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New Perspectives on the Validity of the GRE General Test for Predicting Graduate School Grades

Klieger, David M.; Cline, Frederick; Holtzman, Steven; Minsky, Jennifer; Lorenz, Florian
Publication Year:
Report Number:
GRE-14-03, RR-14-26
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Analytical Writing Assessment Dominance Analysis General Test (GRE) Grades Graduate School Higher Education Predictive Validity Revised GRE Utility


Given the serious consequences of making ill-fated admissions and funding decisions for applicants to graduate and professional school, it is important to rely on sound evidence to optimize such judgments. Previous meta-analytic research has demonstrated the generalizable validity of the GRE General Test for predicting academic achievement. That research does not address predictive validity for specific populations and situations or the predictive validity of the GRE Analytical Writing section introduced in October 2002. Furthermore, much of the past GRE predictive validity research is primarily based on approaches that are correlational and univariate only. Stakeholders familiar with GRE predictive validity mainly in the form of zero-order correlation coefficients might automatically interpret the usefulness of the GRE solely through the prism of Cohen's (1988) guidelines for judging effect sizes and without regard to the larger context. However, by using innovative and multivariate approaches to conceptualize and measure GRE predictive validity within the larger context, our investigation reveals the substantial value of the GRE General Test, including its Analytical Writing section, for predicting graduate school grades.

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