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Analyses of the Predictive Validity of the SAT and High School Grades From 1976 to 1985 SAT

Morgan, Rick
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RR-89-37, CBR-89-07
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Grades (Scholastic), Predictive Validity, SAT, Test Validity, Trend Analysis


Since 1964, colleges have been sending data to the College Board Validity Study Service in order to determine the degree to which measures used in admissions predict college performance. These studies have allowed for the monitoring of general trends in the relationship of SAT scores and high school grades with freshman grades. Beginning in the early-1970s and continuing to the mid- 1970s, the observed average correlations of SAT scores with freshman grades increased dramatically. In the decade that followed, the strength of this relationship gradually declined. In order to determine to what extent the observed variations in the average correlations might be associated with the composition of colleges conducting validity studies each year, validity data were analyzed for the enrolling classes of 1976 to 1985. Estimates of change, based on a repeated measures estimation approach utilizing data from colleges conducting more than one predictive validity study within the 10-year period, and correcting for the restriction of range in SAT scores and high school record, indicated a general linear trend from 1976 to 1985. The correlations of SAT scores with first- year college grades declined from about .51 to about .47, for a change of approximately .04. There was less change during this period for private colleges, small colleges, and more selective colleges. (21pp.)

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