• Beth & Tim Manners

Grades Best Predict College Success

Sage Journals: "High school GPAs (HSGPAs) are often perceived to represent inconsistent levels of readiness for college across high schools, whereas test scores (e.g., ACT scores) are seen as comparable ... We found students with the same HSGPA or the same ACT score graduate at very different rates based on which high school they attended. Yet, the relationship of HSGPAs with college graduation is strong and consistent and larger than school effects. In contrast, the relationship of ACT scores with college graduation is weak and smaller than high school effects, and the slope of the relationship varies by high school."


"Grades are assigned based on a potentially wide-ranging array of tasks, measured over time, capturing academic knowledge, skills, behaviors, and effort and incorporating teacher judgment ... The fact that grades are based on a wide range of factors with judgment from many different teachers makes them potentially highly variable across contexts. At the same time, the fact that they are based on a large number of raters (teachers) across a wide range of relevant tasks could actually make them very reliable as indicators of academic readiness for college, where students will also be asked to do a range of tasks with different expectations assessed by many different instructors."


"There is no reason to believe a priori that tests would necessarily be more reliable than grades as predictors of college performance. Standardized tests assess students on a narrow range of skills (mostly a subset of what students learn in English and math classes) in one type of condition (a timed test), whereas colleges expect students to have broad knowledge and skills across many subjects and to show consistent effort in different types of assignments over months at a time."

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Selective Schools Value Elective Choices

University of Rochester: "Selecting only the courses that would be most impressive to a selective admissions committee would be fairly straightforward—choose the most rigorous ones offered at your sch

Academic Pandemic Dynamic: Don't Panic

We've been asked many times over the past several months: How do you think the pandemic will affect my college admissions chances? It was reasonable to anticipate that overall odds might improve becau

SAT Nixes Subject & Essay Tests

The New York Times: "The College Board, which administers the SAT college entrance examination and has seen its business battered by the coronavirus pandemic ... will drop the optional essay section f