Techniques for performing rank prediction in a MIMO system are described. Performance metrics for a plurality of ranks are initially determined. Each rank is indicative of a different number of data streams to send simultaneously via a MIMO channel. The performance metrics may relate to the capacity or signal quality of the MIMO channel or the throughput of data transmission sent via the MIMO channel. Adjustments are applied to the performance metrics for the ranks to obtain adjusted performance metrics. The adjustments account for system losses such as losses due to an error correction code used for data transmission, channel estimation errors at a receiver, variation in interference observed by the receiver, variability in transmit power due to power control, and/or other factors. A rank is selected for use based on the adjusted performance metrics for the ranks.