Do standardized tests penalize deep-thinking, creative, or conscientious students? By Powers, D.E., & Kaufman, J.C. Elspeth Carden Priya Tharayil Therese Zettel Powers, D.E., & Kaufman, J.C. (2004). Do standardized tests penalize deep-thinking, creative, or conscientious students? Some personality correlates of Graduate Record Examinations test scores. Intelligence, 32 145-53.
GRE Criticisms- an attack on standardized testing • Standardized tests emphasize broad coverage of content at the expense of depth and creativity (Hoffman, 1962) • Superficial vs. deep thinking. • Disadvantage critical and creative thinkers
GRE Criticisms- an attack on standardized testing • Tests tap only a very narrow set of skills and abilities • do not reflect traits important for success in academia or elsewhere (Reich, 2001) • Does not measure out of the box thinking
Does the GRE screen out applicants with these characteristics? • Is the GRE dichotomous? • either good grades and high test scores OR have common sense, and make sound decisions • Does the GRE punish people for being creative?
The Purpose of the Study • Provide evidence regarding the relationship of selected personality traits to GRE scores • Intelligence related personality traits measured: conscientiousness, rationality, ingenuity, quickness, creativity, depth
Sample • 342 students volunteered • 77%women • 49% white, 21% African American, 14% Asian America, 16% Hispanic
Method • Participants took several short tests of analytical and logical reasoning skills • Participants also completed numerous self-report inventories
Results-1 • GRE score correlated strongest with creativity • Quickness was the second strongest trait correlated with GRE score • Perhaps the test privileges test takers who work rapidly
Results-2 • GRE score correlated slightly negatively but significantly with conscientiousness
Critique of Results • The authors did not define how many logical and analytical tests were taken • Unclear as to whether the amount of tests taken by participants was necessary
Critique of Results • Study sample was not representative of GRE test taking population • The study required a battery of tests, leaving only the most diligent test takers as participants
Conclusion • Creativity was significantly correlated to the GRE • Quickness was the second significantly correlated trait • Conscientiousness was significantly but slightly negatively correlated with GRE
Comments Thank you! Any Questions? Powers, D.E., & Kaufman, J.C. (2004). Do standardized tests penalize deep-thinking, creative, or conscientious students? Some personality correlates of Graduate Record Examinations test scores. Intelligence, 32 145-153.