Trevor Klee, Tutor

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Are LSAT questions useful for the GMAT?

Are LSAT questions useful for the GMAT?

The GMAT is a tough exam. I know it, you know it, your mom knows it. In fact, you’re probably looking at this post right now because you’re struggling with the GMAT.

And Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension are some of the toughest parts of the GMAT. People get mixed up on Critical Reasoning, and lose time on Reading Comprehension. So, they start looking for other sources to help them out, and often stumble across LSAT questions.

The temptation to use LSAT questions to practice makes sense. Critical Reasoning (or, as the LSAT calls it, Logical Reasoning) and Reading Comprehension are huge parts of the LSAT, and a lot of time has been spent by LSAT tutors trying to come up with the best techniques for Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension.

So is it useful to do LSAT questions in preparation for the GMAT? In short, no.

For one thing, there are well over 100 questions for both the Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension sections of the Official Guide to the GMAT. There are also hundreds of questions in all 6 of the GMATPrep tests . You shouldn’t even be thinking about new questions until you’ve covered all of those.

Second of all, the LSAT questions are similar to the GMAT questions, but they aren’t the same. This is especially true for the LSAT’s Logical Reasoning Section. The GMAT asks you to analyze arguments directly, finding flaws in writer’s arguments and questioning their assumptions. The LSAT, on the other hand, often asks you to analyze the type of logic that the speaker (or speakers) use.

It’s a subtle difference, but it matters. I had one student who scored excellently on the LSAT (172 or 174, I believe), but still struggled with the GMAT Critical Reasoning. The questions were just too difficult. [You may ask why he was taking the GMAT after scoring so well on the LSAT. Well, he was looking to go to Harvard Law and Business simultaneously. He was a smart guy, to say the least.]

So, my advice would be: stick with the official GMAT questions and strategies developed for the GMAT. And remember, here are the essential tips for the two sections:

  1. Critical Reasoning: be generous with the original argument. What is their conclusion, and how do they get to it? Do you understand their reasoning?
  2. Reading Comprehension: read as little as possible. What’s the bare minimum you have to read to find the right answer?

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