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Minimal Passing Scores on the Graduate School Foreign Language Tests


  • Philip R. Harvey

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      Philip R. Harvey (Ph.D., University of Connecticut) is the Program Director of the Graduate School Foreign Language Testing Program and the Graduate Record Examination National Program for Graduate School Selection. He has taught Educational Psychology at Central Connecticut State College.


ABSTRACT: The Graduate School Foreign Language Tests in French, German, Russian, and Spanish are being widely used by graduate schools to measure reading proficiency. Score data have been provided for students tested in the program and for a sample of fourth-semester students. Graduate schools have utilized these data effectively for the interpretation of the scores but have reported a persistent problem in setting minimal passing scores. A survey of participating schools provided information regarding the passing standards that have been adopted, and data for individual institutions and groups permit comparison of these standards among schools, and with the reported normative information. Data on graduate students are compared to data for fourth-semester undergraduates taking the same tests.