ERIC Number: ED562677
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
Examining the Linearity of the PSAT/NMSQT®-FYGPA Relationship. Research Report 2011-7
Marini, Jessica P.; Mattern, Krista D.; Shaw, Emily J.
There is a common misperception that test scores do not predict above a minimum threshold (Sackett, Borneman, & Connelly, 2008). That is, test scores may be useful for identifying students with very low levels of ability; however, higher scores are considered unrelated to higher performance for those above a certain threshold. This study aims to examine whether this is true for the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which is used for that very purpose -- to differentiate among very high performing students. The linearity of the relationship between PSAT/NMSQT scores and first-year college GPA (FYGPA) was explored in this paper, using a regression approach. This relationship was explored over the entire range of the PSAT/NMSQT score scale, known as the Selection Index, ranging from 60 to 240 as well as the upper end of the score scale (= 200), where initial screening decisions are made for scholarship programs conducted by National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). For the full PSAT/NMSQT scale, the addition of a quadratic term improved model fit; however, the effect size was small as indexed by the change in the squared multiple correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.001. That is, including PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index2 in the model accounted for an additional 0.1% of variance in FYGPA. As for the subset of students who had a PSAT/NMSQT score of 200 or higher, the results indicated a strong linear relationship, which suggests that even among very high-scoring students, the PSAT/NMSQT score scale differentiates between students in terms of academic success measured by grades earned in the first year of college. In sum, the results of this study support the use of the PSAT/NMSQT as a screening tool for selecting Merit Scholarship winners.
Descriptors: College Entrance Examinations, Scores, Grade Point Average, High Achievement, Regression (Statistics), Goodness of Fit, Effect Size, Correlation, Scaling, College Freshmen, Screening Tests, High School Students
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: College Board
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test; Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test