Psychometric Properties of the Highest and the Super Composite Scores

  • Dongmei LiEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics book series (PROMS, volume 265)


For students who took college admissions tests multiple times, institutions may have different policies of utilizing the multiple sets of test scores for decision making. For example, some may use the most recent, and others may use the average, the highest, or even the super composite scores by combining the highest subject test scores from each administration. Previous research on these different score use policies mainly focused on their predictive validity with little discussion about their psychometric properties. Through both theoretical and empirical investigations, this study showed how the bias, the standard error of measurement, and the reliability of scores for these different policies compare with each other and how these properties change for each score type as the number of test events increased.


Super composite Reliability Standard error of measurement Sample maxima 


  1. ACT (2014). The ACT® Technical Manual. Iowa City, IA: ACT, Author.Google Scholar
  2. ACT (2018). The ACT® Test User Handbook for Educators. Iowa City, IA: Author.Google Scholar
  3. Boldt, R. F. (1977). Evaluation of three methods for treating repeaters’ scores. Princeton, NJ: Law School Admission Council.Google Scholar
  4. Boldt, R. F., Centra, J. A., & Courtney, R. G. (1986). The validity of various methods of treating multiple SAT® scores. New York, NY: The College Board.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen, C., & Tyler, C. (1999). Accurate approximation to the extreme order statistics of Gaussian samples. Communications in Statistics—Simulation and Computation, 28(1), 177–188.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Linn, R. L. (1977). On the treatment of multiple scores for law school admission test repeaters. Princeton, NJ: Law School Admission Council.Google Scholar
  7. Lord, F. M., & Novick, M. R. (1968). Statistical theories of mental test scores. Reading MA: Addison-Welsley Publishing Company.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  8. Mattern, K., Radunzel, J., Bertling, M., & Ho, A. (2018). How should colleges treat multiple admissions test scores? Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 37(3), 11–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Patterson, B., Mattern, K., & Swerdzewski, P. (2012). Are the best scores the best scores for predicting college success? Journal of College Admission, 217, 34–45.Google Scholar
  10. Roszkowski, M., & Spreat, S. (2016). Retaking the SAT may boost scores but this doesn’t hurt validity. Journal of the National College Testing Association, 2(1), 1–16.Google Scholar
  11. Spearman, C. (1904). The proof and measurement of association between two things. The American Journal of Psychology, 15(1), 72–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ACT, Inc.Iowa CityUSA

Personalised recommendations