend not studying for the GMAT while also studying for the LSAT.

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KMart

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Re: Studying for LSAT & GMAT at Same Time

Postby KMart » Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:15 am

armc808 wrote:I can't speak on the GMAT, but I truly believe that the LSAT is a test you should give your undivided attention to while studying. It doesn't test any kind of knowledge per se; instead it tests a particular set of skills which, unless you are born good at logic or have done plenty of coursework in logic, take time to develop and hone down. To get the highest score you possibly can, you will have to dedicate many hours toward rigorous and consistent studying. I'm not sure if it would be beneficial to take one test or the other first, but for the reasons above, I strongly recommend not studying for the GMAT while also studying for the LSAT.

While I agree with a lot of this, I wouldn't say it needs your "undivided attention". Certainly people go to school, work, or some combination of both while studying for the LSAT. That being said, I think it's much better to not mix the LSAT And GMAT simply because it may confuse your brain. So much about the LSAT is learnable and you don't want to mix two types of tests (both of which are learnable) and lower your score. Here's the worst case scenario: take time off from school, work, and study for both of the tests. There's no rush to go to grad school - whether it be business or law - just yet.

AriGold33

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Re: Studying for LSAT & GMAT at Same Time

Postby AriGold33 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:46 am

I considered doing the same but ended up just studying for the LSAT. But I also know someone who did it at the same time, and it worked out really well for her. Both of us felt that the LSAT is the harder test and required a lot more time and effort to prep for. So I wanted to study the LSAT by itself and give it all the time it needs. For my friend, she studied for the LSAT for 4 months, and during the last month studied for the GMAT a bit.

So I think it depends on you really and works better for you, but just know that the two tests are very different. If you're also very quantitative and have a background that helps dealing with all the tricky math and data questions, then I think the GMAT will be relatively easy (the IR and Math portions at least). If not then the GMAT could be more challenging, and I don't think any background can really help make the LSAT any easier, that's a test that you just gotta put the time in and drill it.

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mjb447

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Re: Studying for LSAT & GMAT at Same Time

Postby mjb447 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:51 am

I'd study for one at a time - practicing for two really important standardized tests at once is a recipe for burnout and possibly confusion.

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Incrementalist

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Re: Studying for LSAT & GMAT at Same Time

Postby Incrementalist » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:12 am

mjb447 wrote:I'd study for one at a time - practicing for two really important standardized tests at once is a recipe for burnout and possibly confusion.

I second this. I wouldn't try studying for both at the same time either. Especially having to juggle both concepts for both exams on a daily basis until test day could really weigh on you mentally. If you think you have the mental fortitude go for it. Because I never try and dissuade anyone from their own personal goals. Just be prepared to work hard for both on a consistent basis.

cjg243

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Re: Studying for LSAT & GMAT at Same Time

Postby cjg243 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:17 am

As someone who has taken both the LSAT and the GMAT, I would suggest taking the LSAT first. If you study for them both at the same time, you might burnout, confuse question types/strategies, etc. The LSAT is also great prep for the verbal portion of the GMAT.

Spreading them out also gives you time to focus on work, which you'll need to do to get into a top MBA program.

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armc808

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Re: Studying for LSAT & GMAT at Same Time

Postby armc808 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:03 pm

KMart wrote:
armc808 wrote:I can't speak on the GMAT, but I truly believe that the LSAT is a test you should give your undivided attention to while studying. It doesn't test any kind of knowledge per se; instead it tests a particular set of skills which, unless you are born good at logic or have done plenty of coursework in logic, take time to develop and hone down. To get the highest score you possibly can, you will have to dedicate many hours toward rigorous and consistent studying. I'm not sure if it would be beneficial to take one test or the other first, but for the reasons above, I strongly recommend not studying for the GMAT while also studying for the LSAT.

While I agree with a lot of this, I wouldn't say it needs your "undivided attention". Certainly people go to school, work, or some combination of both while studying for the LSAT. That being said, I think it's much better to not mix the LSAT And GMAT simply because it may confuse your brain. So much about the LSAT is learnable and you don't want to mix two types of tests (both of which are learnable) and lower your score. Here's the worst case scenario: take time off from school, work, and study for both of the tests. There's no rush to go to grad school - whether it be business or law - just yet.

