FAQs: Standardized Tests

Which standardized tests are you accepting for the 2018-2019 Admissions Cycle?

As part of a pilot program, we are accepting the LSAT, GRE, or GMAT* to satisfy the standardized test requirement.

*We are only accepting the GMAT score if an applicant is applying to a dual degree program with the University of Chicago Law School and a graduate program in another division of the University of Chicago.  

How should I prepare for the LSAT, GRE, or GMAT? 

The LSAT, GRE, and GMAT are tests for which students can study and prepare. We recommend that students be as prepared as possible when they take one of these tests, though the appropriate type of preparation depends on the individual. For some applicants, a preparatory class provides the structure and guidance to ensure adequate preparation. However, many students are able to sufficiently prepare independently. Either way, your preparation should include taking practice tests in "test-like" conditions, which includes timing each section. Please review the websites of LSAC, ETS, and GMAC to learn more about these tests and how you can prepare. 

How important is my standardized test score? 

Your standardized test score is an important part of your application. Although no one factor is a perfect indicator of academic potential, studies demonstrate that the LSAT, GRE, and GMAT are relatively reliable predictors of law school performance. However, the Admissions Committee evaluates the LSAT, GRE, or GMAT in the context of your overall application, and an applicant's standardized test score is not the sole factor in any application. The Admissions Committee will read every component of your application in its entirety regardless of your standardized test score. Unless you have earned an LL.M. degree from the University of Chicago Law School you will be required to take and report at least one (1) LSAT or GRE score with your application. You may report a GMAT score in lieu of the LSAT or GRE score if you are a dual degree applicant to the University of Chicago Law School and to a graduate program in another division of the University of Chicago. 

How does the Admissions Committee evaluate multiple test scores? 

We will review all valid LSAT scores that you have received. In accordance with the American Bar Association (ABA) and LSAC policies, we place the most importance on the highest LSAT score and report the highest score (we do not average). If you submit GRE or GMAT scores, you must submit all scores within the last five years. We review all GRE and/or GMAT scores, and we do not average. If you take the LSAT in addition to the GRE or GMAT, we will evaluate all scores but report the highest LSAT score to the ABA.  

Any large differences between LSAT scores, GRE scores, or GMAT scores should be explained in an addendum (uploaded through the LSAC electronic application). If you submit an addendum, we are looking for your honest assessment of why one score is a better predictor of your ability than another.

Note: If you are admitted to the Law School based on an application with a GRE or GMAT score and, after admission, take the LSAT, the Admissions Committee will evaluate your new LSAT score and re-evaluate your offer of admission. 

When should I take the LSAT, GRE, or GMAT?  

Because of the rolling admissions process, we believe that taking the test before the new calendar year best positions you to get your application in early. You may take the January LSAT, but we advise you to submit all other required application materials in advance of the test so that the LSAT will be the final component of your application. If you are applying to the Early Decision Program or the Chicago Law Scholars Program, the November LSAT test administration is the last test that we will accept. 

Will the Admissions Committee review my file before I get my test score?

The Admissions Committee will not review any portion of your application until we have all required application materials, including your standardized test score. If you already have a test score on record but are registered for a future standardized test administration, we will not complete your file until the next test score posts, unless you ask the Admissions Office (admissions@law.uchicago.edu) to complete your file before the score posts. In that event, it is possible that the Admissions Committee will evaluate your file and issue a decision before your next score posts. 

For how long is my LSAT, GRE, or GMAT score valid?

An LSAT score is considered valid if you earned your score on or after June 1, 2013. Depending on when you took the GRE, the GRE score is valid for five years from the date you took the test or for five years following the year in which you tested. GRE scores earned prior to July 2013 are no longer reportable. See ETS's website on score reports for more detailed information. GMAT scores are valid for five years. 

Does the Admissions Committee read the LSAT, GRE, and GMAT writing samples? 

We read the writing samples, and you should take it seriously. Remember that you are applying for a professional program and it reflects very poorly on an applicant's judgment when we see a writing sample that reflects a lack of effort or professionalism.