Free Essay

Sat and College Success

In: Other Topics

Submitted By dfclihin
Words 731
Pages 3
Standard tests, such as SAT and ACT, have always been regarded as the strongest predictors of

students’ future college performance. However, of these years, its validity has become one of

the hottest debate among American campuses. In fact, several individual institutions have

carried out validity researches in order to find out the reliability of standard tests.But such

researches show that the SAT has a weak predictive ability. One study* at the University of

Pennsylvania looked at the power of SAT I, and SAT II in predicting cumulative college GPAs.

Researchers found that the SAT I and SAT II were the weakest predictors, explaining only 4%

and 6.8% of the variation in college grades respectively. Another study** of 10,000 students at

11 selective public and private institutions of higher education found that a 100-point increase

in SAT combined scores, regardless of race, gender, and field of study constant, led to a one-

tenth of a grade point gain for college GPA. Also, present findings in Wake Forest University

show that black students who graduated from college had significantly lower SAT scores than

white students. But they both graduated with the same college GPA. Thus, according to the

above three researches, the SAT is hardly a viable predictor of college success.

Although professor Robert J. Vanderbei from Princeton University thought that SAT is ‘a

challenging, well-thought-out test’, and it tests all achievement, aptitude, grammar and

cleverness, a lot of other people believe that standard tests fail to test a student’s knowledge

and potential. For example, Professor Christopher Harper from Temple University found that

the tests emphasized speed and stamina over knowledge and critical contemplation, and the

essay question often fails to include analysis of research and inclusion of data, which are the

*(J. Baron & M. F. Norman in Educational and Psychology Measurement, Vol. 52, 1992)

**(Vars, F. & Bowen, W. in The Black-White Test Score Gap, 1998)

major components of critical thinking. The view of professor Christopher Harper implies that

SAT requires skills, not knowledge. It matches the criticism stated in Robert L. Lin which claims

that SAT only emphasizes on lower-level skills, require only recognition rather than production.

It means that short-term coaching can greatly improve a student’s performance in standard

tests. Also, students from affluent families can receive more trainings from tutorial schools

which focus only on test skills than poor students. This further undermines the validity of

standard tests.

Furthermore, many people also criticize that SAT is a biased test. The research in Wake Forest

University and an extensive research complied by Derek Bok and William Bowen in The Shape

of the River both highlights the uselessness of using standard tests to reflect black or African-

American students’ potential. It was explained in Robin L. Lin’s article that black people may

receive less preparation in high school. Also, students whose first language isn’t English are also

underestimated by standard tests. One study at the University of Miami compared Hispanic and

White students. Though both groups earned equivalent college grades, the Hispanic students

received on average combined SAT I scores that were 91 points lower than their non-Hispanic

White peers. Finally, standard tests also have poor predictive ability for the college

performance of females. It was said that females’ grades were always underestimated. Females

on average score 35-40 points lower than males on the SAT I, but receive better college grades.

So, according to the aforementioned information, the SAT seems to have a bias towards

minorities and females.

To conclude, although standard tests can give universities an absolute score for each students,

They fail to accurately reflect students’ future college success and they have bias against

several minorities groups.

1. Works Cited

Linn, Robert L. "Admissions Testing: Recommended Uses, Validity, Differential Prediction, and Coaching." Applied Measurement in Education 3.4 (1990): 297. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 29 Sept. 2011.

2. Works Cited

Harper, Christopher, and Robert J. Vanderbei. "Two Professors Retake the SAT: Is It a Good Test?." Chronicle of Higher Education 55.39 (2009): A30-A31. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 29 Sept. 2011.

3. Works Cited

Lawlor, Sarah, Susan Richman, and Charles L. Richman. "The validity of using the SAT as a criterion for black and white students' admission to college." College Student Journal 31.4 (1997): 507. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 29 Sept. 2011.

4. fairtest

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Mexican Children

...He earned his M.Ed. from the University of Southern California, M.F.A. from Brandeis University (MA) and B.A. from Western Washington University (WA) after first attending Linfield College (OR).  | SUMMER 2007 JOURNAL OF COLLEGE ADMISSION W W W. N A C ACNET.ORG Beyond Admission: Understanding Pre-College Variables and the Success of At-Risk Students Abstract This study examined pre-college variables from an admission-office perspective and the ability of these variables to predict college grade point average (GPA) for students specially admitted into an academic support program for at-risk students. The research was conducted at a private, highly-selective, research university in the southwest United States. The primary determining factors for this special admission program are lowerthan-average high school GPA and/or standardized test scores. Pre-college variables that most significantly predicted college GPA were high school GPA, gender of student, and leadership experience prior to applying. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores failed to predict success as measured by college GPA. Beyond Admission Seventy-five percent of students who drop out of college do so during their first two years, and 57 percent of students leave their first college without graduating (Tinto, 1993). First semester grades (McGrath & Braunstein, 1997) and first year grades (Gifford, Briceño-Perriott, & Mianzo, 2006; Reason, 2003) are significantly linked with retention....

