ETS research scientists have been collaborating with Yale SOM on the online assessment tool over the last five years.

Laurel Grodman, Yale SOM’s Managing Director of Admissions, said:

We were particularly interested in going beyond what the GRE and GMAT tests measured. We wanted more confidence to assess applicants who don’t perform as well on traditional measures while also looking at those who perform very well on the tests and wind up underperforming in school.

This year about 1,000 Yale SOM applicants are taking a behavioral assessment. Yale is the first and only school to explore this tool for candidate evaluation.

The results have been a success so far, with Assistant Dean of Admissions Bruce DelMonico saying that the assessment has produced value in terms of determining who will perform effectively.

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Patrick Kyllonen, leader of research on this assessment tool, says this behavioral assessment “could be a complement” to the GRE test because it measures the interpersonal and intrapersonal attributes the GRE test is not designed to capture.

Forced-choice design

The test features a forced-choice design which presents applicants with two statements and requests they choose the one that is most attractive to them. An example would be selecting between, “I work well with other people” and “I work hard,” according to Kyllonen. Test takers have approximately 20 to 25 minutes to select 120 preferences so there’s not a lot of time to make a decision.

There is no need for applicants to prepare for the test and they don’t require specialized knowledge or background to complete it.

Focus on diversity

For Yale, the appeal of this assessment was largely the idea that it could help in addressing diversity and inclusiveness concerns. That was definitely in the forefront of Yale’s thinking, DelMonico said, adding that it is still too early in the process to determine whether the assessment would be successful.

The ultimate goal is to connect what is learned in the assessment to the student experience inside the classroom at Yale. That would be hugely beneficial to everyone involved here, said DelMonico.

Source: ETS