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Factor Structure of the GRE General Test for Older Examinees: Implications for Construct Validity GREB GRE

Stricker, Lawrence J.; Rock, Donald A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Graduate Record Examinations Board, Adults, Age Differences, Factor Structure, Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), Test Takers, Test Validity


The aim of this study was to appraise the extent to which the GRE® General Test has the same construct validity for older test takers as it has for other examinees by comparing the interrelationships among the test items for subgroups of examinees defined by age. The items in the test were factor analyzed for three samples of examinees, 20-29 years old, 30-39 years old, and 40-49 years old. The same verbal, quantitative, and analytical ability factors were found in each sample, but the intercorrelations of the factors increased slightly, though consistently, with the age of the sample. These results suggest that the convergent validity of the test is similar across these age groups, but the discriminant validity is somewhat different for the older examinees. It was also found, in each sample, that the items in the analytical measure had a substantial amount of specific variance and that the analytical ability factor was highly correlated with the other factors, implying that these items have relatively little in common with each other and overlap excessively with verbal and quantitative ability.

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