Does Socioeconomic Status Explain the Relationship Between Admissions Tests and Post-Secondary Academic Performance?

Paul R Sackett, Nathan R Kuncel, Justin J. Arneson, Sara R. Cooper, Shonna D. Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations

Abstract

Critics of educational admissions tests assert that tests measure nothing more than socioeconomic status (SES) and that their apparent validity in predicting academic performance is an artifact of SES. The authors examined multiple large data sets containing data on admissions and related tests, SES, and grades showing that (a) SES is related to test scores (r = .42 among the population of SAT takers), (b) test scores are predictive of academic performance, and (c) statistically controlling for SES reduces the estimated test-grade correlation from r = .47 to r = .44. Thus, the vast majority of the test-academic performance relationship was independent of SES: The authors concluded that the test-grade relationship is not an artifact of common influences of SES on both test scores and grades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalPsychological Bulletin
Volume135
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009

Keywords

  • academic performance
  • admissions testing
  • socioeconomic status
  • test validity

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