MSU Graduate Council Presentation February 2013
The GRE is The Graduate Record Exam, a multiple-choice exam created by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). It is administered to hundreds of thousands of students each year and is used as an admission criterion by about 60% of American graduate schools. There are two types of GRE: General Test and Subject Specific Tests.
Admission to graduate schools Admission to post-graduate programs Scholarship decisions
The GRE is designed to predict success in graduate school first year graduate grades eventually earning a degree
There is no way to know. Students with the lowest scores are not admitted. As a result, there is no way to know if they would have proved the predictor wrong. Phillips and McAuliffe (2004) found only 9% of students who dropped out said it was because they couldn’t hack the coursework. GRE scores don’t much differ between students who graduate and students who don’t.
No. its own developer says undergraduate college grades do a better job of forecasting graduate achievement The test’s manufacturer studied 12,000 test takers and found the exam accounted for only 9% of the difference (variation) among students first-year grades. The 1989 study found undergraduate grades were a stronger predictor, accounting for 14% of the variation.
No. an independent study (Morrisons, 1995) found only 6% of variation in grades could be predicted by GRE scores it does not accurately assess a test-taker’s full potential for achievement in scholastic, professional, personal endeavors it does not measure critical skills associated with scholarly and professional competence
Yes (Kuncel, 2001 meta-analysis). combinations of measures drawn from a completed program of graduate study predict everything but time taken to earn graduate degrees overall GPA, 1st-year GPA, comprehensive exam scores, faculty ratings, degree earned, time taken to complete degree, research productivity, & times cited by others subject tests outperform the general test in predicting grades and graduation but are rarely required
Yes, if student has (1) the ability to think and learn; (2) knowledge within a field, and (3) motivation, persistence, drive, and initiative. Kuncel’s meta-analysis said GRE scores have varying abilities to measure these three factor groups. GRE general attempts to measure (1), GRE subject tests attempt to measure (2), and biographical record, undergraduate work indicates (3).
Yes (ETS, 2005). GRE verbal and quantitative scores and undergraduate grade point average were evaluated as predictors of multiple measures of long-term graduate school success. The measures of success were cumulative graduate grade point average and faculty ratings on student characteristics: (1) mastery of the discipline, (2) professional productivity, and (3) communication skill. The combination of GRE scores and undergraduate grade point average strongly predicts cumulative graduate grade point average and faculty ratings.
Yes, sort of (Perez, 2011). Graduation rate & graduate GPA correlated w/GRE scores then w/wider range of traits of 11 students GRE Quantitative & Verbal predicted success for master’s students but Quantitative did not predict success for doctoral students; Phase 2 findings inconclusive except that GRE influenced access to graduate programs; student involvement, faculty- peer interaction, motivation, program structure also important
What do Major U Studies say of the GRE? 1984-1997 UT Social Work utilized grades, degree completion, and fieldwork quality in finding the GRE was not a valid predictor of success. Bowling Green State found students with high GRE scores took longer to complete the geology program. Cornell & Yale Psychology found GRE test scores explained only 3% of the difference in grades in the first two years of study. Adding comprehensive measures of performance such as faculty ratings and evaluations reduced the predictive power of the GRE to 1% or less.
Some researchers find the GRE predicts high- performing classroom behaviors, such as earning high GPAs and receiving better ratings from faculty (Jamieson, 2011). The GRE’s predictive power diminishes over time because basics are more important than abstract skills, imagination, and critical thinking for both introductory courses and the GRE (Jamieson, 2011).
No (Fairtest.org, 2007). The GRE limits access to graduate school, particularly for women, students of color, and non-conventional applicants: Large disparities in scores exist between different groups of students. females score lower than males despite higher course grades African-American, Latino, and Native American students score lower than White and Asian American students Researchers found the culturally-laden language of the GRE, its insensitivity to the translation of skills and resources into performance, and the influence of socioeconomic differences led to the score disparities. These disparities can create graduate student bodies that are disproportionately male and white when test scores play a major role in admission decisions.
No (Fairtest.org, 2007). Ranges rely on cut-off scores and studies have found cut-off scores are particularly arduous for low-income individuals and students of color, who on average score markedly below affluent and White students. The Ford and Danforth Foundations tracked hundreds of students of color they had funded for graduate school and concluded that more than half the students who earned a doctorate would not have been admitted to graduate school to begin with had cut-off scores and ranges been in use.
In November 2011 Mark McClendon (MSU Institutional Research) presented a correlation analysis of GRE Scores and Graduation Rates as part of MSU TLRC. In December 2011 ETS hosted a webinar about the GRE and changes coming up in its scoring. In May 2012 McClendon elaborated on his 2011 research in a meeting about it.
Graduate students entering 2001-2009 analyzed for graduated or not graduated; correlations run by McClendon. GRE scores and graduated, then by college = minor correlation GRE scores and GPA, then by college = stronger relationship These findings are in accord with the literature reviewed in discussing GRE as a predictor.
