GMAT vs LSAT

clint4law
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GMAT vs LSAT

Postby clint4law » Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:08 pm

Which is easier and why?

Cal92620
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby Cal92620 » Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:14 pm

clint4law wrote:Which is easier and why?


The GMAT is a joke. Its basically a slightly more difficult version of the SAT...I couldn't imagine people prepping for the GMAT the way people do for the LSAT

crib
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby crib » Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:33 pm

I have spent some time thinking about this. Though I haven't taken the GMAT myself, almost everyone I know has, and I have a good idea where I stand among them, so I think I'm qualified to comment. The GMAT is way easier IMO. By easier, here, I mean easier to obtain the same percentile, and here's why:
For starters, the GMAT is not as important in the admission process as the LSAT is. People just don't spend as much time and effort preparing for the GMAT as people do for the LSAT. This makes it much easier to get a higher percentile. Every point simply doesn't count all that much, and any percentile of >95% is just as good for admission to any school.
Besides, the people taking the GMAT have been out of school for a while, and are typically accomplished in whatever they are doing. This means most of them aren't in the "exam taking mode". I found this to be a stark difference. I would have done much better on the LSAT in my undergrad days when exams were a way of life. Now, 7 years out, I'm simply not the same at test-taking.
Finally, I think there are far more non-serious GMAT takers than non-serious LSAT takers. Many people who take the GMAT will not eventually end up going to b-school at all.
One thing I personally don't like about the GMAT is the computer-based-adaptive testing. They have a long way to go before they get that right.
So while I understand they test slightly different skills and are for different purposes altogether, I think, getting a 99th percentile on the GMAT is waaay easier than getting the 99th percentile on the LSAT. My opinion.

clint4law
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby clint4law » Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:54 pm

What about the RC section? I've been told the GMAT RC is much easier.

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kurama20
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby kurama20 » Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:56 pm

I don't know where the hell people are getting this "the gmat is way easier" bs from. They are two very different tests that test different skill sets. If you are not good at math but are skilled at critical thinking/reading then the lsat will be much easier and vice versa. It is all relative to the individual test taker. I will definitely say that if you are not great at math you will not score in the higher percentiles on the gmat.

crib
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby crib » Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:25 pm

kurama20 wrote:I don't know where the hell people are getting this "the gmat is way easier" bs from. They are two very different tests that test different skill sets. If you are not good at math but are skilled at critical thinking/reading then the lsat will be much easier and vice versa. It is all relative to the individual test taker. I will definitely say that if you are not great at math you will not score in the higher percentiles on the gmat.


Oh really, thanks for letting us know. Just because two tests evaluate different skills does not mean you cannot the compare the 'difficulty' of one test versus another. It only depends on how you define 'difficulty'. Obviously whether the LSAT or GMAT is easier for YOU will depend on what YOUR skills are. I was trying to argue how obtaining the same percentile on the LSAT and GMAT for someone with average skills for each case does not demand for example, similar preparation. And in my dictionary, that does make the "GMAT way easier".

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kurama20
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby kurama20 » Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:04 pm

Oh really, thanks for letting us know. Just because two tests evaluate different skills does not mean you cannot the compare the 'difficulty' of one test versus another. It only depends on how you define 'difficulty'. Obviously whether the LSAT or GMAT is easier for YOU will depend on what YOUR skills are. I was trying to argue how obtaining the same percentile on the LSAT and GMAT for someone with average skills for each case does not demand for example, similar preparation. And in my dictionary, that does make the "GMAT way easier".


That's definitely not true, someone with an "average skill set" will have a very tough time with the math on the gmat. In addition, improving one's math skills to the level needed to score in the 98+% on the gmat would take years. Math builds on it self, it would take a great deal of time to learn all of the different mathematical skills needed to score that well on the gmat. The average person does not use math to the extent that the gmat tests it on a daily basis. On the other hand the logical reasoning skills on the lsat do not require years of previous knowledge to understand. The skills that the lsat are more innate than those on the gmat though, many people just don't have them regardless of what they've studied. Bottom line you cannot compare the difficulty of two different standardized tests meant to test two very different skill sets.

BlackJack
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby BlackJack » Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:27 pm

You should have learned everything you need for the math portion of the GMAT in high school. Most people would have forgotten it by the time they write it, but if you spend some time re-learning it, it should take you no more than say, a month. Beyond that, it's just a person's ability to apply some rules, infer and deduce. Just like a logic game. The difference is that for the math part, you will need to learn the rules first since the rules of the universe aren't given to you. They are just the rules of math. But once you've brushed up and practiced, it's just a skill test.

And the difficulty level of the GMAT quantitative isn't that high. So, I agree that the LSAT is harder. Some of the older logic games are more difficult than the most difficult GMAT quantitative question.


