An evaluation of a battery of standardized tests as a means of predicting success in a college of pharmacy



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The purpose of this study was (1) to determine how accurately academic success of pharmac students at the University of Houston can be predicted from a knowledge of their scores on a battery of standardize tests, and (2) to provide local norms on each of the tests in the battery for purproses of evaluation and guidance. A sample of one hundred pharmacy students was selected to represent, as accurately as possible, the total population of pharmacy students. The battery of standardized tests considered in this study included: (1) American Council on Education Psychological Examination, 1947 College Edtion; (2) Otis Quick-Scoring Mental Ability Test, Gamma; (3) Iowa Placement Examinations-Chemistry Aptitude, Form M; (4) Cooperative General Achievement Test II: A Test of General Proficiency in the Field of Natural Sciences; (5) General Clerical Test of the Psychological Corporation; (6) Kuder Preferences Record, Form CM; and (7) the Adjustment Inventory, Student Form. A dichotomous criterion, "successful-unsuccessful," was established by the investigator. Any student who had been suspended from the College of Pharmacy or who had been placed on scholastic probation or scholastic supervision was considered to be unsuccessful. Any student who had completed more than one year of the training program without such scholastic difficulties was considered to be successful. Biserial coefficients of correlation between this criterion and each of the tests in the battery were computed. Intercorrelations between each of the tests and sub-tests were computed by the Pearson product-moment method. The "successful-unsuccessful" criterion was used for the multiple correlation. The Wherry-Doolittle test selection m ethod was used to determine the multiple correlation and the beta coefficients of the various tests. It was found that the maximum predictive value of the battery is obtained with only four of the scores provided by the tests in the battery. They are listed in the order of ther relative contribution: General Clerical Test, Verbal sub-test; Chemistry Aptitude Test, Part 1; Otia Quick-Scoring Test of Mental Abilit, Gamma; and American Council on Education Psychological Examination, Linguistic score. The beta coefficients, listed in the same order, were found to be .35, .47, -.49, and .35. The shrunken coefficient of multiple correlation was found to be .64. Local percentile and T-score equivalents were provided for all the tests that were found to have any predictive value. The investigator concluded that no single test in the battery, used individually, is a very good means of predicting success in the College of Pharmacy at the Universtiy of Houston. However, when optimum weights are applied to for of the scores provided by the test battery, a substantial reduction in errors of prediction is obtained.



Pharmacy--Study and teaching--United States, Prediction of scholastic success