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The Test Performance of Handicapped People ACT GRE SAT

Bennett, Randy Elliot; Ragosta, Marjorie; Stricker, Lawrence J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Board, Graduate Record Examinations Board, American College Testing Program (ACT), College Entrance Examinations, Disabilities, Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), Performance Factors, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Scores, Test Bias


The purpose of this paper is to document existing research on the test performance of handicapped people with respect to admissions and other similar tests. In addition, the paychometric characteristics of these tests when used with handicapped people are reported. Though much more data needs to be collected, several observations are made. Handicapped students as a general group perform appreciably lower than national norms on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and ACT Assessment. Of the four specific disability groups discussed, the admissions test performance of physically handicapped and of visually impaired examinees is most similar to the nondisabled population. The performance of learning disabled individuals ranks third among the specific disability groups, and is appreciably lower than national norms. Hearing impaired students perform the least well of all disabled groups on admissions tests. The limited data on the reliability of cognitive tests for handicapped examinees show no trustworthy differences in measurement precision between disabled and nondisabled populations. The results of the small number of validity investigations that have been conducted also show no dependable differences across populations. Data on the ACT Assessment and the SAT generally support the validity of these measures as equivalent predictors of college performance. (AUTHOR/BW). (45pp.)

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