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Data & Trends

Proof Positive: Study Underscores GMAT® Validity

Data for this report spanned eight years of validity studies involving 41,338 students from 273 schools. The GMAT exam is the only worldwide assessment for graduate business education with such extensive, global research supporting its validity.

The study, “The Validity of Graduate Management Admission Test Scores: A Summary of Studies Conducted From 1997 to 2004,” appears in the February 2008 edition of the journal Educational and Psychological Measurement (Vol. 68, No. 1, 129-138 (2008).

"The data corroborate the anecdotes we hear from business school admissions staff about the usefulness of GMAT scores,” said GMAC Psychometrician Eileen Talento-Miller, who co-authored the study with GMAC Vice President for Research and Development Lawrence Rudner. “Although the strength varies from person to person and program to program, GMAT scores are powerful predictive tools overall."

GMAC® researchers report data that show “the GMAT® exam has exceptionally high validity coefficients for most programs.” Moreover, the authors report, “GMAT® scores consistently outperform undergraduate GPA as a predictor of early academic success.”

The study found higher validity coefficients for executive MBA programs compared to either full-time or part-time programs. Quantitative scores showed lower average validity coefficients for non-U.S. programs as compared to U.S. programs. There appeared to be no measurable differences in results for public versus private institutions.

“When one considers the range of variables that can affect a student’s first-year grade average,” the authors write, “such as motivation, job considerations, family considerations, course preferences, professor preferences, teaching quality, and grading quality, the magnitude of the predictive validity coefficients for these core admission data is quite impressive.”

GMAC offers the Validity Study Service free of charge to any school that uses GMAT scores. VSS can pinpoint the usefulness of GMAT scores in your program’s specific admissions process and help you better understand their predictive value in isolation and in combination with other admissions criteria. More than 1,000 studies have been conducted since the VSS was instituted in 1977.

GMAC® recommends that programs conduct validity studies every three years or whenever a program changes.

Read the full report on The Validity of Graduate Management Admission Test Scores: A Summary of Studies Conducted From 1997 to 2004

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