GMAT is simply not a huge part of the b-school application process. It's not used to weed people out so much. Most of the weeding out for b-school is on your resume. The GMAT is just there to make sure you have a base level of quantitative and communication skill. On the other hand, most undergraduate applications to law school look identical. That's why the LSAT needs to differentiate applicants. And why they make it so damn hard.

crib
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby crib » Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:30 pm

kurama20 wrote:
Bottom line you cannot compare the difficulty of two different standardized tests meant to test two very different skill sets.


While I understand the idea that different people may be good at different things, what do you have to say about the point that the people who are taking their LSAT have put in a hell lot more effort into it than the people taking the GMAT have because the LSAT is a lot more important in the admission process? This does make the LSAT much more competitive.
People who want to get into top b-schools are more focused on improving their resumes in other ways. An 800 GMAT does not guarantee admission to Stanford GSB, and people know that.

crib
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby crib » Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:32 pm

BlackJack wrote:GMAT is simply not a huge part of the b-school application process. It's not used to weed people out so much. Most of the weeding out for b-school is on your resume. The GMAT is just there to make sure you have a base level of quantitative and communication skill.


Almost exactly the same words (edit conflicted). Couldn't agree more.

FuturehoyaLawya
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby FuturehoyaLawya » Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:45 pm

why is this important? :(

crib
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby crib » Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:48 pm

FuturehoyaLawya wrote:why is this important? :(


lol. It's important as a time-wasting debate.

reaper21
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby reaper21 » Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:02 pm

You ask this question in a law schools forum, what do you expect? Waste of time.

bollingerr
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby bollingerr » Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:22 pm

Interesting Thread.

I took the GMAT a few years back before Business School. Now, I am preparing for the LSAT. Based on my experiences, both tests are too different to make difficulty comparisons.

The GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test. You are presented with only one question and cannot go on until you submit an answer to that question. If you get that question right, you are presented with a more difficult question. If you get it wrong, you are presented with an easier question. This creates what I would call a side-ways tree branch setup where, at the end of the section, you will hit a score based on the branch path you followed. The early questions cause more of an effect that the late questions. This is common knowledge and most test takers spend extra time ensuring the first several are right. This, to a degree, skews the scaled scores higher for each of the sections. The "scored" part of the exam consists of just two sections of 37 and 41 questions. If memory serves, you have approximately 75 minutes to complete each section. The verbal section covers Arguments (like the LSAT LR sections), grammar, and reading comprehension. The math portion covers logic and sufficiency. For each section, the breadth of material is wider than for each LSAT section.

The LSAT, as just about everyone on this board knows, is paper based. All questions are of equal value in determining scaled scores. You can also skip hard questions or questions that you do not wish to pursue at any given moment. Their are 4 separate sections of between 23 and 28 questions, each under significant time pressure at 35 minutes per section. The format of the exam allows for double checking answers when you are still in that section of the exam. This can be very useful, because you can reuse information between questions (LG in particular). Each section covers relatively limited material but in greater depth than the GMAT.

The most interesting thing about the two exams is the difference in the score to percentage placement. The GMAT is a 200-800 scale and the LSAT is a 120-180 scale. For the GMAT, the top 1/6th of the scale is roughly 93rd percentile and above. For the LSAT, the top 1/6th of the scale is roughly the 99th percentile. It is interesting that the LSAT uses 1/6th of the scale to differentiate between the top 1% of test takers.

A final note, both tests ultimately compare you to other test takers. The inherent difficulty of the exams is irrelevant. What ultimately matters is how you do on the test compared to the other test takers.

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lawdog
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby lawdog » Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:35 pm

All I know is Top Joint MBA programs require a GMAT score and no LSAT score. FYI.

kjunfood
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby kjunfood » Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:38 pm

kurama20 wrote:
Oh really, thanks for letting us know. Just because two tests evaluate different skills does not mean you cannot the compare the 'difficulty' of one test versus another. It only depends on how you define 'difficulty'. Obviously whether the LSAT or GMAT is easier for YOU will depend on what YOUR skills are. I was trying to argue how obtaining the same percentile on the LSAT and GMAT for someone with average skills for each case does not demand for example, similar preparation. And in my dictionary, that does make the "GMAT way easier".


