A legal scholar, Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare, has called on the Ghana School of Law to provide candidates who write the school’s entrance exam with their actual scores.
In a Facebook post Monday, Prof. Asare said it was unacceptable that only 298 of the 875 students who took the 2015 exam know their score.
Read the full post below:
“Only 298 (34%) of the 875 students who took the 2015 Law School Entrance exam know their score. The other 577 students do not and will never know their actual score on the exam. These 577 students are left to assume that their score is lower than 66 but have no way of knowing what the actual score is. This is because the General Legal Council (GLC), through the Ghana School of Law (GSL), has posted scores of students who obtained 66 or higher on the examination. The other scores are shrouded in mystery.
It is important to understand that the 577 students have not failed the entrance examination. The GLC, through the GSL, does not define what a passing score is. Rather, they post scores of only students who are admitted to pursue the Qualifying Certificate in Law (QCL) at the 3 GSL campuses. It is the possession of this certificate that entitles the holder to practice law in Ghana, the reason why most people enroll in expensive LLB programs.
Getting the score is not just a matter of right but also it has feedback value. A student who gets 65 will have to adopt completely different strategies from a student who got 28, if they opt to retake the examination.
The scores will also shed light on how close the excluded students are to the cutoff.
A cursory look at the scores reveals shortcomings in using it as a tool for admitting students to the QCL. Only 27 (3.4%) of the 875 students got a score of 80 or better. Less than 5% of the students manage a score of 77 or higher. Only 65 (a paltry 7.4%) of the students got a score of 75 or higher. Thus, if it was desired to give an “A” to 10% of the students taking the exam, a score of about 74 would qualify.
That suggests that it is highly unreasonable to use a score of 66 as a cutoff for admitting students to take the QCL. While one needs all the scores to understand and evaluate the distribution, it is not unreasonable to guess that anyone scoring 40% on the exam has probably passed, using standard examination passing scales.
There are several procedural flaws in this process. First, this may be the only competitive Law Entrance Exam where students do not know in advance what they need to score to pass. Second, this may be the only qualifying exam where 66% of the students are not told their scores. Third, too many “B” students are being excluded from pursuing the professional component of their legal education, even though they are fully capable of passing the QCL and have obtained very solid LLB degrees.
All these problems could be solved immediately by giving the students who are not admitted the option to take a self-study course and the opportunity to write the QCL with their fortunate colleagues (i.e., those scoring 66 or higher).
Alternatively, why can’t the GSL record the lectures and sell it to the 577 students? The GSL will make extra income. The students will get the opportunity to fulfill their career dreams. And the students do not have to travel from all over the country to take the course in Accra or Kumasi.”
Two weeks ago, Prof. Asare and fellow legal scholar, Prof. H. Kwasi Prempeh, called for an end to a quota system at the Ghana School of Law that limits the number of LLB holders who can pursue their professional course at the school to 250.