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Interaction Between College Effects and Students' Aptitudes GRE SAT

Rock, Donald A.; Baird, Leonard L.; Linn, Robert L.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Academic Ability, Academic Achievement, Academic Aptitude, Cluster Analysis, College Environment, Graduate Record Examination (GRE), SAT


The effects of college environments on student achievement on three GRE Area achievement tests, when the initial ability of students was controlled, were studied. A wide variety of environmental measures for 95 colleges were included. The method computed within school regression lines, then colleges were clustered on regression lines, using a taxonomic technique, and multiple group discriminant functions using college descriptive variables were computed. It was found that in all three achievement areas one group or cluster of colleges could be identified as being more effective than the remaining groups of colleges. In the humanities areas the most effective group was characterized by a higher proportion of faculty with doctorates, greater selectivity, and a larger budget. In social sciences and the natural sciences, emphasis on subject matter area as measured by the proportion of majors in the appropriate fields of study was the only variable which demonstrated some discrimination between the most and least effective groups. (Author)

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