Words: 4221 - Pages: 17

Free Essay

Andy

...Muthukrishna’s model of academic success (2000), the present authors hypothesized that freshman retention in an engineering program would be related to not only basic aptitude but also affective factors. Participants were 129 college freshmen with engineering as their stated major. Aptitude was measured by SAT verbal and math scores, high school grade-point average (GPA), and an assessment of calculus readiness. Affective factors were assessed by the NEO–Five Factor Inventory (FFI; P. I. Costa & R. R. McCrae, 2007), and the Nowicki–Duke Locus of Control (LOC) scale (S. Nowicki & M. Duke, 1974). A binary logistic regression analysis found that calculus readiness and high school GPA were predictive of retention. Scores on the Neuroticism and Openness subscales from the NEO-FFI and LOC were correlated with retention status, but Openness was the only affective factor with a significant unique effect in the binary logistic regression. Results of the study lend modest support to Borkowski’s model. Keywords: calculus readiness, college retention, engineering students, Five Factor Model, Locus of Control, STEM fields THE NEED FOR TRAINED ENGINEERS IN THE U.S. WORKFORCE is constantly increasing, and the number of students graduating from engineering programs is not keeping up with this demand (Duderstadt, 2001)....

Words: 4215 - Pages: 17

Premium Essay

Standerdized Testing

...Do Colleges put too Much Stock on Standardized Tests? Intro: My past troubles on taking standardized tests. Thesis: Many colleges these days are using your SAT scores to predict how well you will do in them instead on using how well you have done in high school. Point I: The SAT is just one test. Why should a test that you take in one day matter so much for your admittance into college. Point II: Not everyone has the money to pay for SAT lessons and tutoring. Nevertheless those same people can turn out to be students who work extremely hard and actually want to do well in life but just cannot because the SAT stands in their way. Point III: There are some people out there who will go to extreme lengths just to take the SAT and do well on it. Refutation: The SAT is designed to screen for college success and the SATs are not the ONLY factor that determines whether or not you make it into a college. Rebuttal: Students who work extra hard and do well in high school, do all sorts of extracurricular activities, and just who always are giving 100 percent are getting rejected by colleges under average students who only turn out to do better than them on the SAT. These students may have studied for the SAT and learned all the tricks to do well on it, but the fact that it is just one test should not decide the overall result of whether or not you get admitted into a...

Words: 262 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

The Measurement of Education Through Testing

...Measuring education in this modern school system is mainly based on end of the year final exams and standardized measuring numbers such as grade point averages and SAT scores. Although these exams and numbers do give a roughly good measurement of a certain student’s education level, it doesn’t necessarily mean that said student is as smart as those scores, which is the true wanted result to measure of these tests. These tests do require a certain level of cognitive ability, but there are other situations that can be factored in to take away the validity of these tests to a certain degree. For example, if a student studies solely for the SAT since the beginning of their high school career, they will most likely post a score that puts them well into the high upper percentile of the nation. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he/she is the same percentile in cognitive ability in the nation. Not that there is any wrong doing in studying for the SAT for that lengthy period of time, but it shouldn’t such a solid truth type of test to measure how smart someone really is. Of course, in some cases the SAT can be an accurate measurement of a student’s cognitive ability because a student may actually be smart in all those areas therefore it is right for them to be in the upper percentile. There are naturally smart students that will post up rather high scores with barely any study time or practice. College board, the main distributor of...

Words: 1428 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Infamous Sats

...High school students who are planning on attending college must take a standardized examination to test ones understanding of basic concepts. For those students who want to attend an Ivy league or elite college, the SATs are more than just a test. It is a deciding factor whether one will be accepted or not into a college or university. The scores completely overlook the determination, creativity, and desire of students to try and reach their goal. The SATs are a phony test that does not evaluate ones overall knowledge; they are overstated on their value and lead young students to a lot of pressure and stress. The SAT test is good in theory, but should not be used to measure intelligence. Some claim that the test should be required to test students physically and mentally on how well they perform on tests. Large-scale meta-analyses by researchers at the University of Minnesota have found that “SAT performance is as good of a predictor of overall college grade point average as it is of freshman grade point average” and other researchers have documented that “the SAT predicts life outcomes well beyond the college years including income and occupational achievements” (Lubinksi and Benbow, 1). However, this is not true. How can one test, one score, one meaningless number, indicate how well you will do in life? The SATs should not be a determining factor of whether a student is admitted to a university or not. Taking an SAT test is not for all students....

Words: 1235 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Why Do Colleges Rely Heavily on the S.A.T & A.C.T. Scores?

...Regardless of whether or not the ACT/SATs are predictors of your success, you’re not considering many other dimensions of an individual. Yet significant research shows that SAT and ACT scores don’t really tell us anything meaningful about a student’s future, either academically or in...

