Comparing School Reports and Empirical Estimates of Relative Reliance on Tests Vs Grades in College Admissions

Paul R. Sackett, Melissa S. Sharpe, Nathan Kuncel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The literature is replete with references to a disproportionate reliance on admission test scores (e.g., the ACT or SAT) in the college admissions process. School-reported reliance on test scores and grades has been used to study this question, generally indicating relatively equal reliance on the two, with a slightly higher endorsement of grades. As an alternative, we develop an empirical index of relative reliance on tests and grades, and compare school-reported estimates with empirical evidence of relative reliance. Using a dataset from 174 U.S. colleges and universities, we examine the degree to which applicants and enrolled students differ on the SAT and on high school GPA in each school, and develop an index of empirical relative reliance on test scores vs. grades. We find that schools tend to select on test scores and high school grades relatively equally, with the empirical reliance index showing slightly more reliance on test scores and school-reported reliance estimates showing slightly more reliance on grades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-250
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Measurement in Education
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 11 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the The College Board to Paul R. Sackett and Nathan R. Kuncel, ?and was derived from data provided by The College Board. The data are copyright ? 2006?2012 by The College Board.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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