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Study of the 1948 English Composition and Literature Examination for Admission to the United States Naval Academy

Mann, Rita
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Essay Tests, Language Tests, United States Naval Academy, Naval Aptitude Tests, English Literature and Composition Examination, Predictive Validity, Writing Evaluation


This study is based on 1982 candidates for admission to the Naval Academy who took both the Naval Academy Aptitude Test and the Naval Academy English Examination in April 1948. For each of these candidates a score on the objective section of the Naval Academy English Examination, a score on the essay section of the Naval Academy English Examination, a score on the total Naval Academy English Examination, and a score on the verbal aptitude section of the Naval Academy Aptitude Test were obtained. 726 of these 1982 candidates were admitted to the Naval Academy in the summer of 1948, and for each of the 726 a grade in the first-term English course at the Naval Academy was obtained. It would seem that, for the present, the best predictor of success in English at the Naval Academy is the total score on the Naval Academy English Examination, with the objective section weighted twice as heavily as the essay section. For the future, if the verbal aptitude scores come to be used in the selection process in the same manner as the achievement test scores are used, consideration should probably be given to removing the vocabulary section from the English examination and replacing it with a section which is especially designed to measure achievement in English. Then, perhaps, another system of weighting verbal aptitude, objective English, and essay can be established and prediction of success in English can thereby be improved.

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