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The Predictive Validity of the Restructured GRE With Particular Attention to Older Students

Swinton, Spencer S.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
GREB-83-25P (1987), RR-87-22
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Adult Students Females Grade Prediction Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) Graduate Record Examinations Board Predictive Validity Sex Differences


Data from 99 graduate department participants in the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) Validity Study Service from 1983 through 1985 were analysed with an empirical Bayes regression model that allows each department's mean scores to influence that department's regression coefficients. To be included in the analysis, students had to have taken the GRE General Test on or after October 1981, when the analytical measure was revised. The major finding was a significant underprediction of first-year grade average for older females in all graduate fields. Although it had been predicted that they would do less well than younger students and about as well as males, they in fact earned considerably higher grades than all other groups. It is suggested that graduate admissions committees broaden efforts to identify nontraditional evidence of talent, motivation, and accomplishment in applicants from this group. The GRE data analysis shows that if a larger proportion of returning females were recruited and admitted, they would perform as well or better than currently enrolled younger students.

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