Education: Success Test

A great many—about one quarter—of the young hopefuls who go to college flunk out hopelessly. That is one reason why educators would like to be clairvoyant. Last week two experts in the Federal Office of Education turned out an elaborate statistical system* for predicting whether a student will do well in college (and, therefore, whether he ought to go).

Statisticians Segel & Proffitt studied the college marks of students in 13 colleges and universities, compared them with the same students' earlier records—high-school marks, extracurricular activities, etc. Some of their findings were trite: that a student who has a good average in high...

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