Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Primary mental abilities tests; Prediction of scholastic success;


This study was designed to assess the predictive validity of the Primary Mental Abilities Test (PMA). Subjects were administered the PMA in the fall of 1972 and again in the spring of 1973 to determine if the additional months of schooling had produced achievement gains. In this study, only the fall pre-test scores were used. Of the 385 students in thirteen Iowa school districts who participated in the original study, 26 agreed to allow the use of their Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) scores in this follow-up study. These ITBS scores were correlated with PMA scores in grades 3, 5, and 7. Several of the comparisons yielded correlations that were statistically significant. The highest correlations were found between PMA Total and ITBS Composite. The correlations increased as the grades increased with the highest correlation being found in the 7th grade. From this finding it appears that the PMA is a reasonably strong predictor of overall future school or academic achievement . • The PMA subtests Spatial Relations and Numbers appear to be accurate predictors of future mathematics achievement. The correlations ranged from r = .439 tor= .666 respectively. The PMA Numbers subtest also tends to be a strong predictor of overall future achievement as measured by the ITBS Composite in grades 3, 5, and 7. The comparison of the two factors produced correlations of r = .691 tor= .714. It appeared that the best predictor of future school or academic achievement in reading was the PMA Total. Correlations were not as consistent as with other factors however, as they ranged from r = .375 tor= .631.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Ralph Scott

Second Advisor

Sharon Arthur Moore

Third Advisor

Barry J. Wilson


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