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Measuring Developed Academic Abilities Using Spanish-Language and English-Language Tests: PAEG/GRE Relationships for Puerto Ricans Who are More Proficient in Spanish than in English

Pennock-Roman, Maria
Publication Year:
Report Number:
GREB-89-01P, RR-98-40
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Academic Aptitude Bilingual Students English (Second Language) General Test (GRE) Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) Graduate Record Examinations Board Prueba de Admision Para Estudios Graduados (PAEG) Spanish Speaking Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)


The objective of the study was to clarify the relationship between developed ability for graduate level study as measured in two languages, Spanish and English, for bilingual Puerto Rican examinees more proficient in Spanish than in English. The sample consisted of 451 persons who had taken both the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General test and the Prueba de Admission Para Estudios Graduados (PAEG), a test in Spanish used for admission to graduate study and law schools and Puerto Rico. The PAEG contains verbal and quantitative sections with item types that are similar to those of the GRE. This analysis provides an opportunity to compare test performance and students' native language with their test performance and second language. PAEG also contains a subtest in English that measures reading comprehension and vocabulary. The normative sample for this test were non-native speakers of English. For a subset out 102 individuals in this data set, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) was also available. The PAEG-English and the TOEFL were used as measures of English proficiency to investigate how the relationship between the two aptitude tests was moderated by English proficiency. Several regression models were run in which a Spanish-language measure (one PAEG ability test), and English proficiency measure (TOEFL or PAEG-English), and the term for the interaction between the PAEG ability test score and English proficiency test score were used to predict each criterion. The analysis had five different criteria: the GRE General Test verbal, quantitative, and analytic measures and two GRE subject tests, Psychology and Biology. The regression analysis revealed that each GRE General test measure had approximately the same proportion of total variance explained by the predictors. The proportion of variance and scores explained by the terms associated with measures of English proficiency varied substantially across tests. Students' test performance was affected by English proficiency on all tests, but the effects were largest by far on the GRE verbal test.

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