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Growth Study: II. Personal Background, Experience, and School Achievement: An Investigation of the Contribution of Questionnaire Data to Academic Prediction BEQ PSAT SCAT STEP

Hilton, Thomas L.; Myers, Albert E.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Board, Academic Achievement, Background and Experience Questionnaire (BEQ), Biographical Inventories, College Board Achievement Tests, Grade Prediction, Predictive Measurement, Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), School and College Ability Tests (SCAT), Sequential Tests of Educational Progress (STEP), Study of Academic Prediction and Growth, Test of General Information


Numerous studies have demonstrated that school achievement can be predicted from biographical data. This study was designed to determine whether biographical data contribute anything to the prediction beyond that provided by a battery of ability and achievement tests. The data were obtained from a continuing longitudinal study of academic growth initiated at ETS in 1960. As part of this eight-year study, questionnaire and test data were obtained from approximately 5,000 eleventh graders in 17 U.S. public school systems. A year and a half later, test scores and academic standings were obtained for these students as seniors. Multiple regression analysis indicated that biographical information, used as the sole source of predictors, predicted both the objective test criteria and rank in class moderately well. When used in conjunction with objective test scores, however, the test scores accounted for practically all the variance in the criteria. Further, factor analysis indicated there were no factors which were common to the biographical variables and the criteria but not common to the objective test predictors and the criteria. Alternative interpretations and implications are discussed.

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