Correlates of Satisfaction with Graduate School Applicants' Performance on the GRE Writing Measure

Powers, Donald E.; Fowles, Mary E.
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Criteria essays graduate study scoring test validity writing evaluation


The focus of the study was the new GRE writing measure and the proposed GRE scoring guide. The objective was to determine the degree to which the features of student essays upon which scores will be based are the same features that graduate educators use at their institutions to evaluate students' writing. A sample of essays, which had been previously reviewed and judged by graduate deans and faculty, were rescored several times by trained readers. Each rescoring was based on a specific trait in the GRE scoring guide -- development of ideas, sentence structure, and so on. The influence of each feature on the judgments made by faculty/deans and on the scores assigned by trained readers was compared. No evidence was uncovered to suggest any differences between graduate deans/faculty and GRE essay readers with respect to the bases on which they judge essay quality.

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