Theory-based university admissions testing for a new millennium

Robert J. Sternberg, Damian Birney, Brent Bridgeman, Anna Cianciolo, Wayne Camara, Michael Drebot, Sarah Duman, Richard Duran, Howard Everson, Ann Ewing, Edward Friedman, Elena L. Grigorenko, Diane Halpern, P. J. Henry, Charles Huffman, Linda Jarvin, Smaragda Kazi, Donna Macomber, Laura Maitland, Jack McArdleCarol Rashotte, Jerry Rudmann, Amy Schmidt, Karen Schmidt, Brent Slife, Mary Spilis, Steven Stemler, Carlos Torre, Richard Wagner, Jennifer Hedlund, Jeanne Wilt, Kristina Nebel, Kevin Plamondon, Andrea Sacerdote, Eric Goodrich, Weihua Niu, Melissa Droller, Evonne Plantinga, Mengdan Chu, Kathryn Rado, Julie Goodrich, Lisa Morgan, Donna Vann, Robert Silaghi, Joseph White, Susan Ashford

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article describes two projects based on Robert J. Sternberg's theory of successful intelligence and designed to provide theory-based testing for university admissions. The first, Rainbow Project, provided a supplementary test of analytical, practical, and creative skills to augment the SAT in predicting college performance. The Rainbow Project measures enhanced predictive validity for college grade point average (GPA) relative to high school GPA and the SAT (an acronym that originally stood for Scholastic Aptitude Test but that now stands for nothing in particular) and decreased ethnic-group disparities in test scores. The second, the University of Michigan Business School Project, provided supplementary tests of practical skills to augment the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) in predicting business school performance. Scores on two types of measures of practical skills predicted performance inside and outside the classroom and explained variance in performance beyond GMAT scores and undergraduate GPA. The measures tended to exhibit less disparity across gender and racial or ethnic groups than did the GMAT. The findings from the two projects demonstrate the potential value of including a broader range of abilities in admissions testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-198
Number of pages14
JournalEducational Psychologist
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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