GMAT vs LSAT

chadstew55
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby chadstew55 » Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:28 pm

kurama20 wrote:
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


If you are saying that you have to study the types of questions on the GMAT to score high on that tests and a high school grad can't run in there and take the test without having ever seen it before, I absolutely agree. It is a standardized test, and half of standardized tests is knowing what the test wants. You should still have all the skills necessary to do the problems, you will just have to do a little bit of practicing the GMAT to understand the format of the problems. If you'll look at what I quoted when I said the part about high school algebra, The poster was talking about building math skills over time, which is totally inaccurate because there are no mathematical concepts that are on the GMAT that a college grad hasn't at least been exposed to. All that needs to be studied is applying the math concepts that you already know to the types of questions on the GMAT.

jessetheguy
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby jessetheguy » Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:21 pm

I wrote the LSAT about 4 years ago directly out of Uni and am currently preparing for the GMAT. After having taken several practice tests I am fairly confident that there will be a significant gap between my LSAT score and my GMAT score. However, I think the reason for this is not related to me at all. I believe the reason is that LSAT test takers are better prepared to succeed on the exam than GMAT test takers.

I dedicated probably three solid months to preparing for the LSAT Exam. I reached a plateau where I do not think my 161 score would have improved very much regardless of how much effort I put in. That put me at about the 85-86 percentile. Perfectly acceptable for me to get into some decent (ok B-grade) schools. I was scoring about 163 (90th percentile) on practice exams.

Four years later, after a month and a half of GMAT preparation I am consistently testing at close to the 99% percentile. I feel confident that my score should be above the 95% percentile which would mark a significant 10% improvement over the LSAT. Did I get that much smarter over the last four years? I dont think so...

I have a different opinion as to why one exam scores differently from the other. And it has to do with the self-selecting groups that write the exam and their competency of the english language. Reading MBA forums I would say that the (slight) majority of posts are by ESL students. Business can (and often is) conducted in many languages where as law seems to be more restricted to its country of origin. With the risk of creating a MASSIVE logic gap here I would extend that argument to read that more ESL students write the GMAT than the LSAT. As a native english speaker you would have a built in advantage against the testing group as a result.

A quick look at UCLAs Law (12 foreign countries represented) vs. MBA (23 foreign countries represented) reveals a larger range of countries (I admit this is very anecdotal evidence). Dollars also help the equation. The average graduate salary at Stanford is around 160K for Law and around 130K for MBA. Money attracts talent and LSAT pool deepens...

Regardless, I dont think I have gotten 10 percentile points smarter over the last 4 years. If anything being fresh out of school and in "test-taking mode" I probably had an advantage with the LSAT. I admit that RC and CR on GMAT are a joke after my LSAT preparations, even four years later. However even with the more limited scope (3 topics for LSAT vs. 5 topics for the GMAT) it is my opinion that the LSAT is still a tougher exam because the self selecting group that takes the exam is better prepared to succeed on the exam.

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edcrane
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby edcrane » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:22 pm

kurama20 wrote:
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


I searched for hard gmat quant problems and here's what I came up with:

Each of the 11 letters A, H, I, M, O, T, U, V, W, X and Z appears same when looked at in a mirror. They are called symmetric letters. Other letters in the alphabet are asymmetric letters. How many three letter computer passwords can be formed (no repetition allowed) with at least one symmetric letter?


Is this the sort of problem you're alluding to?

LawDog3
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby LawDog3 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:40 pm

You're really not supposed to be doing "math" on the GMAT. The Q-sectn is not supposed to measure "mathematical ability", per se, but a different type of "reasoning ability". It is similar to logic games, lots of plugging in. Yes, you should remember some basic formulas, but if you're doing algebra, trig, geo or calc, you are likely not getting a high GMAT score. The first trick to the GMAT is not doing those things. The one thing I love about the GMAT is being able to cut off two or three answers right off the bat, with one stroke.

GMAT RC is easier (it's not necessary to read more than the first two or three sentences of each paragraph because the passages are not that dense) and LR is the same as on the LSAT. The "language use" exam, where you must correct sentences is fairly straight forward, but some people underestimate that part of the exam and do not prepare for it. Even worse, they take bad language habits (not knowing when/how to use "I" or "Me", etc) into the test. Another part of the test people screw up on is the writing assessment, which, unlike that on the LSAT, is graded. People don't prepare for it.

