Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More on Education Majors' Test Scores

See chart above (click to enlarge) for evidence of Walter Williams' claims that Education majors perform poorly on standarized tests like the LSAT, GMAT and GRE.

(HT: Ironman at Political Calculations)


At 12/19/2007 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it hilarious that business students do so poorly on the GMAT.

At 12/19/2007 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don’t dispute the research; however, these data are 26- to 46-years-old. They might not be relevant today.

Williams also claims that education majors do poorly on SATs, which are taken before entering college. And, SATs are supposed to predict college success (let’s hope). Therefore, it is not surprising that post graduate tests are worse for this group, too. So, the real question is why aren't smarter high school graduates choosing education majors in college? More money? More prestige? I don’t see most of the popular solutions addressing these problems (vouchers, eliminating unions, privatization . . . ).

At 12/19/2007 8:57 PM, Blogger holeydonut said...

Haha - business is definitely one of the easiest majors, but most employers still find that degree valuable. Rather odd, but I'm not complaining.

And I pretty much sucked on the math part of the test too. But I did start up a blog to work on my short, but useless, stream of consciousness writing ability. And that resulted in my acing the written portion.

At 12/19/2007 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Business is one of the "easiest majors" relative to what other majors? Anthropolgy? Philosophy? If you said "engineering, physics, or chemistry," I'd agree. With your blanket statement, not so much.

And even within the "business degree" category, you need to differentiate among accounting, finance, and economics, and the BS degrees like marketing and management.

At 12/19/2007 9:53 PM, Blogger holeydonut said...

Anonymous - I qualify something as easy if the majority of other options is more difficult. I guess you could find something even easier than Business (such as underwater basket weaving).

Business degrees require you to know algebra; any math beyond that is for the most part unnecessary. Maybe a bit of calculus when you need to do some regressions... or when you try to do an option pricing model. But most of that stuff gets punched into a spreadsheet anyway.

With business, your writing skill level only needs to be around an mid-level college level. Most other liberal arts degrees require a much more intensive writing skills. Business students don't have to worry about nit-picking grammar semantics in writing.

With business, the poor reasoning skills may actually be an advantage since that means you're thinking outside the box. Casual relationships and a scientific method are the realm of academics. Business students are taught to conjure new approaches and find novel ways to show their ability have ideas that make money.

In my opinion, becoming an ASE mechanic takes more knowledge and skill than getting a business degree. There's almost no memorization required at all. There are no "weed out" courses for business majors. If T-Accounts make you struggle; you can go shoot over to a marketing focus. If you'd rather smash your head in a car door than trying to define the lifestyle of your customers, you can always slide over to investment strategy and banking.

If you're at all capable of trying to write a paper about using the gravity model to assess the effectiveness of international trade; you're probably not a business major. If you know how to vaguely rationalize things and toss about some fancy presentations or spreadsheets; then you probably are a business major.

FYI, I am a business major. And I'm pretty happy that I didn't have to write a 120 paper with a 12 pages of work cited. I've also been able to avoid memorizing a Merck manual. So, I think business is a tad bit easier than the alternatives.

Oh, and blanket statements are great because you can always re-define what is under the blanket.

At 12/20/2007 1:48 AM, Blogger VH said...

I'm proud to see that philosophy majors continue to do very well in all categories; Curious that Economics (my other major)was not represented.

At 12/21/2007 7:38 PM, Blogger BG said...

What skills are these tests testing? Are they testing your test taking ability's? I generally do rather poor on tests (except LSAT and SAT for some reason) but I manage to get by rather well. I've always thought that standardized tests are a poor indicator of future performance.

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