Get Started with Your Own Validity Study

Get the most out of the Validity Study Service (VSS) for your school.

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Preparing for your own validity study today.

Using the VSS Excel template ensures an immediate check of the data and quick processing of your report.

How do I get the most out of the VSS for my school?

Your VSS report will be most valuable when you customize the study to your school and include all the variables that are important to you. The more information about the students you are able to include, the more richness you will be able to get from your findings which will help you with the toughest of your admissions decisions. Think of the demographic, admission, and performance data that you have on your students to decide what you would like to include in your study. You can contact GMAC staff at if you are unsure how to define variables that will help you answer the admission questions that are most pressing for your school.

What must be included in a data file for submission?

For a file to be accepted, you must submit:

  • Some way to identify each student case that does not include sensitive information such as social security number. This is used only if we need to contact you to verify a data entry. (Column A)
  • GMAT® Scores: VSS will process the data as long as any of the GMAT scores are available, but data must be scaled scores, not percentiles. (Columns C-E)
  • Mid-Program GPA: This usually represents average grades in core classes, but you can define the outcome to be any similar GPA or outcome variable. (Column M)

Columns are set up in the Excel template for commonly included variables. These include:

  • Demographics: For year of birth (Column B), the program will calculate groups of ‘older’ and ‘younger’ students for comparison. The other standard demographic categories (Gender, Column I and Citizenship, Column J) are designed so that only values of ‘1’ (‘male’ or ‘domestic’) or ‘2’ (‘female’ or ‘non-domestic’) can be entered.
  • Admission Data: Undergraduate GPA has a column for entering the value (Column G) and an optional column for providing the scale for each GPA value (Column H) if necessary. Work experience (Column K) is usually entered as number of years.
  • Special Circumstances (Column L): Students flagged as ‘1’ in this column (versus ‘0’ for all other cases) will be analyzed as part of a separate analysis to see how specially admitted students perform compared to expectations.
  • Additional Variables: Columns N-V allow submitting variables that you define as predictors (admission factors), criteria (outcomes/success factors), or groups (must be in two categories). You will provide information about how you defined these variables when you submit your data.

What are the steps for submitting data?

Download the spreadsheet and enter data on your students. When you are ready to submit your data, return to and log in with your username and password. You will be provided with the Terms of Use for VSS and will be asked a series of questions about your dataset such as names for any additional variables. You will then be able to browse for and upload your file. If there are any problems with your dataset, you will be notified immediately.

When should I expect to receive my results?

GMAC staff will begin work on your study soon after the dataset is successfully uploaded. Although study time should vary for each school, you should expect to hear from GMAC about your study within a few weeks. The report will be e-mailed as an Adobe Acrobat file to the school user who submitted the data. Paper copies can be made available upon request.

Who can I contact for more information?

If you have any questions, please contact us at or +1 (703) 668-9788.


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