Words: 1017 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Do Standarized Tests Measure a Students True Academic Potential

...It is the moment that will determine someone’s chances of getting into college…or not. It is a basis for measuring a student’s performance academically and also their general knowledge and logic. It is a standardized curriculum that every student takes, un-biased or composed by different teachers. It is the SAT or in other words, the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Full of multiple choice and open ended questions, students complete the exam anywhere between 5 to 8 hours and their scores are submitted during their college application process. The results will stay with them for a lifetime, either benefitting or bewildering them. Some get into Yale, while others settle for a less expensive and well known university. Then there are those that don’t attend college. But, the impact of the exam seems to hit hard at the heart. If someone scores poorly, they may think they aren’t smart enough or they did something wrong. Those who invented the SAT had every intention of measuring intelligence without any bias; everyone takes the same test so there is no complication. The impact of this is stress and feelings of doubt by students. Is the SAT a reliable source to measure student performance? If you look what defines an individual, it isn’t simply test scores. There are other areas of intelligence to be measured....

Words: 1983 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Factors

...Demographics Student Perception of Course Student Academic Habits Effect of Class on Student Student Perception of College Life and NAU Predictors of Student Success Discussion Summary and Interpretation of Results Conclusions and Recommendations Student Recruitment Student Preparation Student & Faculty Diversity Curriculum Design & Implementation Identification & Intervention Acknowledgements...

Words: 10369 - Pages: 42

Free Essay

Goleman's Ei

...I will demonstrate that not one of them says what Goleman claims it says, and many say the opposite.3 No one denies that emotional strengths and social abilities often contribute to social and occupational success. But Goleman knew two crucial facts about them that he did not tell his readers. In the introduction to Emotional Intelligence, Goleman wrote (pages xi-xii), This mapping [of emotional intelligence] offers a challenge to those who subscribe to a narrow view of intelligence, arguing that IQ is a genetic given that cannot be changed by life experience … That argument ignores the more challenging question: What can [Goleman’s italics] we change that will help our children fare better in life? What factors are at play, for example, when people of high IQ founder and those of modest IQ do surprisingly well? I...

Words: 20789 - Pages: 84

Premium Essay

Educational Equality

...“Standardized aptitude tests predict how well students are likely to perform in some subsequent educational setting (SAT-I /ACT), both of which attempt to forecast how well high school students will perform in college. But standardized achievement-test scores are what citizens and school board members rely on when they evaluate a school's effectiveness.” (Popham) One of the most important reasons that students’ performances on these tests should not be used to evaluate educational quality is because student performances on standardized tests are heavily influenced by three causative factors, only one of which is linked to instructional quality, asserting that low or high test scores are caused by the quality of instruction is illogical. Popham argues that the problem of this confounded causation involves...

Words: 2312 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Emotinal Quotient

...I will demonstrate that not one of them says what Goleman claims it says, and many say the opposite.3 No one denies that emotional strengths and social abilities often contribute to social and occupational success. But Goleman knew two crucial facts about them that he did not tell his readers. In the introduction to Emotional Intelligence, Goleman wrote (pages xi-xii), This mapping [of emotional intelligence] offers a challenge to those who subscribe to a narrow view of intelligence, arguing that IQ is a genetic given that cannot be changed by life experience … That argument ignores the more challenging question: What can [Goleman’s italics] we change that will help our children fare better in life? What factors are at play, for example, when people of high IQ founder and those of modest IQ do surprisingly well? I...

Words: 20789 - Pages: 84

Premium Essay

Business Ethics Paper

...JoAnn Barnes RES 351 Business Research Ethics June 23, 2014 Measuring Academic Readiness for College Students need to be ready academically before entering college. The question arises are students prepared enough from high school before attending college. There are a lot of students that according to statistics are not ready for college classes. When a student enters college right out of high school the majority of the students have to take two or more remedial classes. Students are not able to take the needed college courses at the beginning due to having to take these remedial classes first. the student false confidence for college. the studentReadiness could mean many things when it comes to academics. Some things are student work ethics, or determination, parent or family resources, student personality or persistence. It is the responsibility of not only the student but as well as the school to prepare the student for college. A school’s testing procedure could be considered unethical especially if the school is more concerned with improving their scores which could be reported to the higher level. Test scores could be tweeted to make it appear more appealing on paper. In the long run, this drastically hurts the student’s readiness for college. Other unethical practices could be teachers not fully performing to the student’s individual ability. The teacher may not push the student as hard as necessary once the work is complete....

Words: 897 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Principles of Management

...Students should research properly to determine whether the colleges they are applying to require subject tests as part of the application. Institutes accepting SAT SAT is accepted across almost all the undergraduate colleges in the US. Also many universities offering UG courses across the globe accept SAT scores. Countries like US, UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore etc. accept these scores. Students should visit...

Words: 2236 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Standardized Tests

...Such tests as the ACT and SAT contain bias despite their computer generated grading  system. They tend to hold bias in favor of males due to time limits on mathematical portions.  “Evidence can also be found that speeded tests may be mismeasuring the mathematical abilities  of women”(Sacks 214).  Also, standardized tests...

Words: 838 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Student Assessment Methods

...Besides state specific standardized test, other national standardized tests include: * Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT)- administered to students applying to private secondary schools and some public secondary schools * Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT)- voluntary test given to secondary school students in year 10 or 11 to assist them in preparing for the SAT and to qualify for national merit scholarships * Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)- a proficiency test designed to measure knowledge and skill in understanding and using written English required of international students * SAT/ACT Critics claim that these tests provide the venue...

Words: 879 - Pages: 4