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Arizona Law Defends GRE Test Acceptance Policy
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Summary: The University of Arizona College of Law defends their change in allowing GRE test scores instead of LSAT scores for first-year applicants.

Since the announcement from the University of Arizona College of Law that they were going to be accepting the GRE score in lieu of the LSAT, many are wondering if the school is allowed to. Arizona Law Dean Marc Miller wants to make it clear that yes, indeed they can.


UA Law First to Allow GRE Test Scores

The American Bar Association’s accrediting standards set requirements for schools to evaluate scores from “valid and reliable admission tests.” For accepted tests that are not the LSAT, the school must only demonstrate that the test meets the “valid and reliable” standard. The LSAT tests for logical reasoning and reading comprehension. The GRE tests for these as well as math and vocabulary but is “regarded as the easier test,” according to Jeff Thomas, executive director of Kaplan Test Prep’s prelaw programs.

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Arizona Law conducted a study with Educational Testing Service prior to implementing the change. The study was enough for the school to believe the GRE is a good enough test to predict first-year law school grades as the LSAT is. They did not feel they had to sit around and wait for an official blessing from the ABA.

However, the ABA thinks differently. The managing director of accreditation and legal education for the ABA, Barry Currier, said they will take the report for what it is and will hold their own independent analysis of the GRE’s ability to determine an applicant’s worthiness. Currier also made it very clear that the study Arizona Law conducted only relates to their school and not others. He warned against other schools thinking it is an open invitation to stop relying on the LSAT.

LSAT Required For All ABA-approved Law Schools

ETS, the maker of the GRE, stated that they are already in the works with two other schools to conduct their own validation studies and hope to take on a nationwide study after that. If the ABA accepts the results of a nationwide study, widespread changes in the policy can be expected.





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