skip to main content skip to footer

The Internal Construct Validity of the GRE General Test Across Handicapped and Nonhandicapped Populations GRE

Bennett, Randy Elliot; Jirele, Thomas J.; Rock, Donald A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Board, Disabilities, Factor Analysis, Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), Test Bias, Test Interpretation, Test Validity


This study investigated the factor structure of the GRE General Test across handicapped and nonhandicapped groups. The handicapped student groups included two groups of examinees taking timed, standard administrations and one taking an extended-time, large-type administration. A simple, three-factor model, consisting of Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical item types was posed. Using the covariance matrices, this model was tested for invariance with respect to the number and intercorrelation of factors, the pattern of factor loadings, and the equality of scale units. To investigate observed discrepancies in factor structure, a higher-order factor solution using the correlation matrices was also computed. The three-common-factor model provided a good fit in the nonhandicapped population and a moderately good fit for visually impaired students taking a standard administration. The least adequate fit was found for the visually impaired group taking the large type exam and for physically impaired students taking a standard administration. While the verbal and quantitative factors fit reasonably well in these two groups, the analytical factor fit less adequately, with the item types composing this factor—analytical reasoning and logical reasoning--behaving more as separate factors. For both groups, Analytical scores appeared to have a different meaning from those for nonhandicapped students. For visually impaired students taking the large type exam, a lower relationship between the verbal and quantitative factors was noted. This lower relationship indicates, relative to nonhandicapped students, an increased likelihood of achievement growth in one area independent of the other. This finding underscores the importance of interpreting Verbal and Quantitative scores individually rather than as part of a composite. (55pp.)

Read More