Wednesday, July 17, 2013
AP Exams and Personality Traits Help Predict Long-Term Success in College
Long-term success in college may be better predicted with Advanced Placement (AP) exams and personality traits in combination with standard admission practices, according to new research from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Rice University.
The study showed that prediction of student graduation may be significantly improved by including in the college admission process consideration of AP exam performance and a small set of personality traits, along with traditional indicators of student abilities and high school grades.
Phillip Ackerman, a professor of psychology at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the study's lead author, said that they also hope university admissions officers consider taking into account what applicants "know," in addition to their grades and standardized test scores.
"Given that over half of the AP exams are completed prior to the students' senior year of high school, their actual exam scores could be part of the formal selection process and assist in identifying students most likely to graduate from college/university," Ackerman said.
The study tracked individual trait measures (such as personality, self-concept and motivation) of 589 undergraduate students at the Georgia Institute of Technology from 2000 to 2008. The selected students were enrolled in Psychology 1000, a one-credit elective course for freshmen undergraduate students. Questionnaires assessing these trait measures were distributed to approximately 1,100 of the 1,196 students enrolled in the course in fall 2000, and 589 students completed the survey.
The researchers hope their research will help students, counselors and other stakeholders better match high school elective options to student interests and personal characteristics. They also hope that university admissions officers consider taking into account what applicants "know" (for example, what they learned in their high school elective classes), in addition to their grades and standardized test scores.