Phi Beta Cons

Somone Needs a Statistics Class

Assumption College just dropped its requirement that applicants submit a standardized-test score in addition to a high-school transcript. A representative of the enrollment office says in a press release:

In 2008, our enrollment management division, in conjunction with Eduventures, a research and consulting firm, analyzed four years of Assumption’s admissions data and academic records to examine standardized testing’s ability to predict academic success specifically for the students we admit. The study found that high school GPA (cumulative grade point average) is, in fact, a better predictor of academic success at Assumption. Our conclusions mirror those of the national studies.

This line of thinking would make sense if it were only possible to consider one or the other. But that’s not the case in statistics: You can combine multiple variables. When you do this with GPA and standardized tests, you tend to get a better prediction of college performance than you do with GPA by itself. Significantly better, in fact.

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