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Construct Validity of the GMAT: A Factor Analytic Study GMAC GMAT

Spencer, Swinton S.; Powers, Donald E.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Graduate Management Admissions Council, Factor Analysis, Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), Item Analysis, Test Construction, Test Validity


A factor analytic study of the Graduate Management Admission Test was undertaken in order to gain a more thorough understanding of the psychological constructs underlying examinee performance on the test. The degree to which various dimensions or explanatory concepts account for test performance was established for three alternate forms of the GMAT and for several subgroups of examinees in order to determine the degree of equivalence of test forms and the similarity of measured constructs for various groups. Dimensions of test variation emerged that were thought to be useful to test development staff in sharpening test content specifications needed for the development of future equivalent forms of the test. One dimension that emerged which currently is not explicit in the GMAT specifications was the distinction between quantitative items that are abstract in nature and those that have a practical or applied nature. The relationship of each of three experimental item types to the factors underlying the current operational test was also determined through factor extension analysis and recommendations were made regarding the use of these three new item types in future revisions of the GMAT. (53pp.)

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