Validity of the SAT for Predicting First-Year Grades: 2010 SAT Validity Sample

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Brian F. Patterson
Krista D. Mattern
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The continued accumulation of validity evidence for the core uses of educational assessments is critical to ensure that proper inferences will be made for those core purposes. To that end, the College Board has continued to follow previous cohorts of college students and this report provides updated validity evidence for using the SAT to predict first-year college grade point average (FYGPA) for the 2010 cohort.

Colleges and universities (henceforth, “institutions”) provided data on the cohort of first-time, first-year students enrolling in the fall of 2010. The College Board combined those college outcomes data with official SAT scores and SAT Questionnaire response data. In particular, 160 institutions provided data on 287,881 students with 211,403 having complete data on high school grade point average (HSGPA), SAT critical reading (SAT-CR), mathematics (SAT-M), and writing (SAT-W), and FYGPA. As has been shown in previous work (Kobrin, Patterson, Shaw, Mattern, & Barbuti, 2008; Patterson, Mattern, & Kobrin, 2009; Patterson & Mattern, 2011; Patterson & Mattern, 2012), the correlation of SAT section scores and HSGPA with FYGPA was strong (r = .63). When compared with the correlation of HSGPA alone with FYGPA (r = .54), the addition of the SAT section scores to HSGPA represented a substantial increase (Δr = .09) in the correlation with FYGPA. The patterns of differential validity by institutional and student characteristics and differential prediction by student characteristics also follow the same general patterns, as has been shown in previous work (Mattern, Patterson, Shaw, Kobrin, & Barbuti, 2008; Patterson, et al., 2009; Patterson & Mattern, 2011; Patterson & Mattern, 2012).

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