Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Richard W. Malott

Second Advisor

Dr. Howard Farris

Third Advisor

Dr. Dale Brethower

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Ollie Barnes III


This research served as a follow-up to previous research (Goodyear-Orwat and Malott, 1994) in which students engaged in self-study utilizing various study materials. Three courses (spring, summer, and fall) were offered to further examine the effects of intensive, structured study on Graduate Record Examination verbal and quantitative scores.

Twenty undergraduates enrolled in Graduate Record Examination preparatory courses studied from 66 to 105 hours. An attendance and participation contingency was established to encourage adequate study time. The courses were structured to allow students to assess and manage their own performance, utilizing standard, self-instructional texts and computerized drill programs. Students worked at their own pace based on their Individual Study Plan (ISP).

The results of the three courses are combined, because there seemed to be no reliable differences among them. The total GRE scores (quantitative and verbal combined) improved 96 points going from 842 (pretest) to 938 (posttest). The verbal GRE scores improved 39 points from 395 (pretest) to 434 (posttest). The quantitative GRE scores improved 56.5 points from 448 (pretest) to 504.5 (posttest).

The most methodologically sound published research on GRE preparation seems based on brief training (from 3 to 9 hours) and showed no significant improvements in combined GRE scores. The SAT research is ambiguous but more promising. On the other hand, the present research suggests that 66 to 105 hours of intensive, structured training can produce an average improvement of 96 points on the combined GRE scores-a socially significant accomplishment.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access