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Predictive validity of TOEFL scores on first term’s GPA as the criterion for international exchange students

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Title: Predictive validity of TOEFL scores on first term’s GPA as the criterion for international exchange students
Author: Yan, Zheng
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program Language and Literacy Education
Copyright Date: 1995
Abstract: The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) has been used in making admission decisions for over 30 years; however, the predictive validity of the test has been uncertain. The present study was intended to investigate the predictive validity of TOEFL scores on first term's grade point average (GPA). Participants were 97 second-year university students, 46 male and 52 female, in an international academic exchange program. Most majored in Humanities and Social Sciences. The predictor variables in the study included TOEFL total scores, TOEFL section I scores, TOEFL section II scores, TOEFL section III scores, oral proficiency interview scores, writing sample scores, and gender. First term's GPA was the criterion variable. The data were analyzed by multiple regression analysis with a hierarchical procedure. The results were interpreted on the basis of Cohen's (1988) conventional definitions on the effect size of R². The main findings of the study indicate that: (a) TOEFL total scores have a medium level of predictive validity on GPA (ΔR²=.142, ϱ<.001); (b) TOEFL section I scores have a medium level of predictive validity (ΔR²=.044, ϱ<.05); (c) TOEFL section II scores have a medium level of predictive validity (ΔR²=.112, ϱ<.001); (d) TOEFL section III scores have a negligible level of predictive validity (ΔR² =.005, ϱ>.05); (e) Oral proficiency interviews scores have a negligible level of predictive validity (ΔR² =.010, ϱ>.05); (f) Writing samples scores have a small level of predictive validity (ΔR² =.047, ϱ<.05); And (g) gender has a medium level of predictive validity (ΔR² =.130, ϱ<.001). The findings of the study thus validate the use of TOEFL scores as one of the requirements for admission in the international exchange program and provide new empirical evidence for investigation of the relationship between language proficiency and academic achievement.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/3901
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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