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The Prediction of Academic Success and the Ability to Draw at a School of Design

Klein, Stephen P.; Schultz, Charles B.; Skager, Rodney W.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Carnegie Corporation, Admission Criteria, Design, Freehand Drawing, Grade Prediction, Predictive Measurement, Talent


This research was concerned with the admission of students to a selective school of design. Three issues were raised: (1) interrelationships among various criteria, including academic performance in liberal arts, art, and architecture courses, as well as performance in problems in esthetic drawing assigned as a part of the research, (2) prediction of these criteria by means of measures of aptitude, history, and personality, and (3) the use of such predictors along with other types of information in the admissions process. Research conducted over a two-year period on two successive classes of Ss indicated that art and design criteria bore little relationship to performance in liberal arts. However, it was possible to predict academic criteria including a complex measure of performance in liberal arts and design courses. In contrast, predictions of performance in drawing did not hold in cross- validation, although this observation may in part be due to differences in the drawing problems assigned to the two groups. Measures of visualization and figural redefinition appeared promising for the prediction of performance in design fields, while measures of academic aptitude, verbal abilities (both convergent and divergent), and personality (with the exception of independence and self-ratings of creativity) in most cases did not relate consistently to the criteria studied.

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