THE UNVALIDATED GRADUATE SCHOOL POTENTIAL TEST
Developed by Patricia Keith-Spiegel
This exercise is developed to assist you in exploring whether graduate school is for you. Although this 'test' has not undergone any validation evaluations (i.e., checking to see if the answers one gives are indeed reliable predictors of graduate school success or failure) the items are based on knowledge of the graduate school experience and have 'face validity.' The items are so transparent that anyone could 'fake' a 'successful' profile. However, unless you answer each question in a completely honest fashion, the results will be of no use whatsoever. Remember, no one will see the results except you, so you aren't trying to perform for or impress anyone!
Answer each question according to how it applies to you using the following scale:
Strongly Disagree(1) Disagree(2) Slightly Disagree(3) Slightly Agree(4) Agree(5) Strongly Agree(6)
1. Living on a strict budget for 4 to 7 years while studying most of the time does not bother me at all.
2. I enjoy writing term papers.
3. I hate giving verbal presentations in front of class.
4. I enjoy reading books about psychology even if they are not assigned reading. .
5. I put off studying for a test as long as possible.
6. On many occasions I have given up desirable social opportunities to study instead.
7 . I expect to earn a very good salary (i.e., $50,000 per year or more) soon after I get my graduate degree.
8 I hate to study.
9. I have trouble concentrating on my studies for hours at a time.
10. I read over recent issues of professional journals on a fairly regular basis.
11 I dislike spending lots of time in the library.
12. I have a tremendous drive to enter a profession in psychology.
13. There are other careers besides one in psychology that are also of great interest to me.
14. I intend to work full-time at my career for most of my lifetime.
15. I'm sick of school right now.
16. I get good grades.
17. My grades are far below the capacity I actually have.
18. I have a flair for statistics.
19 I think a PhD would be valuable to have primarily because of the social status it provides (e.g., being addressed as 'Doctor').
20. I like doing research projects.
21. I dislike being in competition with other students.
22. I can carry out academic projects without direction and assistance.
23. I will have to work at a job during the graduate school years in order to support myself.
24. I am already comfortably competent (or well on my way) with computer skills and word-processing technology.
25. I get along very well with professors.
Answer only one of the following questions:
(For those primarily interested in clinical programs)
26a. I enjoy working with people (such as a volunteer job at a hospital) and have already
had such experiences.
(For those primarily interested in experimental programs)
26b. I feel comfortable with the possibility of working long and hard hours on a professor's research program even though I may not be all that interested in the project and would not get much pay or recognition.
Add up your total score of points from the scale. For items 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, and
REVERSE your scoring (i.e., give yourself 7 points for a I answer, 6 points for a 2 answer, etc.).
KEITH-SPIEGEL'S INTERPRETATION OF TOTAL SCORE
156+ : Good graduate school material. Your goals, attitudes, accomplishments, and habits
appear to coincide with what is usually necessary to succeed in grad school.
130-155 : You can probably make it if you also make some changes before you start.
78-129 :Cause for concern. You may be bright enough, but there are other problems.
26- 77 : Carefully reconsider going to graduate school at this time. The picture of a satisfied & successful studentjust isn't there.
Keith-Spiegel adds that she gives the above breakdown because that's what tests like this usually offer, but that
your total score gives only very general guidance. She goes on to say that 'personally, I think that an analysis of
your response to each item individually is far more useful than any overall generalizations based on a total score.