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, 50 (4), 470-474

SAT Predicts GPA Better for High Ability Subjects: Implications for Spearman's Law of Diminishing Returns

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SAT Predicts GPA Better for High Ability Subjects: Implications for Spearman's Law of Diminishing Returns

Thomas Coyle et al. Pers Individ Dif.

Abstract

This research examined the predictive validity of the SAT (formerly, the Scholastic Aptitude Test) for high and low ability groups. SAT scores and college GPAs were obtained from the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Subjects were classified as high or low ability by g factor scores from the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. SAT correlations with GPA were higher for high than low ability subjects. SAT g loadings (i.e., SAT correlations with g) were equivalent for both groups. This is the first study to show that the predictive validity of the SAT varies for ability groups that differ in g. The results contradict a presumption, based on Spearman's Law of Diminishing Returns, that a test's predictive validity should be lower for high ability subjects. Further research is needed to identify factors that contribute to the predictive validity of the SAT for groups that differ in g.

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