Background and Technical Information for the GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools


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1 Background and Technical Information for the GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools Background Business schools around the world accept Graduate Record Examinations (GRE ) General Test scores for admission to MBA, specialized master s and doctoral programs. The purpose of the Comparison Tool is to provide one method for institutions that also accept Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT ) scores to appropriately consider applicants submitting GRE scores. The GRE General Test was developed and has been administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) since its inception in The GRE revised General Test was introduced in August 011. The GMAT exam was developed by ETS for the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC ) in 1954 and was administered by ETS until 005. As part of our ongoing commitment to provide schools with the tools they need to appropriately use and interpret GRE scores, ETS introduced an enhanced version of the GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools in July 013. The Difference between the July 013 GRE Comparison Tool and the Prior Version The enhanced version of the tool gives users additional functionality, such as the ability to predict scores for the GMAT Verbal and Quantitative sections from GRE scores, in addition to predicting the GMAT Total Score. Also, the Comparison Tool's prediction model has been updated for the current score scales based on empirical data collected from test takers who took both the GRE revised General Test and the GMAT exam. The previous version of the Comparison Tool, released shortly after the launch of the GRE revised General Test, used a concordance table to bridge scores from the current score scales to the prior score scales. This concordance provided the ability to predict GMAT Total scores based on the current score scales, using the same empirical data and model that were used to predict GMAT Total scores from the prior GRE score scales. Use of the concordance table provided business programs with uninterrupted use of the comparison tool in the admissions process while we gathered the empirical data on testtaker performance of individuals who took both the GRE revised General Test and GMAT Exam. With the introduction of the updated version of the tool in July 013, the ability to predict GMAT Exam scores has improved, with a higher correlation between the GRE and GMAT exams and smaller confidence intervals. With the more recent testtaker data in the updated tool, you are likely to see differences in the predicted GMAT scores compared to those obtained with the previous tool. This greater precision of the new tool results, in part, from the GRE revised General Test being better able to predict the top ranges of the GMAT scale and differentiate the top quantitative performance than was possible with the prior GRE General Test. It is also likely that you will see bigger differences in the middle region of the scale now that the data are based directly on individuals who took the GRE revised General Test.
2 Now may be a good time to review your GRE score requirements to ensure they reflect the performance you expect for students who will be successful in your program. As the number of applicants presenting GRE scores to your program continues to rise, we believe this enhanced tool will provide added value. The Role of a Prediction Model The GMAT exam and the GRE General Test have a high correlation with each other, so it is reasonable to use the actual scores on one measure to predict the likely score range on the other for a given applicant. However, for several reasons, it was not appropriate to produce concordance tables stating that a total score on one measure is directly equivalent to a total score on the other, and vice versa. One reason is that the programs governing the tests make different recommendations for score use. The GRE program recommends keeping the GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores separate when making admissions decisions and, therefore, does not provide a total score. On the contrary, a total score, which is based on both Verbal and Quantitative section results, is provided for the GMAT exam. Additionally, the GMAT Total score is commonly used for admissions decisions. A second reason is that while the exams use many similar question types and cover similar domains, each uses a unique framework, which specifies the subdomains covered in the test content, as well as the difficulty level and proportion of question types used on the test. Finally, the populations from which the tests have been normed are also different. Therefore, GRE percentiles should not be compared to GMAT percentiles. So while the scores from one test are not perfectly interchangeable with the other, a prediction model permits a GMAT Total score to be predicted from separate GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores. Therefore, they can be compared using the prediction procedures found in the GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools. Calculating Predicted GMAT Total Scores The predicted GMAT scores were calculated using statistical analyses of the actual test scores for those who took both the GRE General Test and the GMAT exam under actual operational, highstakes conditions. For the current scale, this data comes from 47 test takers who took the GRE revised General Test between its launch in August 011 and December 01. For the prior scale, this data comes from 893 test takers who took the GRE General Test between January 006 and June 009. For both studies, the corresponding GMAT exam date had to be within one year of the GRE test date. Using the statistical procedure of multiple linear regression, the participants GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores were used to predict their GMAT Total scores. Then, the resulting prediction equation, which essentially summarizes the empirical relationship of the GRE and GMAT scores into a simple algebraic equation, was used to create predicted GMAT Total scores for all combinations of GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores. The regression analysis indicates that GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores are significantly able to predict GMAT Total scores. Not surprisingly, given the similar nature of the two tests, the correlation between the GRE scores and the GMAT score is quite high. For the current GRE revised General Test ( scale) the correlation was.9, for the prior GRE General test ( scale) the correlation was.86. Correlations of about.85 are often reported when predicting how well a test taker will do if they repeat a test. Page of 5
