Paul L. Caron

Sunday, March 18, 2018

George Washington Discontinues Use Of GRE In Admissions Because It Has Not Done A School-Specific Validation Study

GREAt least 17 accept the GRE in lieu of the LSAT (Arizona, Brooklyn, BYU, Cardozo, Columbia, Florida State, George Washington, Georgetown, Harvard, Hawaii, John Marshall, Northwestern, Pace, St. John's, Texas A&M, Wake Forest, and Washington University), and two law schools allow the GRE in limited circumstances (Chicago (admissions committee may grant LSAT waiver), UCLA (students enrolled in, or applying to, another UCLA graduate program).  George Washington may be the first of these schools to change its mind and no longer accept the GRE:

Above the Law, LSAT Notches Unexpected Victory In Ongoing Slugfest With GRE:

Members of the administration at this law school have changed their minds about accepting the GRE for this application season. ...

We reached out to GW Law to find out what was being done to accommodate the students who relied on their December announcement and a spokesperson had this to say:

In terms of notifying students, we told everyone that applied in an email. We did announce it to all GRE applicants when we decided to discontinue the first week of January, less than four weeks after we started accepting (including the winter break). ...

[W]hy exactly did the school do an about face?

It seems ABA Standard 503 is to blame. Those following along with the ongoing LSAT/GRE saga will remember that ABA Standard 503 requires alternative admissions tests be “valid and reliable,” and whether or not the GRE meets that requirement is an open question. In making their initial announcement accepting the GRE, GW relied on the validity testing done by the Educational Testing Service — the makers of the GRE — which, unsurprisingly, affirmed the validity of the exam. But the school now believes they need to do a school specific validity test, as the GW spokesperson told Above the Law:

[W]e did change our position to accept the GRE in addition to the LSAT because of the ABA requirement to do a school specific site survey. We had not had one done before we made the announcement because ETS had done one and we were told that was okay to use. We then got word that we had to have a school specific study done to make sure we could accept that test. This was a few weeks after we made the initial announcement to accept the GRE. In an abundance of caution we decided we needed to do our own site survey, which we are doing at this moment, and stop accepting the GRE for this admissions cycle. We absolutely plan to accept it next year, provided we are permitted.

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