Predicting Long-Term Success in Graduate School: A Collaborative Validity Study

Burton, Nancy W.; Wang, Ming-mei
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Predictive validity GRE scores measures of long-term graduate success faculty ratings of graduate students undergraduate grade point average cumulative graduate grade point average GRE verbal scores GRE quantitative scores


GRE® verbal and quantitative scores and undergraduate grade point average were evaluated as predictors of multiple measures of long-term graduate school success. The measures of success were cumulative graduate grade point average and faculty ratings on three student characteristics: mastery of the discipline, professional productivity, and communication skill. Seven graduate institutions and 21 graduate departments in biology, chemistry, education, English, and psychology collaborated in order to identify measures of valued outcomes, develop reports useful to individual departments and graduate schools, and initiate a database for future studies. Results are reported for all departments combined and by discipline and, where sample sizes permitted, for master's and doctoral degree students, men and women, U.S. citizens and noncitizens, domestic ethnic groups, and test takers who took the GRE computer-based test and those who took the paper-and-pencil version of the test. The results indicate that the combination of GRE scores and undergraduate grade point average strongly predicts cumulative graduate grade point average and faculty ratings. These results hold in each discipline and appear to hold in the small subgroups.

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