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Prediction of Grades in College Mathematics Courses as a Component of the Placement Validity of SAT-Mathematics Scores SAT

Bridgeman, Brent; Wendler, Cathy
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RR-89-50, CBR-89-09
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Board, College Placement, Grade Prediction, Mathematics, Predictive Validity, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)


The question of the predictive validity of SAT-M performance was addressed by collecting grades in freshman mathematics courses from 10 colleges. Compared to tests that were specifically designed for placement purposes, the SAT-M score was a relatively poor predictor of grades in most courses. Even after correcting for the considerable range restriction that may occur when within-course scores are analyzed, coefficients were typically only in the mid-.30s (compared to corrected coefficients for a local placement test that ranged from the high .40s to the low .60s). Nevertheless, the SAT-M score significantly improved predictions from high school grade-point average alone, especially for calculus courses. (41pp.)

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