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Personal Growth

Tests Are Bad Predictors of Performance

We live in a society obsessed with performance. Think of exams like the S.A.T. and the G.R.E. Such high-stakes tests, however, are often spectacularly bad at predicting performance in the real world.

Standardized tests are poor predictors of future behavior. “Though the S.A.T. does a decent job of predicting the grades of college freshmen—the test accounts for about 12% of the individual variation in grade point average—it is much less effective at predicting levels of achievement after graduation. Professional academic tests suffer from the same flaw. A study by the University of Michigan Law School, for instance, found that L.S.A.T. scores bore virtually no relationship to career success as measured by levels of income, life satisfaction or public service.”


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