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      Typical Physics PhD Admissions Criteria Limit Access to Underrepresented Groups but Fail to Predict Doctoral Completion, including some additional information

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          Abstract

          This work aims to understand how effective the typical admissions criteria used in physics are at identifying students who will complete the PhD. Through a multivariate statistical analysis of a sample that includes roughly one in eight students who entered physics PhD programs from 2000-2010, we find that the traditional admissions metrics of undergraduate GPA and the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) Quantitative, Verbal, and Physics Subject Tests do not predict completion in US physics graduate programs with the efficacy often assumed by admissions committees. We find only undergraduate GPA to have a statistically significant association with physics PhD completion across all models studied. In no model did GRE Physics or GRE Verbal predict PhD completion. GRE Quantitative scores had statistically significant relationships with PhD completion in two of four models studied. However, in practice, probability of completing the PhD changed by less than 10 percentage points for students scoring in the 10 ^th vs 90 ^th percentile of US test takers that were physics majors. Noting the significant race, gender, and citizenship gaps in GRE scores, these findings indicate that the heavy reliance on these test scores within typical PhD admissions process is a deterrent to increasing access, diversity, and equity in physics. Misuse of GRE scores selects against already-underrepresented groups and US citizens with tools that fail to meaningfully predict PhD completion. This is a draft; see the journal for the published version. Additionally included in blue text are several responses to queries about this work.

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          Reducing the gender achievement gap in college science: a classroom study of values affirmation.

          In many science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines, women are outperformed by men in test scores, jeopardizing their success in science-oriented courses and careers. The current study tested the effectiveness of a psychological intervention, called values affirmation, in reducing the gender achievement gap in a college-level introductory physics class. In this randomized double-blind study, 399 students either wrote about their most important values or not, twice at the beginning of the 15-week course. Values affirmation reduced the male-female performance and learning difference substantially and elevated women's modal grades from the C to B range. Benefits were strongest for women who tended to endorse the stereotype that men do better than women in physics. A brief psychological intervention may be a promising way to address the gender gap in science performance and learning.
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            Unintended consequences: How science professors discourage women of color

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              Exploring Bias in Math Teachers' Perceptions of Students' Ability by Gender and Race/Ethnicity

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                27 June 2019
                Article
                10.1126/sciadv.aat7550
                1906.11618

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

                Custom metadata
                physics.soc-ph physics.ed-ph

                General physics

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