Press Release, The GRE General Test is a Valid Predictor of Law School Success:
As a result of new research, the GRE ® General Test is poised to help law schools expand access to legal education and ease the burden for students interested in multiple education opportunities who would otherwise be required to prepare and pay for two tests.
After a series of school-specific studies, Educational Testing Service (ETS) — working with 21 U.S. law schools — conducted a national validity study to determine how well GRE ® scores predict success in law schools. Written by David M. Klieger, Brent Bridgeman, Richard J. Tannenbaum, Frederick A. Cline and Margarita Olivera-Aguilar, "The Validity of GRE ® Scores for Predicting Academic Performance at U.S. Law Schools" indicates that the GRE General Test is a strong, generalizably valid predictor of first-year law school grades. Furthermore, results show that the test adds to the prediction even when undergraduate grade point average already is available to predict those grades. The study also reiterated the reliability of the GRE test that had been shown in prior research.
"We've empirically confirmed that the GRE test is a valid and reliable tool for informing law schools' admissions decisions," said David Payne, Vice President and COO of Global Education at ETS. "In addition, our research findings show that the GRE test satisfies the requirement of ABA Standard 503, which requires that law schools use a valid and reliable admissions test to assess their applicants."
The skills assessed through the GRE test fit closely with the legal skills and educational objectives of law schools. Moreover, the test can also open a critical pipeline of law students with STEM backgrounds to meet society's and the profession's needs. As Klieger et al. note, the "GRE test could help expand access to legal education beyond the traditional pre-law degree fields. There are potential law school applicants who have either completed or are considering many non-legal STEM and non-STEM graduate and professional programs that require or recommend the GRE test."
Interest in the GRE test among law schools has been growing since last year when the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law decided to accept GRE scores for admission.
"Our goal was to open additional pathways to the College of Law, making our student body more diverse on all measures, including intellectual interests," said Marc Miller, the Dean of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. "As the forces of technology and globalization transform the legal profession, lawyers will need to bring an increasingly wide range of perspectives to the law, perspectives reflected in the vast range of students who take the GRE every year. Moreover, students are often undecided about what they want to do at the end of their undergraduate degree, or may want to obtain dual degrees, and requiring them to invest the time and money to take two different tests seemed an unnecessary barrier. This is a win-win for students and law schools."
In addition to the University of Arizona, several other law schools have already publicly announced that they will be accepting GRE scores for admissions, including Harvard University, Columbia University, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Hawaii.
With the completion of this study, Payne expects that number to grow, particularly in light of strong relationships between the scores on the GRE test and performance in law school.
To request a pre-publication copy of "The Validity of GRE ® Scores for Predicting Academic Performance at U.S. Law Schools," please contact Jason Baran.
Inside Higher Ed, ETS Validity Study on GRE For Law School Admissions:
While leading law schools increasingly back the use of the GRE, Kellye Testy, president and CEO of the Law School Admission Council (which runs the LSAT), said ETS is making "false claims," although she did not specify any such claims. "ETS is creating a great deal of confusion and unfairness for both law schools and law school applicants," she said.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- Is Wake Forest Law School's Offer To Pay Students To Take The GRE A U.S. News Rankings Ploy? (Jan. 30, 2016)
- Christine Hurt (BYU), Could The GRE Replace The LSAT? (Feb. 6, 2016)
- Arizona Is First Law School To Admit Students Based On GRE Instead Of LSAT (Feb. 11, 2016)
- WSJ: Law Schools Replace LSAT With GRE To Goose Enrollment (Feb. 23, 2016)
- The First Two Law Schools to Drop the LSAT Could Be Just the Beginning (Feb. 25, 2016)
- The Empire Strikes Back: LSAC Threatens To Expel University Of Arizona Over Use Of GRE In Law School Admissions (May 1, 2016)
- 148 Deans Demand LSAC Rescind Threat To Expel University Of Arizona Over Use Of GRE In Law School Admissions (May 5, 2016)
- The Antitrust Implications Of LSAC's Threatened Expulsion Of University Of Arizona Over Use Of GRE In Law School Admissions (May 8, 2016)
- LSAC Backs Down (For Now) On Threat To Expel University Of Arizona For Use Of GRE In Law School Admissions (May 9, 2016)
- Poll: Majority Of Law Schools Are Not Racing To Follow Arizona In Replacing LSAT With GRE (June 6, 2016)
- Taylor: The GRE Is No Law School Diversity Tool (June 16, 2016)
- University Of Arizona Is 'Preying On Low-Information Prospective Law Students' (June 21, 2016)
- Rick Bales (Dean, Ohio Northern),75% Of Law School Deans Support Arizona's Use Of GRE As Substitute For LSAT, Not Its Use Of 'Misleading Employment Stats' (June 23, 2016)
- The Empire Strikes Back, Part II: LSAC Stops Certifying Matriculant Admissions Data In Response To Law Schools' Use Of GRE (Aug. 4, 2016)
- LSAC Rescinds Threat (For One Year) To Stop Certifying Matriculant Admissions Data In Response To Law Schools' Use Of GRE (Sept. 25, 2016)
- Proposed ABA Accreditation Rule Sets Process To Determine Validity Of GRE, Other LSAT Alternatives In Law School Admissions (Feb. 15, 2017)
- Khan Academy Offers Free LSAT Prep; Is Free Bar Exam Prep Next? (Mar. 3, 2017)
- Harvard Is Second Law School To Admit 1Ls Based On GRE Rather Than LSAT (Mar. 9, 2017)
- NY Times, Will Dropping The LSAT Requirement Create More Miserable Lawyers? (Mar. 19, 2017)
- Bill Henderson (Indiana), U.S. News Eliminates The Rankings Advantage Of The GRE, But Harvard Has Started A 'Quant' Arms Race For Diverse Students Who Will Thrive In A Transformed, Tech-Driven, Disrupted Legal Profession (Apr. 11, 2017)
- LSAC Moves Toward Digital LSAT (Ten Years After MCAT), Says It Was Not Due To Growing Use Of GRE In Law School Admissions (Apr. 20, 2017)
- Harvard Law School, The GRE, And Moneyball (Apr. 26, 2017)
- Facing Competition From GRE, LSAC Allows Applicants To Take LSAT An Unlimited Number Of Times (May 20, 2017)
- Chicago Law Schools Consider Accepting GRE As Test Alternative To LSAT (May 31, 2017)
- Northwestern Is Third Law School To Accept GRE For Admissions, Finds It Is Just As Accurate As LSAT In Predicting 1L Grades (Aug. 7, 2017)
- Georgetown Is Fourth Law School To Accept GRE For Admissions, Finds It Is Just As Accurate As LSAT In Predicting 1L Grades; LSAC Disagrees, Says 'The Rest Of The Top 14 Will Go Like Lemmings Off The Cliff' (Aug. 8, 2017)
- The GRE Is Shaking Up Law School Admissions (Aug. 9, 2017)
- More On Using The GRE In Law School Admissions (Aug. 11, 2017)
- Do We Really Want To Make It Easier To Go To Law School? (Aug. 17, 2017)
- 25% Of Law Schools Plan To Accept The GRE (Sept. 19, 2017)
- Washington University Is Sixth Law School To Accept GRE For Admissions (Oct. 4, 2017)
- Columbia Is Seventh Law School To Accept GRE For Admissions (Oct. 17, 2017)
- Arizona Deans: It's Time To Rethink The Law School Entrance Exam Monopoly (Oct. 26, 2017)