Science Magazine Highlights Two Harcourt Tests as Predictors of Graduate Student Success

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Prestigious magazine features study showing a high level of correlation between MAT and PCAT scores and graduate student success.

Harcourt Assessment's Miller Analogies Test (MAT) and Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) were among those featured in a study included in a recent issue of Science magazine. The study, conducted by Nathan R. Kuncel of the University of Minnesota and Sarah A. Hezlett of Personnel Decisions Research Institutes, outlines correlations between standardized test scores and graduate student success. The MAT and PCAT are widely used as graduate program admission requirements at universities across the country.

"This study reaffirms the value these tests provide to the admissions process," said Harcourt Assessment Publisher Aurelio Prifitera, Ph.D. "The PCAT and MAT provide valuable data to graduate admissions faculty in determining how well a student will fit within their programs and also act as a clear and valid predictor of a student's future success at their school."

The study correlated various measures of student success with test scores, including: first-year grade point average (GPA), graduate GPA, degree attainment, qualifying or comprehensive examination scores, research productivity, research citation counts, licensing examination performance and faculty evaluations of students. Results of the study indicated that standardized tests are not only useful in predicting a student's success in graduate school, but are an even more reliable predictor than prior college academic records.

For more than 50 years, the MAT has proven to be a reliable and valid test for assessing candidates for graduate school. Accepted by more than 2,300 graduate programs, the MAT is a high-level mental ability test requiring the solution of problems stated as analogies. Research by psychologists on human intelligence and reasoning has found performance on analogies to represent one of the best measures of verbal comprehension and analytical thinking. Through analogies with content from various academic subjects, MAT scores help graduate schools identify candidates whose knowledge and abilities go beyond mere memorizing and repeating information.

Used by more than 70 percent of pharmacy colleges for candidate admission and endorsed by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the PCAT is the official preferred admissions test for entrance to pharmacy college. Each year, the PCAT is administered to more than 31,000 students, measuring general academic ability and scientific knowledge necessary for the commencement of pharmaceutical education.

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About Harcourt Assessment, Inc.

Based in San Antonio, Harcourt Assessment, Inc. is a leading provider of high-quality assessment instruments and testing programs published under two brand names -- Harcourt Assessment and PsychCorp™. For more than 85 years, Harcourt Assessment has been providing insight about children and adults; informing instruction, curricula, and clinical practice; collaborating with educators and clinical professionals; assisting human resources, admissions and credential professionals; and creating assessment innovations, in order to provide the most effective assessment solutions for the success of all individuals.

The company is a unit of Harcourt Education, a global education provider serving students and teachers in PreK through grade 12, adult learners, and readers of all ages. Harcourt Education is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc. (, a world-leading publisher and information provider. It is owned equally by Reed Elsevier PLC (NYSE: RUK) and Reed Elsevier NV (NYSE: ENL).


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Russell Schweiss
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