skip to main content skip to footer

Generalization of GRE General Test Validity Across Departments GREB GRE VSS

Boldt, Robert F.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Graduate Record Examinations Board, Departments, Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), Graduate Study, Predictive Validity, Test Validity, Validity Study Service (VSS)


This study of the validity of the GRE General Test used data from studies conducted by the GRE Validity Study Service (VSS). The performance criterion was first-year grades in graduate school. Observed validities were computed, and, for 79 graduate departments, validities were also estimated for groups at two other stages of selection--applicants for admission to the department, and all GRE takers. Two validity generalization hypotheses were tested: that the General Test's validities were equal across studies; and that the validities had equal ratios across studies, that is, that the level of the validities might vary from institution to institution but the ratios would be constant. These hypotheses were applied for VSS groups, applicant groups, and all GRE takers, and implied validities (validities that would be observed if the hypotheses were true) were calculated. When the implied validities were compared to the observed validities, it was found that the assumption of equal validity did not account well for differences in the level of observed validity of the GRE General Test. The equal ratio hypothesis accounted for the observed validities rather well, possibly due to overcapitalization on chance, but departmental discipline was not significantly related to the degree of fit of observed to implied validities. At all levels of selection the study yielded applicant validities that were predominantly positive.

Read More