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Statistical Report on the College Entrance Examination Board English Composition Test of December 1947, Form VAC4 CEEB

Tucker, Ledyard R
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
English Composition Tests, Essay Tests, Test Analysis, Writing Evaluation


This report presents a brief summary of several statistics on the CEEB English Composition Test of December 1947. The test was composed of three parts: I--45 objective items; II--one paragraph revision; and III--One essay composition. The statistics presented here include: 1) how each of the three parts of the test was scored; 2) the frequency distribution of the scores from the 1,962 candidates who took the test; and 3) the reliability and intercorrelation of the three parts individually, all three together, and parts I and II together. Examination of the table of intercorrelations in relation to the estimated reliabilities lead to several conclusions about the test, including 1) that all three parts of the test had, to varying degrees both a verbal and an independent component; 2) that the objective section of the English Composition Test is the best available measure of a separate English Composition factor; but 3) that the verbal component of the objective section is so large that it is doubtful whether even this section of the test yields sufficiently different information from the verbal test to warrant its inclusion in the battery of college entrance examinations. It is recommended that an intensive study of the basic skills in English Composition be initiated with the hope of mapping out the relevant factors in this domain. This should be warranted in terms of the importance of English Composition in education.

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