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Content Representativeness of the Graduate Record Examinations Advanced Tests in Chemistry, Computer Science and Education

Oltman, Philip K.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Graduate Record Examinations Board, Advanced Tests (GRE), Chemistry Tests, College Faculty, Computer Science Tests, Education Tests, Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), Test Construction, Test Validity


Faculty members in departments of Chemistry, Computer Science, and Education were surveyed to collect information on the content representativeness of the GRE Advanced Tests in those disciplines. Faculty respondents allocated percentages to each of the major content categories of the specifications for the tests to reflect the nature of undergraduate curricula appropriate for prospective graduate students. They also classified test items into those same categories. We compared the distribution of content specified by the Committees of Examiners, the distribution of content produced by the respondents, and the distribution of test items by content categories as classified by the respondents. Agreement was generally good, although some differences emerged that might suggest minor changes in specifications or item composition. The method is documented in some detail so that it can be applied periodically to other tests when desired. The information gathered by the method can be of value to the Committees of Examiners in keeping the tests abreast of trends and changes in their fields.

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