Consultant’s Evaluation of ETS’s 2018 Report on the Validity of the GRE:
In December 2018, the Educational Testing Service released its report, The Validity of GRE® General Test Scores for Predicting Academic Performance at U.S. Law Schools, which summarized its study of the predictive value of the Graduate Requirement Examination, or GRE test, for law school applicants. Although the number of students admitted to ABA law schools with a GRE score has remained small, the number of schools that have announced plans to utilize the test score in admission decisions has been increasing. As a result, the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar directed the office of the Managing Director of ABA Accreditation and Legal Education to have the ETS study assessed by an independent consultant with expertise in evaluating standardized tests. The office retained the services of the Center for Advanced Studies in Measurement and Assessment (CASMA) at the University of Iowa to assess the study.
The Managing Director’s Office is releasing the consultant’s report for public comment here. The Council encourages written comments concerning the report and its recommendations. Please address all written comments on the report to Leo Martinez, Council Chair, and send to Fernando Mariduena by October 31, 2021. The Council will review the report and comments at its next meeting, scheduled for November 18-20. Comments received after the deadline may not be included in the materials considered by the Council at the meeting.
An Independent Review of Educational Testing Service’s Study on the Predictive Validity of the Graduate Record Exams for Making Law School Admissions Decisions:
The Center for Advanced Studies in Measurement and Assessment (CASMA) finds the results in the ETS Research Report ETS –RR-18-26 (Klieger et al., 2018) to be an insufficient basis for a clear recommendation that the GRE and LSAT can be used interchangeably and successfully for admissions to any/all law schools.
If certain plausible assumptions are made, however, we think it is possible that the GRE and LSAT might be used defensibly and interchangeably for law school decisions. This leads us to recommending that a Pilot Study be undertaken with a sample of law schools. The Pilot Study would need to be conducted under conditions that mirror, as closely as possible, the circumstances that would prevail if the ABA ultimately endorses an “either/or” policy with respect to using both the GRE and the LSAT. The Addendum to this report provides more detailed suggestions for conducting such a Pilot Study.
If the above recommendation is not accepted, and the ABA adopts an either/or policy for the GRE and LSAT, then we strongly recommend that the decision be revisited after 3-5 years, at which time adequate data should be available to assess the extent to which the either/or policy has been successful.
GRE General Test Scores Verification:
ETS has worked with the American Bar Association® (ABA®) to establish a verification program that satisfies the requirements of ABA Standard 509.
The GRE® General Test Scores Verification Program, provided by ETS in joint effort with the American Bar Association (ABA), calculates your law school matriculants’ percentile rank information for the GRE General Test based on the data provided by each school. This service is referred to in the ABA Annual Questionnaire as First-year Class Verification. The data submitted is used by ETS to create the percentile rank information. To ensure accuracy of the information, it is essential to start each application cycle by collecting your data accurately to ensure accurate matriculant data in all reports. The accuracy of the ETS report starts with the accuracy of your reported data.
ABA Legal Education Section Releases Consultant’s Report on ETS’ Study of GRE