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Nonintellective Correlates of Secondary School Achievement PSAT

Skager, Rodney W.; Terwilliger, James
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Academic Achievement, Biographical Inventories, Goal Orientation, High School Students, Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), Student Attitudes, Student Characteristics


The research reported here represents an attempt to isolate biographical and attitudinal correlates of achievement after controlling for aptitude. Two biographical inventories pertaining to academic aspirations and plans, extracurricular activities and jobs, pressures and values in the home and peer group, and self-initiated efforts to achieve various personal goals were administered to approximately 750 college preparatory eleventh grade students in seven Northeastern public secondary schools. The responses to the inventories were correlated with a residual grade average reflecting academic achievement independent of aptitude as measured by the PSAT. The results are generally consistent with the findings of previous investigations. Attributes found to be positively related to our criterion of achievement include: high academic aspirations, plans to continue education beyond four years of college, a home and peer environment which encourages academic goals and general intellectual pursuits, and self-initiated efforts to achieve goals of an intellectual nature. Caution should be exercised in attempting to generalize specific relationships to students in school settings different from that characterizing the schools used in the present research. Replications of the present study in such schools would provide interesting empirical comparisons.

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