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Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Accepting GRE

With BYU, eleven schools will accept the GRE rather than the LSAT from prospective students. I would like to hear, especially from anyone teaching at or affiliated with those eleven schools, about the pros and cons of this move. And since we have permanent bloggers and past guests at both schools, I hope for some input.

The LSAT is not so tied to what we do in law school that it is an obviously superior predictor of success. Both include logic games (how to seat five people in one car when everyone hates everyone else). One pro is that law schools can better compete for the college senior who is torn between grad school and law school--a law school can recruit her without making her prepare for and take another test. I cannot think of any disadvantages, frankly. What are the two sides?

Posted by Howard Wasserman on December 5, 2017 at 05:07 PM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink

Comments

I also taught for a test-prep company years ago. My recollection was that the LSAT was the most formal of the standardized exams and the most susceptible to influence by test preparation courses.

Posted by: TS | Dec 7, 2017 1:43:28 PM

Whether one test or the other is a better predictor of whatever aside, I'm pro-LSAT simply for the fact that requiring someone to take a law school-specific test prior to being admitted to law school seems like something that would filter out a lot of students who would otherwise apply to law school without giving it much thought.

Posted by: Metrics Aside | Dec 6, 2017 7:03:19 PM

The test used should be one that favors STEM and economics in order to test for important skills and knowledge normally lacking in lawyers and judges. My law school class of 135 had only 5 students who had a solid STEM background, and that number included architecture.

Ignorance of STEM and economics pervades our legal system up to SCOTUS, which favors humanities majors weak in STEM and economics background to our great detriment.

Posted by: jimbino | Dec 6, 2017 1:17:43 PM

The test used should be one that favors STEM and economics in order to test for important skills and knowledge normally lacking in lawyers and judges. My law school class of 135 had only 5 students who had a solid STEM background, and that number included architecture.

Ignorance of STEM and economics pervades our legal system up to SCOTUS, which favors humanities majors weak in STEM and economics background to our great detriment.

Posted by: jimbino | Dec 6, 2017 1:17:43 PM

A long time ago, I taught test prep classes for the SAT, GRE, GMAT, and LSAT, and with a few slight differences (primarily the data sufficiency section of the GMAT, which tended to require more facility with math), the tests seemed to me to be fairly similar pattern recognition tests. I was able to teach all four tests without any specialized training. From what I recall of it, two of the GRE's sections (reading comp and reasoning) were nearly identical to those sections on the LSAT, and I would expect a fairly high correlation between the GRE's math section and the LSAT's games section.

Of course, I haven't looked at either the GRE or the LSAT in 25+ years, so I have no idea what they test now, but if the past is any indication, I would expect that someone who gets a high GRE score would be highly likely to get a high LSAT score.

Posted by: Tung Yin | Dec 5, 2017 11:10:47 PM

The BYU announcement said it had been studying the correlation for a year and found it high. I assume it was similarly high to the LSAT. But I don't know.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Dec 5, 2017 6:02:34 PM

Have there been any studies that compare the correlation in scores for students who have taken both tests? My gut says that the correlation is very high and that the tests could easily be used interchangeably for both law schools and grad schools, but I don't know of any evidence one way or the other.

Posted by: PaulB | Dec 5, 2017 5:58:36 PM

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