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ERIC Number: ED521075
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Improving College Performance and Retention the Easy Way: Unpacking the ACT Exam. NBER Working Paper No. 17119
Bettinger, Eric P.; Evans, Brent J.; Pope, Devin G.
National Bureau of Economic Research
Colleges rely on the ACT exam in their admission decisions to increase their ability to differentiate between students likely to succeed and those that have a high risk of under-performing and dropping out. We show that two of the four sub tests of the ACT, English and Mathematics, are highly predictive of positive college outcomes while the other two subtests, Science and Reading, provide little or no additional predictive power. This result is robust across various samples, specifications, and outcome measures. We demonstrate that focusing solely on the English and Mathematics test scores greatly enhances the predictive validity of the ACT exam.
National Bureau of Economic Research. 1050 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138-5398. Tel: 617-588-0343; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Bureau of Economic Research
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: ACT Assessment