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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why No Competition for the LSAT?

Inside Higher Ed: GRE vs. GMAT, by Scott Jaschik:

The Educational Testing Service, which had and lost the lucrative market for admissions testing for those aspiring to earn M.B.A.’s, is increasing its efforts to gain back a good share of that business.

In 2003, ETS lost the contract to manage the Graduate Management Admission Test to ACT and a division of Pearson. In the last year, ETS has been quietly and not so quietly urging business schools and students to consider using the Graduate Record Examinations instead of the GMAT. Now ETS is upping the ante, with a more formal campaign and by unveiling a table that compares GRE and GMAT scores in terms of predictive validity for business-school performance. The lack of such comparative data has discouraged business schools from considering using the GRE, since some worry about considering GMAT scores for some applicants and GRE scores for others.

The reason that the GMAT can be challenged in this way is that it is a test of verbal, mathematical and writing skills (as is the GRE). The GMAT does not focus on finance or accounting or business strategy. It’s also more expensive than the GRE ($250 vs. $140 in the United States). And with nearly 250,000 tests given in the testing year that ended June 30, it’s a testing market others eye. ...

35 additional M.B.A. programs have said that they will accept GRE scores, bringing the total to 125 — a fraction of those that accept the GMAT, but a notable increase. ...  The Graduate Management Admission Council is disputing the ETS claims about the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT. “At this point, there is only one valid predictor of success in in an M.B.A. program: It is the GMAT,” said David A. Wilson, president of GMAC. He said that whatever comparisons ETS is making can’t equal the long-term validity studies conducted by his organization showing a clear relationship between certain scores and success in business school.

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Back when the LSAT and both parts of the GRE were on the 800-point scale, I was considering both grad school and law school. The average of my GRE math/verbal scores as within two points of my LSAT score. I know that a data-point (an anecdote) is not a data-set, but I wonder what the correlation coefficient of GRE and LSAT scores is? As always, the problem is getting at data that is held privately, and very closely. Does anyone knowe knnow of any such studies?

Posted by: Gary Rosin | Oct 29, 2008 3:55:15 PM