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An Evaluation of GRE Sender Scores as a Measure of Graduate Admissions Selectivity in Two Fields GRE

Clark, Mary Jo
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Admissions, Chemistry, Educational Quality, Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), History Departments, Program Evaluation, Selective Admission


The average graduate record examiniations (GRE) aptitude test scores of test takers who had their scores sent to 57 history and 60 chemistry departments in 1972-73 ("scores senders") are compared with the average aptitude test scores of first-year students who enrolled in these departments in the fall of 1973 ("Enrolled Students" or "Matriculants"). There is a positive correlation of .5 to .7 between the department mean sender and mean matriculant scores; however, about an equal number of departments in both fields were found to enroll students with average test scores that were relatively lower as well as relatively higher than their average sender scores. results were similar for departments with high, moderate, and low reputational ratings. Although the self-selection of applicants appears to account for a large part of departmental "selectivity" as this is represented by average GRE aptitude test scores, the study concludes that average sender scores should not be used to describe the admissions selectivity of individual graduate departments in these two fields. (Author/RL). (16pp.)

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