The Educational Testing Service (ETS) introduced a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Comparison Tool that purports to predict a test taker’s Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score. Caution: the tool oversimplifies one’s GRE scores to an equivalent LSAT score. It is not an accurate apples-to-apples comparison and users should beware that the predicted LSAT score can be misleading. This is a disservice to those considering law school who wish to accurately assess their options.
ETS indicates that the GRE Comparison Tool predicts LSAT scores based on test scores from 1,587 admitted law school students from 21 law schools who took both the GRE and LSAT exams. Typically, over 50,000 law school applicants take the LSAT per year, raising concerns about the accurate predictability of a limited sample of 1,587 scores. Additionally, the scores used were derived from only “admitted” law school students. Given that the GRE Comparison Tool is intended to be used by law schools and applicants making admission decisions—those not yet admitted—it’s troubling that the tool was developed using scores from only admitted students. Additionally, users of the GRE Comparison Tool have determined that certain LSAT scores don’t come up at all, regardless of what combinations of GRE scores are entered.
“LSAC advocates transparency, education, and helpful information for all law school applicants and law school admission departments,” said Kellye Testy, President and CEO of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). “We want applicants and law schools to be as well informed as possible with accurate and verifiable information that could affect their decisions about law school admissions, law school success, and long-term career decisions.”
The mission of the LSAC has always been to ensure the LSAT is a reliable and valid predictor of first-year law school success.
Changes in the admission practices of some law schools to include accepting the LSAT or the GRE for admission have generated many questions about how to handle test scores in the application process. We have tracked the questions we have received so far, and this page has the answers. We will add additional answers as more questions bubble up. One thing we don’t have is information about how individual law schools will use these scores in their admission considerations; for those answers, it is best to check with the individual schools.
1. I heard that law schools are going to be able to decide which test, if any, they will require for admission. I am not sure if I should take a test, or which one.
The ABA is in the process of getting comments from law schools about this proposed change. Some law schools are accepting GRE scores instead of LSAT scores in the current admission cycle, but the vast majority of law schools require the LSAT for admission, and we expect that most law schools will continue to require the LSAT for most applicants for the foreseeable future. This chart shows the differences between the LSAT and the GRE. Please note that approximately half of the multiple-choice questions on the GRE involve math, which may be a consideration if math is not your strength.
2. If I have an LSAT score and a GRE score, does my LSAT score have to be reported to the law schools?
LSAC will automatically report the results of all LSATs in your file, including cancellations and absences, for five years. The scores are averaged and are also listed separately. Applicants cannot replace an LSAT score on record with a GRE score. Applicants may wish to retake the LSAT if they think they can do considerably better.
3. I have a GRE score and am submitting my application through my LSAC account. Do I have to do something special to make sure my CAS report goes out?
No. A CAS report will go out if it matches the minimum requirements of the school requesting the report. For a school that does not require an LSAT score, LSAC must have received all of your transcripts and the number of Letters of Recommendation required by the school in order to send out the CAS report.
4. Will my GRE score appear on my CAS report?
No, but you can arrange for ETS to send it to any law school that accepts GRE scores.
5. If I take the GRE after my LSAT/CAS report has been sent to a law school, will another CAS report go out?
LSAC will not know that you have taken the GRE and the score will not come to LSAC for inclusion in CAS reporting, but updated reports will go to a school if other new information is added to your account; i.e., if a new transcript comes in, or if you take the LSAT again.
6. How will the law schools get my CAS report if I do not have an LSAT score?
A law school can request the report without a score once you apply.
7. I have a GRE score and am taking an upcoming LSAT. If all of my transcripts and LORs are with LSAC, will my report go out to the law school that just needs the GRE? Or will it not be sent until my LSAT score is available?
The law school would have to request the report without an LSAT score after you apply. Once there is an LSAT score, an update will go to the school.