An evaluation of a projective test of achievement motivation as a means of predicting academic success in college



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The purpose of this study was 1) to cross-validate McClelland's n-ach test of achievement motivation, 2) to determine whether or not n-ach scores used in conjunction with a battery of standardized tests will significantly improve the prediction of academic success of entering freshman at the University of Houston, end 3) to determine other variables correlating with the need for achievement score in order to gain some insight into the factors contributing to it. A sample of one-hundred-sixtyfour male entering freshman students at the University of Houston and one-hundred-ten female entering freshmen students was secured and their scores on the freshman guidances battery and McClelland's n-ach test were obtained. Coefficients of correlation were computed between the various tests in the freshmen guidance battery, n-ach, and the criterion (Quality Point Average for first seBester in college). Mean differences on n-ach were computed for the high and low achievers in both the male and female sample. The correlation betwen n-ach and Quality Point Average was found to be .064 for the male group and .025 for the female group. No significant mean differences on n-ach scores were found between the high end low achievers in either group. There was a slight trend for n-ach to correlate positively with certain verbal measure and to correlate negatively with occupational interest areas involving non-verbal vocations. The investigator concluded that the test of achievement motivation is unrelated to academic success as measured by the Quality Foist Average for the first semester in college. It is also unrelated to measures of scholastic aptitude, various ability measures, and vocational interest areas. The n-ach test does not appear to be sensitive to the varying degrees of achievement motivation manifested by such widely separated groups as high and low achievers in college. The investigator recommended further research on the problem of predicting academic success with a projective test of achievement motivation because of limitations in the study. The development of a more reliable measure was also recommended before further validation investigations are attempted.



Achievement motivation--Testing, Prediction of scholastic success