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The Validity of the GMAT for the Prediction of Success in Doctoral Study in Business and Management GMAC GMAT

Zwick, Rebecca J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Graduate Management Admissions Council, Doctoral Programs, Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), Predictive Validity, Test Validity


The focus of this validity study was the examination of the degree to which GMAT scores and undergraduate grade-point average (UGPA) could predict first-year average (FYA) and final grade-point average in doctoral programs in business. It was found that the three preadmissions measures were associated with graduate school grades, but to a lesser degree than in M.B.A. programs. In general, the prediction achieved using UGPA alone as a predictor tended to be more accurate than that obtained using GMAT verbal (GMATV) and GMAT quantitative (GMATQ) scores together. Using all three predictors was more effective than using UGPA alone. The most likely explanation for the lower levels of prediction is that doctoral programs tend to be more selective than M.B.A. programs. Within-school means on GMATV, GMATQ, UGPA, and FYA were higher than those found in M.B.A. validity studies; within-school standard deviations on FYA tended to be smaller. Among these very select, academically competent students, highly accurate prediction of success in doctoral programs may not be possible. (62pp.)

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