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What Grades and Achievement Tests Measure

Lex Borghans, Bart Golsteyn (), James Heckman and John Humphries

No 10356, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Intelligence quotient (IQ), grades, and scores on achievement tests are widely used as measures of cognition, yet the correlations among them are far from perfect. This paper uses a variety of data sets to show that personality and IQ predict grades and scores on achievement tests. Personality is relatively more important in predicting grades than scores on achievement tests. IQ is relatively more important in predicting scores on achievement tests. Personality is generally more predictive than IQ of a variety of important life outcomes. Both grades and achievement tests are substantially better predictors of important life outcomes than IQ. The reason is that both capture personality traits that have independent predictive power beyond that of IQ.

Keywords: IQ; achievement tests; grades; personality traits (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J24 D03 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-ltv and nep-ure
Date: 2016-11
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (10) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), 2016, 113 (47), 13354-13359

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Working Paper: What Grades and Achievement Tests Measure (2016) Downloads
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