The secret to the GMAT is getting into a high "batch" (i.e., difficult set of questions, eg. permutations) in the first 10 questions of each section by getting them all right. If you do that, your score cannot fall below a certain point.

That said, I'd much rather take the GMAT (or the MCAT, for that matter) than the LSAT any day of the week. The LSAT is the most difficult standardized exam you can take.

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edcrane
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby edcrane » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:29 pm

LawDog3 wrote:You're really not supposed to be doing "math" on the GMAT. The Q-sectn is not supposed to measure "mathematical ability", per se, but a different type of "reasoning ability". It is similar to logic games, lots of plugging in. Yes, you should remember some basic formulas, but if you're doing algebra, trig, geo or calc, you are likely not getting a high GMAT score. The first trick to the GMAT is not doing those things. The one thing I love about the GMAT is being able to cut off two or three answers right off the bat, with one stroke.

GMAT RC is easier (it's not necessary to read more than the first two or three sentences of each paragraph because the passages are not that dense) and LR is the same as on the LSAT. The "language use" exam, where you must correct sentences is fairly straight forward, but some people underestimate that part of the exam and do not prepare for it. Even worse, they take bad language habits (not knowing when/how to use "I" or "Me", etc) into the test. Another part of the test people screw up on is the writing assessment, which, unlike that on the LSAT, is graded. People don't prepare for it.

The secret to the GMAT is getting into a high "batch" (i.e., difficult set of questions, eg. permutations) in the first 10 questions of each section by getting them all right. If you do that, your score cannot fall below a certain point.

That said, I'd much rather take the GMAT (or the MCAT, for that matter) than the LSAT any day of the week. The LSAT is the most difficult standardized exam you can take.


You seriously think it's harder to hit 99%tile on the LSAT than the MCAT?

thegor1987
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby thegor1987 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:38 pm

MCAT>LSAT>GMAT>GRE

LawDog3
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby LawDog3 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:04 pm

clint4law wrote:What about the RC section? I've been told the GMAT RC is much easier.


It's insanely easier. One cannot skim the LSAT RC, but one SHOULD skim the GMAT RC. The first and last sentences of each paragraph are all you need to understand the gist of the passage, so you can return and get your answers. The passages are just not that dense.

The QR portion of the GMAT is difficult if you want a high score. Permutations are no joke when you're under the gun. The LSAT can set more "traps" for the taker.

Hopper39
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby Hopper39 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:21 pm

edcrane wrote:I searched for hard gmat quant problems and here's what I came up with:

Each of the 11 letters A, H, I, M, O, T, U, V, W, X and Z appears same when looked at in a mirror. They are called symmetric letters. Other letters in the alphabet are asymmetric letters. How many three letter computer passwords can be formed (no repetition allowed) with at least one symmetric letter?


Is this the sort of problem you're alluding to?


Z isn't symmetric.

Same reasoning for N being left off the above list.

Where'd you get that quant problem?

biobuslaw
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby biobuslaw » Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:33 pm

Here is some anecdotal info that may play a part in answering the question:

I took the GMAT about three years ago. My cold diagnostic for it was a 700. After a solid month of practicing for it, I received a 700 on the real test, which was 92 percentile.

I'm taking the LSAT in June. My cold diagnostic back in January was a 163, which was ~ 90 percentile. After a month of practicing I scored a 168, which was ~ 97 percentile. We'll see how the June test goes...

Hopper39
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby Hopper39 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:39 pm

LawDog3 wrote:You're really not supposed to be doing "math" on the GMAT. The Q-sectn is not supposed to measure "mathematical ability", per se, but a different type of "reasoning ability". It is similar to logic games, lots of plugging in. Yes, you should remember some basic formulas, but if you're doing algebra, trig, geo or calc, you are likely not getting a high GMAT score.


Totally agree.

LawDog3 wrote:The "language use" exam, where you must correct sentences is fairly straight forward, but some people underestimate that part of the exam and do not prepare for it. Even worse, they take bad language habits (not knowing when/how to use "I" or "Me", etc) into the test.


