Long-term predictive validity of the ACT at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Olstad, Joan E.
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The study attempted to determine the validity of students' ACT scores, other selected ACT variables, high school rank in class, and overall high school grade point average (GPA) as predictors of freshman and senior GPA at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Subjects for this investigation consisted of 531 UW-L students, who were matriculating seniors between fall 1974 and summer 1979. Data for the study included students' ACT subtest and composite standard scores, high school rank in class, certainty of choice of college major, certainty of first occupational choice, estimated highest level of educational attainment, estimated freshman GPA, and overall high school average as independent variables, freshman and senior GPA as dependent variables. Only students with complete sets of data were included in the study. Pearson product-moment correlations, multiple correlations, and regression equations were prepared for freshmen and seniors in portraying the validity of the ACT in predicting GPA. All predictor variables except certainty of choice of college major, certainty of first occupational choice, and estimated highest level of educational attainment correlated positively with both freshman and senior GPA at the .01 level of significance. Estimated highest level of educational attainment was positively associated with freshman GPA at the .05 level of significance. Results of stepwise multiple regression analyses showed significant overall multiple correlations between the predictor variables and college GPA. High school grade point average was the best single predictor of success for both freshmen and seniors (R=.634), accounting for 40.3% of GPA variance. To cross-validate the findings, the regression weights developed on the freshman and senior samples were applied to the predictor data of 25% of each sample. The correlations between actual and expected freshman and senior GPAs were .786 and .674, respectively. Explanations for the findings are discussed, and the implications of this study are presented.
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse -- Admission
American College Testing Program