Shocker: Grades are a better predictor of how a student will perform in college.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by MakiSupaStar, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
  2. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    In my case, high school grades would have kept me OUT of college. When I was in high school (and even Junior High), I was a horrible student. In fact, the term "student" was a misnomer for me. I didn't study. The only reason I ever carried a book home was to sit on to keep my *** dry if it was raining or snowing. Got barely passing grades.

    After graduation, I went into the military for four years. After that, I was ready to go to college. Fortunately for me, because I was a veteran, they had to admit me despite my H.S. grades. I graduated college with High Honors, having earned all A's & B's the whole way through. It was attitude that made the difference. I WANTED to be there. And I wanted to be there to learn. (I also studied hard.) But I'd have never been admitted anywhere had it been based strictly on my H.S. grades.
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I was an awful high school student. Didn't find out I was graduating until the day of.

    I improved a little in undergrad. I found out I was graduating the day before we walked.

    In graduate school, I currently have a 3.91 GPA with three classes remaining.

    It's so much easier when everything is a topic you care about.
  4. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Where are you going to graduate school?
  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Centenary College in New Jersey. It's a part time MBA program since there's no way I can justify two years off of work to go back full-time.
  6. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long Supporting Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    I had a very I'll-do-what-I-want attitude in elementary and middle school. I was doing extremely well in math and similar subjects - doing regional competitions and such - but had barely passing grades in history, geography and other subjects I couldn't care less about, including anything language related. My success in competitions gave me free pass to a talented kids high school, but had I taken the standardized tests I would have flunked completely.

    I didn't learn my lesson by then, and I was still doing well at the courses I cared about, and begged for passing grades for all others. Needless to say, this didn't work anymore because the people around me were just as good as I was or better at anything I did, but much better at the things I didn't care about. It took me a lot of effort and a lot of personal development to start investing myself in the things I didn't like. About half way through I started putting effort into things I did not enjoy, eventually stopped begging for grades and finally graduated with just above average GPA, and superb success in the things I always cared about. A couple of last year successes at some regional competitions gave me free pass and a scholarship to my 1st choice college. But again, were it necessary for me to take the national college entry test, I wouldn't have gotten very far.

    Now doing a PhD in 'merica and couldn't be happier. No one is forcing me to learn history or geography.

    My attitude about these tests is that standardized tests in no way measure talent or education, but instead force people to be able to suck it up and push through. They require devotion and huge amounts of effort to be placed in something no sane person would enjoy. That is a positive character trait when it comes to success in academia and real life as well. I lacked that trait and consider myself lucky to have avoided the tests.

    This study implies that the ability to sit down and work under the extreme pressure of SAT does not increase the chance of academic success. I agree that it is possible to do well without good SAT scores, and that it is possible to not do well with good scores. I also agree that long-term evaluations (grades) give a better estimate than one huge, focused test. But that the correlation is within the margin of error? The ability to focus, to storm through, to work hard even when you don't want to but when you need to, all irrelevant?
  7. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I in no way am trying to come off as jerk with what I am about to say.

    Many graduate programs (and especially "adult education" programs if Centenary is one) have highly inflated grades IMO.

    I'll be honest, my wife is no Einstein, and got a 2.0 in college but went to a 3.8 in her own masters program. I saw her working on papers - she did everything at the last minute, basically never studied and got almost straight A's. As I am in the legal field, I have a good nose for detail, and she had NONE of it, believe me. I was shocked when she returned many of her grades. I have seen amazing grades posted by others on FB in similar situations.

    I'm not saying you didn't or don't work hard. All I'm saying is that it is my own opinion, that it seems much, much easier to get good grades these days from educational institutions overall.
  8. Unprofessional


    Mar 5, 2012
    Personally, I don't think you can have a valid indicator equation without an alcohol variable. But, I regress.
  9. wild4oldcars


    Jan 22, 2012
    Garner, NC
    I'm a senior in high school. I have a 2080 combined SAT, and a 3.8 gpa, 4.8 weighted. To most colleges, that would qualify me as a desirable student. I've been accepted into NC State for Electrical engineering, and University of NC at Chapel Hill for Physics. However, I would say I am a pretty terrible student. I am a procrastinator, I do not study and rarely do homework. Currently I have a B in AP Calculus, AP Physics, and AP Music Theory, plus a high A in English. Its sad, really, how good at being lazy I am. My friends say I should be proud, but I know someday it'll all catch up to me...

    To the OP, sometimes neither are a good indicator of a student's ability to do work.

  10. You are not going to survive engineering without a good work ethic.

    There are no standardized entrance tests in Canada, no essays ect. They go by your marks and that is it. You are also assigned a number, so they don't even know your name. No bias whatsoever.

  11. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I have a somewhat similar story. I was an average student in high school, but I didn't go to college until four years after. While I would have graduated, perhaps even with a respectable GPA, I don't think I would have done nearly as well by going after HS as I did by going a few years after.

    I don't do well on standardized tests. Luckily, my university didn't require SAT scores after being out of HS for three or more years. My GRE scores were not great, but I was still accepted into a respectable PhD program, because they saw that I succeeded in my undergraduate and master's programs and I was already a good researcher.

    I'm not an expert on these types of tests, but to me, they've always been better at testing your ability to either know a bunch of archaic words or knowing a bunch of backdoor ways to solve math problems than actually measuring your thinking ability. Psychometricians would say that they lack construct validity. I've always said that at least the LSAT has face validity. It measures your ability to reason abstractly about an argument or a set of facts, which is pretty central to an attorney's career. I fail to see how knowing some backdoor way to find the half of the area of a cube is going to be predictive of how well someone's going to do in a journalism program.
  12. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
  13. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I agree 100% with what you are saying. I started off the program gung-ho giving my best effort on every paper, every assignment that I did... until I realized the people next to me were turning in assignments that I was appalled by the quality of, and in turn allowed the quality of my own assignments to slip, but while maintaining my A.

    I'm finally having a professor that I'm challenged by... instead of the average person in the class having an A, he says the average grade he gives out is a B+... I'm actually trying again.

    Yes, the 4.0 means less in a part time graduate program than undergrad, but I'm also putting more effort into it because I care. That's why I'm proud of my 3.91, not that it's hard to do.

    I already have my job, they're subsidizing the cost of my MBA. I'm effectively checking a box. So yes, I could be working harder, but I wouldn't be getting anything more out of it career-wise.

    Several fellow students have commented on this... we sometimes feel like we're paying for A's... and that makes sense because they don't want to flunk out paying students... it is a for-profit institution after all.
  14. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    While I don't disagree, I find this line interesting:

    To me this is fairly faulty methodology. To judge the results only of students who tested below or at their institutions average scores is to eliminate the one control group that could potentially destroy the hypothesis.

    As far as college success there are plenty of factors, and certainly performance on standardized testing is not the only factor. But the reality WAY too many kids are admitted into American colleges these days in need of remedial classes.

    The other variable that is not discussed in this was the majors chosen. One of the saddest facts of the current American university is how ill prepared for any thing even close to employable skills many graduates are. This is especially true outside of the Sciences, Medicine, and Mathematics.
  15. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Some of Hiss's methodology is poorly explained by the article's author (such poor explanation would never cut it in a peer-reviewed publication, but that's what sometimes happens when those not sophisticated in research try to report research findings), but if I'm reading it correctly, I don't think it's an issue if there is a correlation between standardized test scores and grades (which I don't know if there is, but could very well be likely).