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does the gre validity study hit the mark for law school predictionIn “Law School and the GRE: Trend or Fad?” I noted the increasing number of U.S. law schools that are now accepting the GRE in addition to the long-standing LSAT for admissions. One of the requirements set forth by the American Bar Association for schools to be able to do so, however, is that they must be able to demonstrate that the GRE is “valid and reliable” for predicting law school performance.

The leading study that many of the law schools are pointing to was conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), in conjunction with 21 U.S. law schools, where they evaluated the predictive validity of the GRE using a sample of 1,587 current and graduated law students.

You can review the results of this validity study here:

DOWNLOAD: The Validity of GRE General Test Scores for Predicting Academic Performance at U.S. Law Schools

The study abstract summarizes the findings as follows:

“Results indicated that the GRE is a strong, generalizably valid predictor of first‐year law school grades and that it provides useful information even when undergraduate grade point average already is available to predict those grades. This report also reviews the reliability of the GRE General Test that had been determined in prior research.”

There’s a lot of statistical analysis in the report, which you can wade through yourself if you’re so inclined, but the reliability coefficients are summarized in the following table:

ETS validity study for using the GRE to predict law school success

As you can see, the GRE Quant and Verbal scores are on par with the LSAT in terms of reliability estimates.

As more and more law schools come on board and start accepting the GRE for admission, there will likely be more validity studies that come to the fore. It will be interesting to see whether or not they’re consistent with these results found by ETS. For now, this is the definitive study on the issue.