Much research has been done on the correlations between SAT and ACT scores and student performance in college. However, research into independent school practices reveals little has been done at this level. The test many independent schools use is the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam). To date, no local or national research has been done on the correlation of ISEE scores and student performance. The purpose of this study was to analyze the school's historical entrance test scores and conduct research to determine how well they correlate with students' success at the school, specifically with freshmen end of year weighted GPA. Data were gathered for all current, graduated, withdrawn, and expelled students from 2005-2012. For each student, the data included the ISEE scores in verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, reading comprehension, and mathematics achievement. Also gathered was each student's 9th grade weighted cumulative GPA. Seven extracts were performed to identify students who were new freshmen to the high school beginning with 2005. The study concluded that the test scores are not the best predictor of student success, but they are a factor to be taken into consideration. Regression analysis revealed a weak positive relationship among the four ISEE sub scores and end of year freshman weighted GPA. Combined, the four showed that 30% of the variability of GPA can be attributed to the testing results. Not easily measured, admission decisions are a delicate balance of qualitative and quantitative measures. The school will use the research as a guideline for admission decisions and use caution in proceeding in the overuse of test scores as a large mitigating factor. It is known that there is a relationship but decision-makers must take a holistic approach.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Independent School Entrance Examination; Academic achievement; Educational tests and measurements; Private schools -- Admission

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Stephens, Ronald;