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Essays and Multiple-Choice Tests as Predictors of College Freshman GPA SAT

Bridgeman, Brent
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Entrance Examinations, Essay Tests, Grade Predictor, Multiple Choice Tests, Predictive Validity, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Test Format, Test Validity


The incremental validity of a short holistically scored expository essay for predicting freshman grade-point average was explored in two samples. In one of the samples the essay was administered to incoming freshmen at state colleges as part of a basic skills assessment battery. In the second sample the essay was part of an achievement test that is one of the admissions tests used by highly selective colleges. In both samples, the essay added essentially nothing to what could be predicted from high school grade-point average, Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, and a multiple-choice test of writing-related skills. (31pp.)

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