Students with ADHD are faced with a big decision when heading to graduate school: Which graduate entrance exam is best for me? Personally, I love the LSAT and prefer it to all other standardized tests: It's the perfect balance of logical and reading skills, and performing well on it is a great signal that you'll be a successful law student. However, a growing number of schools are accepting the GRE, and with that, interest in the GRE has increased.
To determine the answer to this question, you will need to consider a number of different factors, because this is not an easy decision, and these tests vary in some significant ways.
Let's take a look:
1. Do you have strong math skills?
If "Yes", you may like the GRE. The GRE has a "Quantitative Reasoning" section, which includes number theory, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry questions, but the LSAT does not.
2. Do you have strong process of elimination skills?
If "No," you may not be a fan of the GRE Verbal Reasoning section. The GRE Verbal Reasoning section contains questions that require you to select multiple correct answers, or answer a question's three subparts correctly in order to pick up just one point. Oy.
3. Do you have a strong vocabulary?
If "Yes," then the GRE is a great way to show off those vocabulary skills, especially if you have studied Latin and Greek roots and are good at identifying etymological elements of multi-syllabic words.
4. If you need Testing Accommodations, have you had them in school before?
If "Yes", then the process for getting accommodations for both exams is easier - your request can be substantiated ,in part, by the paperwork from your school's disability services. But for late diagnoses, it's significantly easier to get accommodated on the LSAT than on the GRE. If you need assistance with the accommodations process, schedule a free consult with me here.
5. Are you sure that you're going to graduate school, but you are considering programs other than law programs?
If "Yes", then while the LSAT might be an easier test for you, your graduate program may require the GRE, and then you're stuck with it. That's OK, just stay focused on your weaknesses and optimize your process of elimination strategy, no matter how difficult it may be. :)
Analyze your Score:
0-1 Yes: The LSAT may be better suited for your strengths. Why not try a practice test, or watch our free Introduction to the LSAT video at our website, and see what you think of the material? You can also check out the earliest episodes of the LSAT Boss podcast with me, Shana Ginsburg, Esq., and learn some foundational lessons on logical reasoning. Logical Reasoning questions appear on both the LSAT and the GRE, so it couldn't hurt!
2 Yes: The GRE will be a challenge, but it is a challenging test! Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to study if you choose to take it, and develop flashcards of the math and vocabulary words that are the hardest for you to recall. Be sure to study under untimed conditions to thoroughly master the official test material before putting yourself under timed pressure. When you do start taking timed exams, take plenty of official exams, and remember that unofficial test questions from test companies might form harder tests-- so don't be frightened by the occasional lower score.
3 Yes: The GRE would be a good fit, but it still has its challenges. Know that the accommodations process is much more involved than the LSAT, and prepare well in advance. Many students, following ETS's initial review of their accommodations paperwork, are asked to provide additional medical documentation and statements attesting to their educational history and current functional limitations. So, start the accommodations process at least two months before you want to take your exam. Getting hung up in an appeal process can push your exam date so late that you might not be able to get your scores back before graduate school application deadlines.
4-5 Yes: The GRE could be a great test for you. Take a practice exam and familiarize yourself with the quantitative reasoning topics that you'll need to refresh before exam day, and prepare a study schedule that will allow you to study all of the official test material and then take plenty of practice tests (at least two, if you can, so set them aside before you use them!). Achieving a perfect test score comes from perfect test behavior, but don't overdo it-- being burned out by test day won't let you test at your best.
If you are in need of accommodations for either the LSAT or the GRE, we advise reaching out and schedule a consultation with me to discuss the process and how we can support your request.
Shana Ginsburg, Esq.
Founder and CEO,
Ginsburg Advanced Tutoring, LLC
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