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ERIC Number: EJ1058124
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
Beyond the GRE: Using a Composite Score to Predict the Success of Puerto Rican Students in a Biomedical PhD Program
Pacheco, Wendy I.; Noel, Richard J., Jr.; Porter, James T.; Appleyard, Caroline B.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v14 n2 Article 13 Jun 2015
The use and validity of the Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE) to predict the success of graduate school applicants is heavily debated, especially for its possible impact on the selection of underrepresented minorities into science, technology, engineering, and math fields. To better identify candidates who would succeed in our program with less reliance on the GRE and grade point average (GPA), we developed and tested a composite score (CS) that incorporates additional measurable predictors of success to evaluate incoming applicants. Uniform numerical values were assigned to GPA, GRE, research experience, advanced course work or degrees, presentations, and publications. We compared the CS of our students with their achievement of program goals and graduate school outcomes. The average CS was significantly higher in those students completing the graduate program versus dropouts (p < 0.002) and correlated with success in competing for fellowships and a shorter time to thesis defense. In contrast, these outcomes were not predicted by GPA, science GPA, or GRE. Recent implementation of an impromptu writing assessment during the interview suggests the CS can be improved further. We conclude that the CS provides a broader quantitative measure that better predicts success of students in our program and allows improved evaluation and selection of the most promising candidates.
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Puerto Rico
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Graduate Record Examinations
Grant or Contract Numbers: MBRS-RISE 1R25 GM 0820406