When did you take your LSAT or GRE?

I’m a second-semester junior philosophy major, technically a senior by credits but planning to finish out the full fourth year anyway. I’m going to take both the GRE and the LSAT, because I’m having trouble deciding whether to go to law school or grad school (with the intention of teaching) and I’d like to see what sort of options I have. I plan on applying in the fall, since I’ll graduate in Spring 04.

I’m not sure whether to try to squeeze my tests in early or wait until the fall. Any opinions either way?

I’d lean toward taking them now, because I don’t retain things well. OTOH, if you don’t have that problem, and might be better rested in the fall, take them then.

Take the Prep-course.

I graduated Magna undergrad, and the best advice my advisor gave me was to take the prep. And I got into my first choice grad school… I took the GRE October of my senior year.

I took the LSAT December of my senior year, which was really too late to effectively apply for admission that cycle. It was ideal for my personal schedule, I was able to combine crunch times from finals and the LSAT, and I did very well, but if you can get your act together earlier and still acheive the score you want, I would highly recommend it.

The Princeton Review was VERY helpful for both my roomate and I. Prep is good.


No prep course. Took it about 3 years after I graduated.

Aced it.

Don’t know much about the LSATs, but take the GRE before November of 2003 at the latest. This is because it takes a while (take a month and a half to be safe) for the official score reports to be released/sent to the schools that you are applying to. And a lot of grad schools have Jan deadlines. That gives you just about enough time to get the GRE scores to the schools within their deadline dates.

If you plan to apply Early Action or Early Decision, consider giving your GRE earlier.

Note that the October-December test dates are heavily booked (even by August), so make sure you book a date a few months before you plan to take it (if you’re taking the test in peak months).

Also keep in mind that a poor result in the test in November does not leave you much time to sit for a repeat test, mostly because you might not get any date on which a seat is available before Jan. And by then you’ve already crossed most grad school deadlines.

GRE, first semester Junior year. No prep course, didn’t even know what was on the test till the night before. Aced it. If you did ok on the SAT, sign up for the soonest time you can and get it over with. You can always take it over.

I took the GRE on 1 Dec, about one week before my first application was due. That’s probably the absolute latest I would recommend taking it. I took the GRE subject test in April, October, and November. That one was more important for me.

That worked out fine.

Fall of my final year of undergrad. Sophomore year was the most confusing three years of my life.

I think I took the general GRE in November of my senior year and the subject test sometime the following semester (I forget exactly when). I’d recommend taking them on different days if you have to do the subject test; otherwise the scheduling doesn’t matter much.

I took my GREs in May, IIRC. It was at least ten years after I graduated. I took no prep; I didn’t even consider it. I always was a good test taker.

GREs are easy schedule-wise - you can take 'em whenever you want, basically; you go to a testing center and they sit you down at a computer. I’d recommend getting them out of the way earlyish [I took them in August before classes started]. For me, it was worth flipping through a review book. If subject GRE’s are involved, you really really want to take them on the earlier of the two dates.

I took the LSAT, October senior year, though I didn’t apply to Law School for two more years. Take the prep course, take the test no latter than October if you are planning to apply in the spring ('04). Remember that with the LSAT they report the avg. of your scores, so make the first one count, and book early.

Took the GRE last October. I spent a couple months on light preparation, using the Kaplan and Barron’s books, and scored quite well. I felt the review of math was necessary, unless you’ve been using it a lot. It takes about two weeks for reporting on the analytical section, which is now written and needs to be graded by actual people, so don’t go down to the wire on your deadlines. If you have time to review over the summer, use that and take them in early fall.

I think the subjects for the written sections are on the GRE website, and are definitely worth reviewing.

I took the LSAT the summer before my senior year of college. No class, and while working full time, had plenty of time to do practice tests. Didn’t take a prep class, as I figured it would be a waste of money since mostly what they do is have you take practice exams. I ordered something like 30 previously administered LSATs and took every single one of them under timed conditions. I guess that took about four months of lead time, spacing them out.

I’d highly recommend taking the LSAT as early as you can stand to do so – but only after being absolutely sure that you’re prepared (because the way the application process works, you can only take it once). That way, you have your results back early enough to figure out where you’d have a good chance of getting in before the early decision deadlines are so close that you don’t have enough time to write your personal statement.

Best of luck.

Thanks for the info.

I’m planning on the October LSAT, but I might just try to squeeze into the June sitting. I’ve got two of the past-test books from the LSAT webpage that I’m planning to start on this weekend (using the ever-popular “take it early on Saturday morning” technique). I’ve taken LSAT practice tests before and done fairly well, but I’d obviously like to bring it up as much as possible.

The GRE, I may well end up taking a prep for, depending on what happens when start doing the test prep stuff from the website.

Is it true that the prep courses are roughly on the same level as the SAT preps? IIRC, the SAT prep courses were geared toward people who were going for around 1050-1100, which made them utterly useless for a lot of the students.

I took the LSAT just two weeks ago. I’ve been out of school for five years and have been thinking about starting law school next year or the year after. I think admissions officers refer to people like me as “non-traditional students.” I wanted to get my LSAT score first, then proceed to looking at and applying to law schools. Knowing my LSAT score first will also help me decide whether to apply to Stanford or Joe Bob’s School of Law and Cosmetology.

I didn’t take any formal prep courses. I did read a prep book I borrowed from the public library. I think I did pretty well, but I wish I had put in more practice on the logical puzzles. That was the only section I couldn’t finish in 35 minutes.