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Construct Validity of the GRE Analytical Test: A Resource Document GREB GRE

Duran, Richard P.; Powers, Donald E.; Swinton, Spencer S.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RR-87-11, GREB-81-06P (1987)
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Graduate Record Examinations Board, Abstract Reasoning, Analytical Ability Tests, Critical Thinking, Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), Logical Thinking, Test Validity


The purpose of the study was to plan further research aimed at understanding how the current version of the GRE analytical measure reflects cognitive skills that are important to success in graduate education. Several activities were completed, including selective literature reviews of (a) cognitive and psychometric research on reasoning and (b) more general educational research on the role of reasoning in higher education. The two analytical item types included in the current test were analyzed to determine more precisely the kinds of basic skills that underlie their solution. Two major conclusions are that (1) although there is a considerable body of research on reasoning, thinking, and problem solving, there are few well-developed models or theories to guide the measurement of analytical ability and (2) although reasoning, critical thinking, and other such processes are assumed to be requirements of successful academic performance, there is little documentation of the specific involvement of these skills in graduate education.

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