Does grade inflation affect the reliability of grades?
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Two studies were conducted to examine the effect of grade inflation on the piling up of grades in fewer grade categories and on the reliability of grade point averages (GPAs). In all comparisons, grades were more bunched after grade inflation, which in turn, was associated with only slight, nonsignificant decreases in GPA reliability. As expected, grades were more bunched when the traditional 5-point letter scale was used than when plus and minus grades were also allowed. In the latter case as well, grade inflation seemed to have had very little effect on the reliability of GPAs. GPA reliability began to suffer, however, for graduate programs in which almost all grades were placed into just two categories, A and B.
- Bejar, I. I., and Blew, E. O. Grade inflation and the validity of the Scholastic Aptitude Test.American Educational Research Journal 1981,18 143–156.
- Bendig, A. W. Reliability and the number of rating scale categories.Journal of Applied Psychology 1954,38 38–40.
- Ebel, R. L. The relation of scale fineness to grade accuracy.Journal of Educational Measurement 1969,6 217–221.
- Educational Testing Service. Test use and validity: a response to charges in the Nader/Nairn report on ETS. Princeton: Educational Testing Service, February 1980.
- Gulliksen, H.Theory of Mental Tests. New York: Wiley, 1950.
- Juola, A. E. Grade inflation — 1979. Is it over? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, Boston, April 1980.
- Komorita, S. S., and Graham, W. K. Number of scale points and the reliability of scales.Educational and Psychological Measurement 1965,4 987–995.
- Masters, J. R. The relationship between number of response categories and reliability of Likert type questionnaires.Journal of Educational Measurement 1974,11 49–53.
- Matell, M. S., and Jacoby, J. Is there an optimal number of alternatives for Like scale items? Study I: Reliability and validity.Educational and Psychological Measurement 1971,31 657–674.
- Senders, V. L.Measurement and Statistics. New York: Oxford University Press, 1958.
- Singleton, R., and Smith, E. R. Does grade inflation decrease the reliability of grades?Journal of Educational Measurement 1978,15 37–41.
- Stanley, J. C. Reliability. In R. L. Thorndike (Ed.),Educational Measurement (2nd ed.). Washington: American Council on Education, 1971.
- Symonds, P. M. On the loss of reliability in ratings due to coarseness of the scale.Journal of Experimental Psychology 1924,7 456–461.
- Does grade inflation affect the reliability of grades?
Research in Higher Education
Volume 19, Issue 4 , pp 423-429
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links