This type of question (Sentence Correction) is ~1/3rd of the cumulative Verbal section. LawDog's above point is especially relevant for foreign test takers whose native language is not English. This is not a problem per se for the LSAT.

wahoo
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby wahoo » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:36 pm

GMAT-3 months prep 82%
LSAT-5 months-86%

sporkdevil
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby sporkdevil » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:23 pm

Love this thread. Thinking of doing something with my summer. As is my understanding of a joint degree, you don't start the MBA until the 2nd year of law school, and it's an easier test than the LSAT (plus I am way more of a math guy, my SAT score showed that).

Any more input? From someone who has done both?

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qtf
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby qtf » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:50 am

The guy teaching the Powerscore LSAT course I am in teaches the GMAT too and says that LSAT is way harder.

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TheLuckyOne
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby TheLuckyOne » Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:35 am

At the very beginning of my preparation for the LSAT, I was prepping using GMAT CR & RC (don't ask why). I have to say that GMAT, at least for me, was way easier, when I switched to LSAT PTs I was making 2 times as many mistakes as on the GMAT.
I think, GMAT has less tough LR, and RC is usually a breeze.
I have never seen math section of GMAT, but because I comprehend math well, it wouldn't be a big deal.

Hence, yes, I do think LSAT > GMAT

P.S. Oh and don't forget about timing. LSAT is cruel when it comes to this.

teege
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby teege » Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:03 pm

wahoo wrote:GMAT-3 months prep 82%
LSAT-5 months-86%


GMAT, 3 mos prep, 88%
LSAT, 5 mos prep, 81%.

Didn't hit my LSAT practices though, should've surpassed my GMAT %, fwiw, at least according to my PTs. Also, fwiw, failed GMAT miserably -- 82% in Quant sect and I'm an engineer. Ugh.

xela kebert
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby xela kebert » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:00 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.


Looks like somebody flubbed the math on the gmat...

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AverageTutoring
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby AverageTutoring » Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:46 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.


I don't mean to be a Debby Downer, but the *math* on the GMAT is comparable to what one would learn in a grade 10 academic high school course.

tomwatts
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby tomwatts » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:21 pm

I'm not sure this topic was deserving of necro, but...

I've taken both (LSAT twice, GMAT once). On the apples-to-apples question types (RC and the arguments, which on the LSAT are called Logical Reasoning and on the GMAT are called Critical Reasoning), the LSAT is certainly harder. One factor that people sometimes don't consider is that there are considerably more question types on the LSAT. On the GMAT, you get away with Strengthen, Weaken, Assumption (only Necessary, not Sufficient), and Inference, and occasionally you get a few others (Resolve/Explain, Flaw, ID the Reasoning [e.g. plays which role], and Evaluate). Parallel may never show up, and Principle questions (of any sort) are not present, and you don't really see a few others, either.

Timing? On the LSAT, you get about 1:15 or 1:20 per question, on the RC and on the LR. On the GMAT, you get about 1:50 per question on the Verbal. That's nearly 50% more time for each question.

The computer-adaptive format fudges a legitimate judgment of the relative difficulty, because if you're doing well, you get medium questions that quickly ramp up to hard questions, and you never get easy ones, whereas on the LSAT, you get some easy ones no matter what. However, my impression is that even hard GMAT questions are usually at the level of medium LSAT questions, on the apples-to-apples question types.

But then what do we say about the non-apples-to-apples sections? The GMAT has grammar questions on the Verbal, and it has an entire math section. The LSAT has logic games. It took me more work to get good at logic games than to take my already pretty good math skills (one of my majors in college was Astrophysics) and apply them to GMAT math, but that's largely a function of my prior background.

This may be like the endless debate about whether the LSAT is harder than the MCAT. The tests just aren't comparable. The MCAT is largely a test of content, whereas the LSAT is largely a test of skills. The GMAT, likewise, is a test of content and of skills, and to some extent, it's just different. But I do think that the GMAT is somewhat easier, even so.

