Now our friends at Educational Testing Service, who brought us the SAT, the GRE, the LSAT, and the other standardized tests, aim to identify those who have the personal characteristics to succeed in graduate school. Per the Los Angeles Times:
Is there a way to evaluate a student's drive, persistence, honesty and creativity? What is needed beyond college grades, test scores and traditional recommendation letters?The Educational Testing Service says it has just the thing. The ETS, which runs the Graduate Record Examinations, will soon offer a supplemental assessment of graduate school applicants on those personal characteristics that could help students tackle advanced studies.
The new online system, called the Personal Potential Index, will ask faculty who know the students to rank them on a 1-5 scale for such attributes as communication skills, teamwork, resilience, organization and integrity. It asks 24 questions, including whether the candidate "produces novel ideas," "meets deadlines," "works well under stress" and "is worthy of trust from others."
So: is the aim of this assessment, assuming it's a good one, achievable? My recollection is that most graduate schools send evaluation forms to recommenders that ask similar questions about students. The hope (I guess) is that the ETS instrument will be more systematic or scientific. I'd be also be curious to know if anyone has ethical objections to this assessment: How would you feel about it if you were a candidate for grad school?