Graduate Record Examination GRE Scores as an Assessment Tool. AIR 1998 Annual Forum Paper.Report as inadecuate

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This paper examines whether graduate record examination (GRE) scores are a legitimate assessment tool for measuring institutional accountability and effectiveness that is, how well its graduates will do after having attended the institution for four or more years. Following a discussion of the various pros and cons of using the GRE as an accountability measure, the study reports on an examination of all GRE reports for five years (May 1992-May 1997) collected at a land-grant research university in the southeast (n=2,934). Regression models were developed using Scholastic Assessment Test verbal and math scores, gender, race, cumulative credit hours, and grade point averages to create predicted GRE total, quantitative, verbal, and analytical scores. Then the predicted GRE scores were subtracted from the actual GRE scores to provide a residual score, which was analyzed by major to determine whether any of the residuals were greater than expected through random variation. Significant differences were found to exist based on the mean of the residuals by major, and these were further analyzed. The report concludes that using this assessment approach leaves unanswered the question of whether the information garnered can be used to improve programs and services of the institution. (Contains 7 references.)(CH)

Descriptors: Accountability, Accreditation (Institutions), College Outcomes Assessment, Correlation, Evaluation Criteria, Higher Education, Institutional Evaluation, Majors (Students), Outcome Based Education, Performance, Predictive Measurement, Regression (Statistics), School Effectiveness

Author: Underwood, David G.; Craighead, Michelle M.



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