3 The data used in the analyses came from actual GRE and GMAT score reports provided by GRE examinees who took both exams under standard operational conditions. Since neither the GRE nor GMAT scores were obtained via an experimental setting, many of the issues that may impact comparisons of test results were minimized, such as unreliable scores due to selfreporting or errors due to lack of effort, motivation or unfamiliarity with the exams. Calculating Predicted GMAT Quantitative and Verbal scores The predicted GMAT Quantitative and Verbal scores are only available for the current scale. The empirical data is the same as used for the GMAT Total score prediction and uses linear regression to predict each score. In this instance, the GRE Verbal Reasoning score is used to predict the GMAT Verbal score and the GRE Quantitative Reasoning score is used to predict the GMAT Quantitative score. The correlation between the GRE scores and the GMAT scores are high, but not as high as seen for the GMAT Total score prediction. For Verbal Reasoning the correlation is.79 and for Quantitative Reasoning the correlation is.88. It is important to note that while the scales for GMAT Verbal and Quantitative sections are officially 0 60, scores below 6 and above 50 are uncommon. The current GRE Quantitative Reasoning exam allows for greater differentiation among top performers than the prior exam consequently, the current GRE Quantitative Reasoning scores will, at the top of the scale, predict GMAT Quantitative scores above 50 that may, in practice, not be obtainable on the GMAT exam. Standard Error and Confidence Intervals Standard error is the technical term for the lack of precision found with an individual test score. However, the term standard error can mean different things and is calculated in different ways under different situations. For test scores from a single test administration, the standard error is calculated using the internal reliability of the test (for instance Cronbach s Alpha). Both the GRE General Test and the GMAT exam have very high internal reliability (usually over.90) so the standard error tends to be low. This standard error of measurement is the most commonly reported standard error, but it is not the standard error used here. A different standard error, the standard error of the estimate, is reported when using the score of one test to predict the score on a different test. That standard error is calculated using the correlation of the scores from the two tests in place of the internal reliability. This correlation is generally lower than single test (internal) reliability because the error associated with each of the tests individually is compounded. For the GMAT Total score, the standard error reported in the Comparison Tool is calculated using the correlation between the GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores and the GMAT Total score. For each of the two sections, the reported standard error is calculated using the correlation between the GRE Verbal Reasoning score and the GMAT Verbal score, and the GRE Quantitative Reasoning score and the GMAT Quantitative score. Confidence intervals use the standard error as the starting point to create a range of values around the estimated score that indicates how confident we can be that the score estimate is accurate. The magnitude of that range is based on the size of the standard error and the level of confidence desired. The level of confidence is stated as the percent of the time the actual score would fall within the specified range, and is based on a normal curve distribution. The confidence intervals reported in the Comparison Tool represent one standard error above or below the predicted score. One standard error represents a Page 3 of 5
4 confidence interval of approximately 68 percent, which is evenly distributed as 34 percent above and 34 percent below the estimated score. Technical Information to the Statistical Procedures Predicted GMAT Total Scores from the Current GRE Score Scale ( ) The predicted GMAT Total scores were calculated from a multiple linear regression equation. GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores were used as the predictor (independent) variables and the GMAT Total score was used as the predicted (dependent) variable. The regression equation: GMAT Total score = *GRE Verbal Reasoning score *GRE Quantitative Reasoning score The correlation of the GRE Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning scores with the GMAT Total score based on the above regression equation is.916. The standard error (SE) of the predicted GMAT Total score is The formula used to calculate the SE is GMAT 1 r or (.916) The magnitude of the standard error of the estimate is driven by the correlation between the measures and is not impacted by sample size. The predicted GMAT Total scores are rounded to 10point increments reflecting the scale of the test. Scores predicted to be below 00 were changed to 00 to reflect the actual base of the scale, and scores predicted to be above 800 were changed to 800. The highest predicted GMAT Total score was 810. The highest observed GMAT Total score for the sample was 780. Predicted GMAT Verbal and Quantitative Scores for the Current GRE Score Scale ( ) The predicted GMAT Verbal and Quantitative scores were calculated from a linear regression equation. Either the GRE Verbal Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning score was used as the predictor (independent) variable, and the corresponding GMAT Verbal or Quantitative score was used as the predicted (dependent) variable. The regression equations: GMAT Verbal score = *GRE Verbal Reasoning score GMAT Quantitative score = *GRE Quantitative Reasoning score The correlation of the GRE Verbal Reasoning scores with the GMAT Verbal scores based on the above regression equation is.787. The correlation of the GRE Quantitative Reasoning scores with the GMAT Quantitative scores based on the above regression equation is.88. The standard error of the predicted GMAT Verbal score is 5.93 ( (.787) ). The standard error of the predicted GMAT Quantitative score is 5.73 ( (.88) ). Page 4 of 5
5 The predicted GMAT Verbal and Quantitative scores are rounded to 1point increments reflecting the scale of the test. The highest predicted GMAT Verbal score was 46. The highest observed GMAT Verbal score for the sample was 50. The highest predicted GMAT Quantitative score was 53. The highest observed GMAT Verbal score for the sample was 51. The sample used in the analysis includes the test scores of 47 examinees who took the GRE revised General Test between August 011 and December 01 and took the GMAT within one year of their GRE test date. Predicted GMAT Total Scores for the Prior GRE Score Scale (00 800) The predicted GMAT Total scores were calculated from a multiple linear regression equation. GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores were used as the predictor (independent) variables and the GMAT Total score was used as the predicted (dependent) variable. The regression equation: GMAT Total score = *GRE Verbal score *GRE Quantitative score The correlation of the GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores with the GMAT Total score based on the above regression equation is.860. The standard error (SE) of the predicted GMAT Total score is The formula used to calculate the SE is GMAT 1 r or (.860) The magnitude of the standard error of the estimate is driven by the correlation between the measures and is not impacted by sample size. The predicted GMAT Total scores are rounded to 10point increments reflecting the scale of the test. Scores predicted to be below 00 were changed to 00 to reflect the actual base of the scale. The highest predicted GMAT Total score was 793 the highest observed GMAT Total score for the sample was 790. The sample used in the analysis includes the test scores of 893 examinees who took both the GMAT exam and the GRE General Test between January 006 and June 009. Separate GMAT Verbal and Quantitative scores are not predicted when using prior GRE General Test scores. Copyright 013 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. ETS, the ETS logo, LISTENING. LEARNING. LEADING., GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATIONS and GRE are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service (ETS) in the United States and other countries. Graduate Management Admission Council, Graduate Management Admission Test, GMAC and GMAT are registered trademarks of the Graduate Management Admission Council which does not endorse or approve this Score Comparison Tool. 436 Page 5 of 5
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