Valuing Diversity *and* the GRE – Psychology Today

Should psychology departments require the GRE test for admission? What can we do to get the best applicants, promote diversity, and comply with the law?

The GRE Test

The GRE tests applicants’ math and verbal abilities, and many professors think it is a valid measure of academic ability and will predict how successful graduate students will be.

Critics think the test has little predictive value past how someone will do in their first-year classes and represents a substantial barrier to many minority groups because they don’t have the same privileged access to test preparation, are less likely to be able to manage the tangible barriers to taking the test (such as time off from work, the test fees; being a first-generation college student myself, I can relate to these challenges), and that the tests do not accurately predict minority people’s potential for success
. This is obviously a very important question when it comes to the critical goal of promoting diversity in our field.

Here is interesting data from ETS, the maker of the GRE on group averages

Equal Protection and Graduate Admissions

Can constitutional law provide any guidance? Working at a state university, there are legal issues to consider. State universities cannot make up any rules they want, but they have to act in accordance with relevant Constitutional principles. And here I think the picture gets very complicated. Four Supreme Court cases, on equal protection and affirmative action, leap to mind when I try to reason through this complex