The construction of a scale for predicting academic success as a freshman in a large state-supported university after graduation from a large senior high school in a metropolitan area



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The purpose of this study was to construct and validate a scale for predicting academic success for first year college students based on past academic performance and scores on psychological tests. The eight variables used m constructing the scale were: (1) high school four-year academic average; (2) verbal average based on English, social science, and language grades made during the last two years of high school; (3) quantitative average based on mathematics and science marks made during the last two years of high school; (4) the Verbal Score (SAT-V) on the Scholastic Aptitude Test of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB), (5) the Mathematical Score (SAT-M) on the CEEB, (6) the Otis Quick-Scoring Mental Ability Test, Gamma, Form Em, (7) the Kelley-Greene Reading Comprehension Test, Form Bm; and the (8) Greene-Stapp Language Abilities Test, Form Bm. The original sample group included 155 students who enrolled in a large state-supported university in the fall of either 1964 or 1965 after graduation from a senior high school in a large metropolitan area. For each variable a frequency distribution was set up according to a successful-unsuccessful dichotomy. Successful performance for the freshman was defined as a grade-point average of 2.2 (or above). Unsuccessful achievement was defined as an average of less than 2.2 at the end of the first two semesters of college. This cut-off point of 2.2 was on a 4.0 scale. On each frequency distribution, adjoining intervals were combined to produce percentages of success that would vary directly with the magnitude of the test scores. The percentages of success were used as the converted weighted scores on the 'Score Sheet.' For each student in the sample group, the converted weighted scores were summed to obtain his 'Total Predictive Score.' All 'Total Predictive Scores' were tabulated on a frequency distribution according to a dichotomy of successful or unsuccessful performance. Equal size intervals were established with the percentage of success being higher m each ascending interval. The validation group consisted of 78 students who, except for the fact that they entered the university from one to two years later, met the same criteria as the original group. By the use of the 'Score Sheet' each of the subject's variable scores were converted to weighted scores and summed to obtain a 'Total Predictive Score.' Scores were then located m the appropriate interval on the 'Predictive Scale.' Success was predicted for all students whose 'Total Predictive Scores' were located m intervals where 50 per cent or more of the original group were successful. For those students whose 'Total Predictive Scores' placed them in intervals where less than 50 per cent of the sample group were successful, predictions were made that the students would not be successful. The grade-point average a student actually made during his first semester at the university was checked against the predictions. The accuracies of prediction were found by computing the percentages of correct predictions. The accuracies of prediction for the class intervals ranged from 54 per cent to 100 per cent. On the scale as a whole, the accuracy of prediction was 73.08 per cent. The accuracies of prediction made for each of the eight variables ranged from 51.3 per cent to 76.9 per cent. A coefficient of correlation of .39 obtained by the product-moment method was computed between the high school verbal grade average and the SAT-V, and a coefficient correlation of .46 was obtained between the high school quantitative grade average and the SAT-M. The method employed in this study requires little statistical involvement and produces relatively accurate results. The counselor can easily relate to the student his chances out of 100 for the probability of success as a college freshman.



Prediction of scholastic success., Educational tests and measurements.