Changing The Law School Admissions Game: The GRE Is Now Available To Take At Home

Trying to chart out the course of your life is particularly challenging during a pandemic. The lack of certainty about, well, pretty much everything is a real fly in the ointment for planners everywhere. That’s especially true if you’ve been working to attend law school in the near future.

The Law School Admission Council, the group that administers the LSAT, has already canceled the March administration of the traditional law school entrance exam, and whether the April test day follows suit is up in the air. What is the preparing law school hopeful to do?

Well, they may want to consider taking the GRE. An increasing number of law schools (currently over 30!) are willing to take the GRE in lieu of the LSAT in admissions decisions. And because of COVID-19, the GRE is being offered from the comfort — and more importantly, safety — of your own home. From ETS, the administrators of the GRE:

To meet the needs of students who are unable to take the GRE® General Test at a test center due to public health concerns, ETS is temporarily offering a GRE General Test at home option in selected areas. The test is identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the GRE General Test taken at a test center. It is taken on your own computer at home and is monitored by a human proctor online through ProctorU®.

For those law school hopefuls trying to weigh the value of taking the GRE, here are the 30+ schools that accept the GRE for admissions purposes:

And we are likely to only see the GRE trend continue. According to a survey by Kaplan Test Prep, a full 25 percent of law schools have plans to accept the GRE. Another Kaplan study determined 49 percent of students surveyed support the move to the GRE.

Even though more and more law schools are on board with the GRE, the  body responsible for law school accreditation, the American Bar Association, hasn’t officially weighed in on using anything other than the LSAT in admissions. ABA accreditation Standard 503 currently mandates that law schools require admissions testing and that the test used be “valid and reliable.” Whether the GRE meets that standard, the ABA hasn’t officially said. But now that so many law schools have moved on the GRE and are accepting students based on their score on that test, it might be impossible to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Now the pressure is really on the LSAC to see if they’re able to provide wannabe law students with a similar option.

headshotKathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).


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