Why all universities need to have pre-entry tests in place.

Law Pre-Entry Exam 2020/2021 | Mak Events
Students sitting for a pre-entry exam at Makerere Law School

Recently, there has been a significant number of law students at the Law Development Centre that were seen to fail the final exams despite the fact that they were enrolled there in the first place

Pre entry exams are a very important yardstick in determining whether students are fit to pursue certain courses or not. In most cases, students will not know the difference between what they wish for and what they actually can do.

The following are the reasons why pre entry exams should be put in place in every university, for every academic course.

1. To test the students’ intellectual capacity

Law, unlike other courses in the arts realm, is so cognitively costly. This means the students are going to study a lot, think a lot and always encounter challenges every now and then, and that’s what makes a lawyer.

This means that not every student is supposed to go for the course, and that explains why many students fail their final law exams at the Law Development Centre.

2. To sieve out and enroll only the capable ones.

Just as I said on the previous paragraph, there are a whole large number of students that love to taje a course in law because it is prestigious, and also because they have the capacity to do so.

However this doesn’t mean they have the mental capacity to take on all the challenges that they shall face as law students and more so, as lawyers in practice. This is exactly where the institutes are not supposed to fail at testing all their would-be students

3. To prevent wastage of money on what the students might never even succeed at

Many parents splurge lots and lots of money only to receive news that their students failed at the end of the course. It is really detrimental and it causes a lot of damage on the financial status of the parents.

Also it brings resentment of the parents towards their children and a bias towards the university.

4. To enable the students find themselves on what they want and are capable of doing

Bright students usually face a huge challenge when it comes to prioritization. Things like;

  • Picking the course they love
  • Picking the course they actually love
  • Knowing their strengths and weaknesses

When you’ve aced all your subjects equally, it’s easy to think you love and are capable of any course there is. This is where the tests come in handy. With the pre-entry tests, you’re capable of finding out where your strengths and weaknesses are, and how to face them head-on or walk away.

5. To motivate the students that pass.

Students that struggle academically, usually aren’t confident about higher education, and are usually scared of things like pre-entry tests.

However, this is advantageous in a way, as it gives them motivation to study hard enough in preparation for these tests, which increases their probability of excelling.

In case they do, it gives them boldness and confidence, which is all a student needs as they go further ahead on their education journey.

6. To understand the weak students who will need help along the way.

While you take all students in based on their final examination results, you might never tell who needs help and who is capable of doing things on their own.

With pre-entry tests, teachers are able to tell who needs help despite the fact that they’ve passed, based on;

  • Question interpretation
  • Their attempt speed/rate
  • Completion rate
  • Confidence (for verbal tests)

While helping students or assigning fellow students to help them, increases the general performance of the entire class, therefore promoting the entire school/ institute.

7. Cements the university’s legacy

People usually tend to give more respect to the institutions that raise their standards and set restrictions on who gets in and how they get in.

It usually implies that the institution has no tolerance to low performance, therefore students have to work hard to get there. These are the advantages of a good legacy;

  • It attracts good students
  • The school administration controls the cost of their education
  • Attracts good teachers to the institution

8. To increase the value that students attach to the course and thus the effort they will put in

It’s in the tendency of people to always value what they have worked for, and the same is true in the education sector.

When students are asked to prove their worth even before they enrol, it sets them up for a competitive education season, and greatly increases the way they value the course they’ve picked.

9. To bolster the merit of the student alumni when they get into the job market

For the job market, there are some pretty tough conditions, some of which seem quite unfair. However, some employers are usually prejudicial about the school you went to, especially in legal practice.

If you happened to go to a school as reputable as Makerere University or Uganda Christian University, high chances are you might get the job.


Even though the pre-entry tests are not the absolute determinants of how a student will be able to perform, it’s usually not surprising that a student who passed a test will pass the final exams as well. It is therefore recommended for every higher education institution to put these tests in place.

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