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DrackedaryMaster
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby DrackedaryMaster » Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:08 am

I made the similar mistake several years ago of equating the GMAT & LSAT as approximately equal. My GMAT verbal was in the 93% percentile and made me think I had what I needed to know for LR/RC on the LSAT. So I picked up a book (non LGB) on Games and tried to work on what I thought was my "weak area". End result was a 149 LSAT from 2008. Lessons learned: the difficulty of GMAT Verbal (even if you are scoring high and getting "harder" questions) will never approach LSAT Category 4 or 5 questions, and are most likely similar to Questions 1-10 on the typical LR section. They don't have to. A majority of people taking the GMAT are non-native English speakers who for the most part struggle on the section, which is why just getting into the upper 30's gets you into the 80th percentile for verbal.

GMAT Math is another story. Whoever says this is just your "typical high school math" needs to have their ass kicked. Its not that the questions are difficult, but rather they are presented and written in ways which require arithemitcal reasoning that most American public high schools don't concentrate on. Like I know numbers properties, exponents, combinations/permutations, etc, but the way they ask the question is what makes it tough for me. Foreigners appear to have mastered the concepts better and the scale is much harsher, as a low 40's won't even break the 70 percentile.

And consider this....unlike the LSAT, where thanks to Powerscore, Testmasters, etc, we have some pretty decent prep guides, there is not much to go off of with GMAT Math. Sure, you can get the Official 11th Edition, but like most people you will find the questions in this book too easy. The test makers specifically withhold information on the types of questions one will get if you are scoring high on math, making it difficult to practice. I believe even Powerscore & Testmasters falls short in this area and finding decent practice material for the Math section is one of the biggest complaints people have. Manhattan & Veritas appear to be the best options for teaching the fundamentals and “how” to reason, unfortunately I didn’t know of them back then when I took the test.

So overall, I believe the GMAT is easier, because since most people do bad on verbal, a high verbal score can offset a mediocre math one and make it easier to get into the 700’s. (Unfortunately, most top MBA schools will not be happy with quant score in the 60’s regardless of whether the total GMAT is 700+ or not). The unwritten rule is 80/80 on both.

overkillhsc
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby overkillhsc » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:41 am

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.


Actually if you check this brochure from Penn's website you can see that both the JD and GMAT are required for the dual degree program. Northwestern is very professional experience-oriented as law schools go, so not amazing if they don't require an LSAT score. https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/files/84 ... a-brochure

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Ave
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby Ave » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:23 am

overkillhsc wrote:you can see that both the JD LSAT and GMAT are required for the dual degree program.

What a useless necro and FTFY

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Dr. Dre
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby Dr. Dre » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:54 pm

thegor1987 wrote:MCAT>LSAT>GMAT>GRE

MAcc2007
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby MAcc2007 » Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:30 pm

qtf wrote:The guy teaching the Powerscore LSAT course I am in teaches the GMAT too and says that LSAT is way harder.


Having taken both and having done slightly better on the LSAT than the GMAT, I believe that the GMAT is generally the more difficult test. The key reason for this is that more studying must occur to perform successfully on the GMAT. That is, you must be ready to deal with more topics (i.e. PS, DS, CR, RC, SC, IR, and AWA) than the LSAT (i.e. RC, CR, AR, and writing). Also, you can prepare for the GMAT more than you can for the LSAT; the more tricks you know for factoring numbers or dealing with shapes, the easier the GMAT becomes. However, you must learn all of these tricks (and there are a lot of them). Perhaps, I didn't get taught well enough in high school, or I wasn't a good student in high school. The fact that someone can simply study for the GMAT until they learn all of the tricks creates the situation in which a person simply studies more than someone else to thereby improve his or her score above my score.

The LSAT is easier in my mind because it is very difficult to improve your score through study. That isn't to say that the LSAT is easy, but it is, in my opinion, simply a test of how well you understand RC, CR, and AR and there aren't very many tricks that are going to help you on test day. Thus, you are likely to get consistent test scores on the LSAT.

I believe the GMAT is more difficult because you are forced into studying to improve your score, whereas your LSAT score is unlikely to improve much with more study.

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alexrodriguez
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby alexrodriguez » Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:42 pm

crib wrote:
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".


and then this happened...

and I realized... I'm on a forum with a bunch of lawyers

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Nova
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Re: GMAT vs LSAT

Postby Nova » Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:44 pm

MAcc2007 wrote:I believe the GMAT is more difficult because you are forced into studying to improve your score, whereas your LSAT score is unlikely to improve much with more study.

Huh? Most people who study right improve their LSAT score significantly.




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