Following the ETS scoring changes to GRE, MSU applicant scores for Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 were reviewed. Percent of examinees scoring lower than selected scaled scores on Verbal Reasoning = 1-99% for MSU applicants Quantitative Reasoning = 1-88% for MSU applicants Analytical Writing = 1-96% for MSU applicants Challenge for admissions decisions could be in relating results to meaningful performance
Some studies suggest undergraduate GPA is a better predictor of graduate achievement than GRE. The best advice that emerges is that if the GRE is used, it should only be one measure among many. It is clear the GRE is not required as a measure of likely graduate school success, and ETS never says it is required (Orlando, 2005).
ETS says, Regardless of the decision to be made, multiple sources of information should be used to ensure fairness and balance the limitations of any single measure of knowledge, skills, or abilities. These sources may include undergraduate grade point average, letters of recommendation, personal statement, samples of academic work, prior research, and professional experience related to proposed graduate study.
Many schools do not require the test. Fairtest.org (2007) identified some graduate programs that have proven that institutions can conduct a successful admissions process without GRE tests. Such institutions rely on multi-dimensional approaches that avail themselves of application process information, including essays, grades, recommendations, writing samples, and interviews.
*A brief list of such programs includes: Harvard Divinity School, Simmons College School of Social Work, Bank Street College School of Education, Pratt Institute School of Architecture, Brown University Division of Engineering, and Columbia University Masters of Science in Journalism* Fairtest (2007). Peer Institutions List.
NYU, Columbia, Pace, St. Johns, LIU, CUNY, Case Western Reserve and a few others. It all depends on the programs. MIT, Johns Hopkins, and Cornell DePaul University MSWs –USC, Washington University in St. Louis, Columbia University (CUSSW does not require GRE scores, however, they are accepted.) , University of Pennsylvania, Boston College, University of Michigan, Loyola University Chicago
The University of Arizona does not require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission. However, many graduate departments do; every program at the University of Arizona has its own set of specific requirements. Because each West Texas A & M program has its own admissions requirements, some do not require you to take the GRE or the GMAT.
Rice Master of Liberal Studies program does not require its applicants to have taken the GRE or any other standardized test. DeVry Universitys Keller Graduate School of Management does not require completion of the GMAT or GRE exams if your undergraduate grade point average was at least 2.70, based on a 4.00 scale, and you earned a grade of B or better in college algebra and English composition.
The University of Wisconsin does not require the GRE for admittance, but does require the GRE for funding. Univ. of Vermont and Michigan State dont require them. However, some programs require it if you want an assistantship.These last two resonate with the earlier noted use of GRE for scholarship decisions
University of Hawaii doesn’t require scores, but theyre encouraged. I was admitted into the program based on my application, essays, interviews, and transcripts. The University of Washington has several nationally ranked graduate programs that have dropped or are considering dropping the GRE as a requirement based on this analysis. They are, however, using other measures in the application process to determine a student’s ability to succeed in graduate school.
Make GRE optional, at program discretion Waive GRE for students returning for additional graduate degrees or after a decade or more away from higher education Use multiple criteria Consider entry into a program simply the first of many assessments during a student’s academic career (California State University, Long Beach, 2007)
retrieved 01 29 2013, (not properly styled) Does the GRE Measure Anything Related to Graduate School?, Jamie Hale, 2010, Psych Central, http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/12/09/does-the-gre-measur ETS-GRE, 2012, Interpretative Data Used on Score Reports Examining the GRE: Myths, Misuses, and Alternatives, Submitted by fairtest on August 20, 2007 - 12:29pm, The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest), http://fairtest.org/facts/gre.htm, http://fairtest.org/examining-gre-myths-misuses-and-alternatives GRE as a predictor of graduate student success at a Hispanic serving institution of higher education, Katherine Perez, Dissertation, 2011, http://udini.proquest.com/view/gre-as-a-predictor-of-graduate- pqid:2445875611/
retrieved 01 29 2013, (not properly styled) GRE Predicts Success in Graduate School, Kuncel, 2001, University of Minnesota, http://mentalhealth.about.com/library/sci/0301/blgre301.htm Importance of GRE exam in Your Career, Saqib Ali Ateel, 2004-2012, http://www.personality-and-aptitude-career-tests.com/gre-exam.html Orgtheory.net, an inconvenient truth about GRE scores, May 2011,with 93 comments to December 2012, http://orgtheory.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/an-inconvenient-truth- about-gre-scores/ McClendon, Mark, 2012, GRE and MSU Grads Predicting Long-Term Success in Graduate School: A Collaborative Validity Study, Nancy W. Burton and Ming-mei Wang, April 2005, ETS, Princeton, NJ, http://www.ets.org/Media/Research/pdf/RR-05-03.pdf
retrieved 01 29 2013, (not properly styled) Study of Graduate Record Exam shows it does little to predict graduate school success, 08 04 97, http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Aug97/GRE.study.ssl.html The GRE; What it tells us, and what it doesnt, Dave Jamieson, gradPSYCH Magazine, January 2011, http://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2011/01/gre.aspx The Reliability of GRE Scores in Predicting Graduate School Success, a Meta-Analytic, Cross-functional, Regressive, Unilateral, Post-Kantian, Hyper-empirical, Quadruple Blind, Verbiage-intensive, and Hemorrhoid- inducing Study, John Orlando, July 2005, http://ubiquity.acm.org/article.cfm?id=1071921
Your remarks and questions are welcome now, or can be sent later to Dr. Phyllis I. Behrens, Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Public Administration, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX