An evaluation of the admissions testing program of the Saint Thomas Choir School, Manhattan

Susan Kraus, Pace University

Abstract

The Saint Thomas Choir School is an independent school for boys in grades 5 through 8 who sing in a church choir. After a vocal audition, a candidate is seen by a school psychologist, who administers the WISC-R, the Bender, and the House-Tree-Person drawings. The Headmaster uses these results in admissions decisions.^ This study examined how well behavior in key areas was predicted by the tests. Scores included WISC-R Full Scale, Verbal, and Performance IQ scores; Bender Developmental scores (Koppitz); Bender Emotional Indicator scores (Koppitz); Emotional Indicator scores (Koppitz) and Naglieri Draw A Person scores on the male Human Figure Drawings. Behavior was measured by final yearly grades; need for help from a learning specialist; need for psychotherapy; willingness to work; and choir ratings.^ Archival data were used, with anonymity guaranteed, on 87 students in the classes of 1982 through 1990. Straight correlations and a series of multiple regression analyses were performed to determine how well outcome variables were predicted by test results, over four years. Groups receiving and not receiving academic help and psychotherapy were also compared on key variables.^ Results indicated that academic grades for all four years were very well predicted (p $<$.001 level) by WISC-R Full Scale IQ scores. In some cases grades were also predicted at a significant level by Bender Developmental scores (Koppitz). Need for academic help was negatively correlated with WISC-R Full Scale IQ scores. Need for psychotherapy was not correlated with any data. Willingness to work was not predicted by any data, except in year 4 only by the Naglieri Draw A Person scores. Success in choir was not predicted by any data, except in year 4 only by the Naglieri Draw A Person scores and the Bender Developmental scores (Koppitz).^ The conclusions of this research were the following recommendations to the school: (1) to continue to use the WISC-R (or the recent WISC-III) as an admissions test, as it has predicted academic success very well in past years; and (2) to add more sensitive instruments for personality assessment to the current test battery in order to better predict student behavior. ^

Subject Area

Education, Tests and Measurements|Education, Music|Psychology, Developmental|Psychology, Psychometrics

Recommended Citation

Susan Kraus, "An evaluation of the admissions testing program of the Saint Thomas Choir School, Manhattan" (January 1, 1993). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI9218814.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI9218814

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