That's definitely not true, someone with an "average skill set" will have a very tough time with the math on the gmat. In addition, improving one's math skills to the level needed to score in the 98+% on the gmat would take years. Math builds on it self, it would take a great deal of time to learn all of the different mathematical skills needed to score that well on the gmat. The average person does not use math to the extent that the gmat tests it on a daily basis. On the other hand the logical reasoning skills on the lsat do not require years of previous knowledge to understand. The skills that the lsat are more innate than those on the gmat though, many people just don't have them regardless of what they've studied. Bottom line you cannot compare the difficulty of two different standardized tests meant to test two very different skill sets.


purely anecdotal, but im pretty sure that improving your math skills is helluva lot easier/faster than improving your reading/logical skills lol.

chadstew55
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby chadstew55 » Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:46 pm

kurama20 wrote:That's definitely not true, someone with an "average skill set" will have a very tough time with the math on the gmat. In addition, improving one's math skills to the level needed to score in the 98+% on the gmat would take years. Math builds on it self, it would take a great deal of time to learn all of the different mathematical skills needed to score that well on the gmat. The average person does not use math to the extent that the gmat tests it on a daily basis. On the other hand the logical reasoning skills on the lsat do not require years of previous knowledge to understand. The skills that the lsat are more innate than those on the gmat though, many people just don't have them regardless of what they've studied. Bottom line you cannot compare the difficulty of two different standardized tests meant to test two very different skill sets.


It's called a year of high school algebra.

tristlw
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby tristlw » Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:07 pm

GMAT is harder if you aren't good in math & LSAT is hard if you have a problem paying attention! That being said GMAT was much harder!! :twisted:

Darth Topher
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby Darth Topher » Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:10 pm

Gmat is easier, but if u are bad at math it will be challenging

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BigAristotle
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby BigAristotle » Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:16 pm

I've taken both. GMAT offers massive difficulties to those with Math deficiencies. Basic College Algebra or a College Prep level high school course covered everything necessary by a fair margin. (And I'm a Liberal Arts double major, so no saying I'm a Math Whiz! :-p).

The GMAT's Verbal section is much easier to attack and dissect. I'm not sure, but I feel that the difference in the top 5% of the LSAT is a massive jump, while in the GMAT it is far less so. The GMAT takes a lot less directed effort, and is far less grueling in terms of time management and hustling.

Anyone who has problems with the Math to the point that it cripples them did not or should not have successfully navigated upper level high school math. IF you lack the Math skills then it is much harder to improve, because they are not basic building blocks of your education and learning skill set. However, I think the Verbal section is a huge step down from the LSAT's.

Just my anecdotal .02

P.S. It seemed harder to take 'real tests' for the GMAT because of the Computer Aptitude part, but a good CD/DVD or prep course could alleviate that I suppose.

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joshikousei
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby joshikousei » Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:49 pm

.
Last edited by joshikousei on Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kurama20
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby kurama20 » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:31 pm

It's called a year of high school algebra.


WTF? So you think taking a year of high school algebra prepares you to score a 700+ on the gmat? Are you guys serious? Have you all ever actually even looked at gmat questions? There's a reason why it's the 93%....and it isn't because most people taking it haven't had high school algreba. The subject level of the math tested on the gmat is all below trigonometry. However, the level of proficiency one must have at said level of math is quite high. It's like someone said earlier, gmat math is like lg but you need to have knowledge of mathematics. To apply that knowledge at the level needed to score that high on the gmat you're going to need to have an absolute mastery of mathematics under trig. A lot people on here must think they just ask you to add, subtract, divide, and solve y=mx +b equations on the gmat or something. It uses those concepts, but it requires a much higher level of reasoning ability than just understanding those concepts.

And the difficulty level of the GMAT quantitative isn't that high

Wrong

clint4law
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby clint4law » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:52 pm

How about comparisons with respect to the parts the exams share (i.e. Reading Comp & Critical Reasoning)?
Which RC & LR was easier: GMAT or LSAT?

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dpw4040
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby dpw4040 » Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:06 pm

joshikousei wrote:
lawdog wrote:All I know is Top Joint MBA programs require a GMAT score and no LSAT score. FYI.



really?? which ones are those?[/quote

Northwestern and I'm pretty sure Penn.

Haven't researched it in a long time though. If I remember correctly almost all if not all of the top schools require a GMAT score but not so with the LSAT when pursuing a dual degree.

crib
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby crib » Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:39 pm

dpw4040 wrote:
joshikousei wrote:
lawdog wrote:All I know is Top Joint MBA programs require a GMAT score and no LSAT score. FYI.



really?? which ones are those?[/quote

Northwestern and I'm pretty sure Penn.

Haven't researched it in a long time though. If I remember correctly almost all if not all of the top schools require a GMAT score but not so with the LSAT when pursuing a dual degree.


I don't think any top JD/MBA program except Northwestern's lets you get away without taking the LSAT. Definitely not Penn's. Most applications to the JD/MBA I have seen say you must apply to and be admitted to the two programs separately. Penn now lets you graduate with JD/MBA in 3 years just like NW.




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