Instrument Validity: The GRE as a Gatekeeper?

About a month and a half ago The Quixotic Man posted an article criticizing the use of the GRE in admissions decisions to graduate degree programs. I left a comment there, but recent conversations with fellow faculty members at an institution where I teach, as well as one with a NYCS board member at the Graham Priest lecture on Saturday September 11th, have spurred me to develop the comments I posted on TQM’s piece more comprehensively into my own post.

I want to start by first disclosing the following: 1) I took the GRE [the general test twice, and the psychology subject test once], 2) I have been both denied admission to graduate programs (master’s level and doctoral level) and admitted to graduate programs (master’s and doctoral level), all from roughly the same ‘caliber’ of institutions, 3) I am a graduate student of quantitative methods in education and psychology, and 4) I have taught courses in measurement and assessment in these areas (u-grad/intro level). I say all of this not to add or subtract credibility from my views, but to express that, while this article is my opinion, it is an opinion based on personal, professional and academic experience. … continue reading this entry.

Standardized Testing: Key to a Dumber Tomorrow

Kaplan: Profiting off a broken educational system since 1938.

Recently, I’ve realized that if I want to have a real career, I need to go back to school.  And that means I get the delightful opportunity to take the GRE.  Oh hosanna of hosannas.  Now, there’s something I need to make really clear here, right off the bat.  I’m good at standardized tests.  Back in the day when I was getting ready for the SAT, I started out with a good score on the practice tests and wound up knocking it out of the park.  NYS Regents tests, SAT2s, the works, I score well on tests.  But that doesn’t make me smart.  And it’s no indication of my intelligence.  It’s an indication of one thing and one thing only: I know how to prepare for and take standardized tests.  And the fact that if I get a good score on one of these tests it may have any bearing on whether I get into school over someone else who may in fact be a better candidate, if only that person had my aptitude for test taking, is a travesty to our educational system. … continue reading this entry.

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