The Otis-Lennon mental ability test and general aptitude test battery (G) as predictors of success on state board test pool examination for practical nursing candidates

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The purpose of this investigative study was to determine whether scores on the Otis-Lennon Mental Ability Test (OLMAT) and General Aptitude Test Battery (G) (GATB (G)) were related to success on the practical nurse licensing examination (SBTP) using race and age as demographic variables. A second purpose was to determine if OLMAT and GATB (G) scores varied in their ability to predict success on SBTP.

Related problems of the study were to determine whether significant differences between group mean scores of Caucasians and non-Caucasians existed when the same instrument was used. Scores of mature and young subjects in the sample population were analyzed for significant differences on the same instrument also. The coefficient correlations between OLMAT and SBTP and between GATB (G) and SBTP were examined to determine if they differed for Caucasians and non-Caucasians as well as young and mature sub-groups.

Two primary hypotheses pertained to a positive relationship between (1) OLMAT and SBTP scores and (2) GATB (G) and SBTP scores. The third primary hypothesis indicated that OLMAT was a higher predictor than GATB (G) on SBTP for all sub-groups.

Secondary hypotheses pertained to positive relationships between scores of the six sub-groups on OLMAT and SBTP scores as well as GATB (G) and SBTP scores.

The sample consisted of 305 adult students enrolled in practical nursing in Norfolk City Schools during a three-year period. The subject population was first divided into Caucasians and non-Caucasians. These two groups were separated into young and mature subjects. Socioeconomic factors were not considered in this study.

Statistical procedures used to test the hypotheses were univariate difference analysis, multivariate difference analysis, and correlational analysis. All hypotheses were tested at the .05 level.

Major conclusions were as follows:

  1. Both OLMAT and GATB (G) were significant predictors of success on SBTP for the total group .

  2. Although OLMAT and GATB (G) were significant predictors of success on SBTP for this total subject population, they were not consistent for all sub-groups. One such exception appeared with the mature, non-Caucasian group which had a small number.

  3. OLMAT was a significant predictor of success on SBTP for all groups in this subject population except for the mature non-Caucasians.

  4. GATB (G) was a significant predictor of success on SBTP for all Caucasian groups in the sample.

  5. GATB (G) was not a significant predictor of success on SBTP for non-Caucasian groups in this study.

  6. There was no significant difference in coefficient correlations between sub-groups separated by race and age.

  7. Mature practical nursing students performed better than young subjects on OLMAT, GATB (G), and SBTP .

  8. Caucasians performed better than non-Caucasians on OLMAT, GATB (G), and SBTP as evidenced by an analysis of their combined scores on these three instruments.