This is what I meant to say

dadownclub8

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Re: Studying for LSAT & GMAT at Same Time

Postby dadownclub8 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:24 pm

Thanks everyone for their response thus far. It seems like given the timing that it makes more sense at this point to focus on taking the June LSAT (that's a good amount of prep time especially if I'm not working) and then to study for the GMAT after. Of course more thoughts and input are welcome.

For those that studied for both, how long would you dedicate to the GMAT given that it is relatively speaking considered easier to the LSAT?

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KMart

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Re: Studying for LSAT & GMAT at Same Time

Postby KMart » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:40 pm

dadownclub8 wrote:Thanks everyone for their response thus far. It seems like given the timing that it makes more sense at this point to focus on taking the June LSAT (that's a good amount of prep time especially if I'm not working) and then to study for the GMAT after. Of course more thoughts and input are welcome.

For those that studied for both, how long would you dedicate to the GMAT given that it is relatively speaking considered easier to the LSAT?

Just remember, you may want to leave some time to retake if you don't score high enough. Retaking and getting a few points higher can often vastly improve your scholarship scores. How to balance when to retake (if necessary) and the GMAT I'm not sure. Maybe after? The risk is then you might be a tad rusty. Maybe before, but then the risk is the time it takes to really flesh out a good score on the LSAT and (I presume) with the GMAT.

plutarchy

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Re: Studying for LSAT & GMAT at Same Time

Postby plutarchy » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:57 pm

I took the LSAT and then the GMAT two weeks later. I didn't bother studying for the GMAT at all and I focused exclusively on the LSAT. I ended up scoring in the 91th percentile for both tests - which kind of confirmed my theory that the LSAT was a much more difficult test. I think you should focus on the LSAT. The LSAT actually really prepared me for the verbal section of the GMAT. I didn't do as well on the quant. I think if you're going to study for the GMAT at all you should focus on the quant section.

CMac86

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Re: Studying for LSAT & GMAT at Same Time

Postby CMac86 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:00 pm

I'm glad this question came up.

I'm planning on taking both tests, but am focusing on the LSAT first. Part of that is because of the LSAT is only offered a few times per year whereas the GMAT is offered year round (a quick search of nearby test sites shows availability almost every day of each month). The other part is limited time to study in general due to the rest of my schedule.

echonov

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Re: Studying for LSAT & GMAT at Same Time

Postby echonov » Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:02 pm

I took both within ~two months. I focused primarily on studying for the LSAT first (and took it first), although there was definitely overlap. As other people have noted, there is significantly more timing flexibility for the GMAT, so usually it's easier to schedule around the LSAT and fit in the GMAT when it works.

I'll be honest -- I don't totally agree that there's much risk in confusing yourself with studying for both, but that may be a personal thing. They're different tests, and where they overlap, they're testing the same thing. LSAT LR is definitely more difficult than GMAT LR, but they're not fundamentally different, from my perspective. You can always test out studying for both and see how it feels (assuming you're self-studying. I would not recommend doing two courses at once, just because that's a ton of time to commit at once and you could burn yourself out.). One thing that I did that I would personally recommend (YMMV) is taking a full PT for both before forming a study plan -- you may find that one "feels" better, or that your baseline score is significantly closer to your target, which may impact your plans.

On a similar note, so much of this comes down to your personal preference/experience. FWIW: I thought the GMAT was significantly more miserable than the LSAT. I scored very well on both. I hated the GMAT and more or less everything about it. So the LSAT isn't necessarily universally harder, I would argue. I took the LSAT first, and I did spend longer preparing in terms of days, but I probably prepped more intensively for a shorter period before the GMAT. I was working not quite full time (but traveling a fair amount) while prepping for the LSAT, and moved and started a new full time job about a month before I took it. It's definitely possible to study and do well on the tests while working, but it's all a balancing act. Feel free to PM me if you have more questions/want more details.



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