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Report 90-16: Standardized Tests Used for Higher Education Admission and Placement in California During 1989: The First in a Series of Biennial Reports Published in Accordance with Senate Bill 1416 (Chapter 446, Statutes of 1989)

Published by The California Postsecondary Education Commission

April 1990

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This is the fifth annual Commission report on standardized testing in California. Part One describes six tests related to undergraduate admission, placement, and financial assistance -- the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) , the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), College Board Achievement Tests, the American College Test (ACT) , Advanced Placement Examinations, and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) .

Part Two describes five tents required by graduate programs and professional schools for admission for admission -- the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), and the California Basic Education Skills Test (CREST).

For each of those tests, the report summarizes what the test is designed to measure, how it is formatted, and how it is used in California. As required by statute, the report summarizes national and California participation and performance date by sex and major ethnic group for the last five years, to the extent this information is provided by the test sponsors. In addition to mean (average) test preformation by group, the report review available data on the test's predictive validity and standard error of measurement that have implications for appropriate test use.

Part Three of the report reviews the relations between standardized testing and college admission in California and the role testing companies have or can have in expanding access for Hispanic, Black, and American Indian students. The report concludes by identifying three areas in which further efforts are needed in order for the Commission to respond more completely to the authorizing stature: (1) the validity of admission including standardized admission tests, at the State's public universities; (2) the factors that limit standardized admission test participation among certain student subgroups; and (3) alternative strategies to involve testing companies in cooperative actions to expand access to college.

The Commission adopted this report at its meeting on April 30, 1990, on the recommendation of its Policy Evaluation Committee.

Related Topics: College-going and Preparation for Higher Education

Further information may be obtained from the Commission's Research Staff
(916) 445-1000 or via e-mail at

A copy of any publication may be requested from the Commission's Publications Unit
(916) 445-1000 or via e-mail at

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