Prospective students of law are required to demonstrate competence in certain disciplines to attain admission to law school. The grounding in the disciplines is expected to demonstrate competencies required to excel academically in law school. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relevance of the law school admission test to predicting the competencies.
The assessment is based on administrative records of 815 students admitted at Makerere University’s law school on the basis of their performance in the test. Grades obtained in advanced level (A-Level) of secondary education subjects, namely, literature, history, divinity and economics, were adopted as a measure of competence in the disciplines. The outcome of the test was modeled by performance of enrollees in the subject, their characteristics (gender, nationality, entry scheme and academic qualifications at enrollment) and first-year grade point average using a quantile regression.
With the exception of enrollees’ characteristics, no significant variations in the outcome of the test were noted in the results between students who did not do the subjects at the A-Level and those who obtained Grade A (p > 0.05). Similar findings in performance were noted between students who obtained Grade A and those with other grades in the disciplines.
The findings confirm that admission tests to law school are a measure of mental rather than educational or academic ability. However, the results may not be applied to candidates in countries where a bachelor’s degree is a requirement for admission to law school.
The study provides an empirical investigation of whether the admission test to law school predicts competencies required to excel academically in the undergraduate program.
Wamala, R. (2016), "Do pre-entry tests predict competencies required to excel academically in law school? An empirical investigation", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 211-226. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAE-05-2014-0019Download as .RIS
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