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Stereotype Threat, the Test-Center Environment, and Performance on the GRE General Test

Author(s):
Walters, Alyssa M.; Lee, Soonmook; Trapani, Catherine
Publication Year:
2004
Report Number:
GREB Report No. 01-03 R, RR-04-37
Source:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Report
Page Count:
55
Subject/Key Words:
Ethnicity Gender Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Stereotype Threat Testing Environment

Abstract

The study investigated the applicability of previous experimental research on stereotype threat to operational Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test testing centers. The goal was to document any relationships between features of the testing environment that might cue stereotype threat as well as any impact on GRE test scores among African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and female test-takers. Among such features were the gender and ethnicity of test proctors and more general factors, such as the size, activity level, and social atmosphere of test centers. Our analyses revealed several relationships among environmental factors and several variations in test performance for all groups. However, we found no direct support for stereotype threat and, in fact, found some effects for proctor ethnicity that ran counter to a stereotype-threat explanation.

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