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GRE to LSAT Conversion: How Does it Work?

August 25, 2023
6 min read


Reviewed by:

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 03/03/23

If you’re applying to law school, it’s helpful to understand how the GRE compares to the LSAT. This guide will go over the GRE to LSAT conversion. 

Did you know that more than half of all ABA-accredited law schools now accept Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) for admissions? Traditionally, the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has been the primary standardized test for law school admission; however, many schools now don’t require the LSAT. This change came into effect as of November 2021, after the ABA council agreed the GRE is an acceptable way to assess candidates. 

Accepting the GRE allows law schools to attract applicants from a wider range of academic backgrounds, including those with degrees in fields outside of pre-law or the humanities. This can lead to a more diverse and inclusive student body, which can enrich the academic experience for all students. 

Accepting the GRE can also save applicants time and money. If a student is already planning to take the GRE for another graduate program, they can use the same scores for law school applications rather than needing to take an additional standardized test. Both the GRE and LSAT help law schools ensure that admitted students are academically prepared for the rigor of law school.

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GRE to LSAT Conversion: How It Works

There is no official GRE to LSAT conversion or score comparison as these are two distinct tests that assess different skills and knowledge. While there may be some overlap in certain areas, each test has its unique focus and scoring methodology.

The GRE is a standardized test that measures a student's readiness for graduate-level study, evaluating their knowledge and skills in various academic areas such as verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing.

The LSAT, on the other hand, is designed to assess the skills necessary for success in law school, including critical thinking, logical reasoning, and analytical reasoning abilities. 

However, some law schools allow students to submit GRE scores in lieu of LSAT scores. For example, the following law schools accept GRE scores: 

  1. Harvard Law School
  2. Columbia Law School
  3. Georgetown Law School
  4. Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
  5. University of Pennsylvania Law School
  6. Cornell Law School
  7. University of California, Berkeley School of Law
  8. Stanford Law School
  9. Yale Law School
  10. University of Michigan Law School

These are just a few examples, and the list is not exhaustive. In these cases, they may use a GRE to LSAT score conversion chart to compare the two scores. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) created a handy conversion tool that predicts a candidate's LSAT score using their GRE Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning results. It’s been refashioned into a table, which you can find below.  

To equate GRE scores to LSAT scores, the ETS takes a sample of test-takers who took both exams and uses statistical methods to analyze their performance and identify patterns in their scores. These patterns are then used to create a conversion table that maps GRE scores to LSAT scores.

This conversion table is not an exact science. While some law schools may accept GRE scores in lieu of LSAT scores, there is no official conversion between the two tests, and the conversion methods used by different schools may vary. It's important to check with each of your prospective law schools to determine their individual policies. This information can usually be found on the schools' official websites or by contacting their admissions offices directly.

Student studying

Should Percentiles Be Used to Convert the GRE to LSAT?

Percentiles are one way to compare GRE and LSAT scores, but they may not be the most accurate method of conversion. While percentiles reveal how test-takers perform in relation to one another, they do not measure the skills or abilities assessed by the LSAT or the GRE.

It’s difficult to directly compare these exam scores because they measure different skills and knowledge, despite there being some overlap. 

Also, keep in mind that law schools may use different conversion methods or may not even use a conversion method at all when considering GRE scores for admission. Again, it's important to research each law school's policies on GRE scores to determine what criteria they use to evaluate them.

GRE to LSAT Conversion Table

This table was put together via ETS’s conversion tool. The left column lists the GRE verbal scores, and the top row lists the GRE math scores.

GRE Verbal Reasoning Score GRE Quantitative Reasoning Score Predicted LSAT Score
130 130 131
135 135 137
140 140 142
145 145 147
150 150 153
155 155 159
160 160 165
165 165 171
170 170 178-180

Keep in mind that this table offers a predictive model for GRE to LSAT score conversion and that ETS notes that it has a measurement error of about +/- 5 points on the 120–180 LSAT scale.

FAQs: GRE to LSAT Conversion

If you’re considering applying to law school and are wondering about the GRE conversion to LSAT, you may find the following FAQs helpful.

1. How to Compare GRE to LSAT?

Comparing the GRE to the LSAT can be challenging because they are different tests designed to measure different skills. The GRE primarily measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills, while the LSAT primarily measures reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and analytical reasoning skills. 

For GRE to LSAT conversion, applicants can use the table referenced above or try out ETS’s GRE Comparison Tool. Just keep in mind that it is a predictive model, and it provides a rough estimate of GRE to LSAT score conversion.

2. Does GRE Translate to LSAT?

The GRE does not directly translate to the LSAT. However, some law schools accept both tests for admission. It may be helpful for prospective students to research the specific requirements and preferences of the schools they are interested in to determine which test to take. Some students may find that their GRE scores provide a good indication of their abilities, while others may need to take the LSAT to demonstrate their aptitude for law school.

3. Do Law Schools Look Down on GRE?

While there may have been some initial skepticism about accepting GRE scores in lieu of LSAT scores, many law schools now accept GRE scores and don’t view them in a negative light. In fact, some of the top law schools recognize the value of a diverse applicant pool and understand that the GRE can be an equally valid measure of a candidate's abilities.

Final Thoughts

While a direct conversion from GRE scores to LSAT scores is not possible, the predictive model included in this guide can give you a good idea of how the tests compare. However, it's essential to keep in mind that this model is not perfect and may not be used by all law schools. 

Ultimately, we recommend that you research the specific requirements and preferences of the schools you’re interested in and choose the test that best aligns with your strengths and goals. It's important to consider your individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as your long-term career aspirations when determining which test to take. 

Consulting with academic advisors or admissions professionals can provide valuable guidance in making this decision. Remember that the goal is to choose the test that allows you to present yourself in the best possible light to the schools you are applying to, enhancing your chances of admission and success in law school. Best of luck!

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