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More Colleges Say the SAT Doesn't Pass the Test

May 29, 2008 09:38 AM
by Colleen Brondou
Wake Forest University is the latest school to drop standardized test requirements, reigniting debate over the best way to predict academic success.

30-Second Summary

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Wake Forest University joined Smith College this month in eliminating the SAT and ACT exams as a requirement for college admission. Officials at Wake Forest say that the scores aren’t the best indication of academic success in college.

The objectivity of the SAT has long been questioned, and changes made to the test’s format in 2005 sparked new concerns. The addition of an essay was seen as another stumbling block for students with limited English language ability. One year later, the SAT faced new scrutiny when 4,000 tests were incorrectly scored, raising questions again about the integrity of the tests.

Meanwhile, studies differ on whether the SATs are a reliable predictor of college success. A study conducted by Bates College, one of the first competitive colleges to do away with the SAT, found no correlation between grade point average at graduation and incoming SAT scores. The College Board, however, contends that early studies of the new SAT show that it is just as good as, if not better than, high school GPA at predicting academic success in college.

Michael Poll, vice president for admissions at Chatham University, remains unconvinced. “We have studied our students who have come in SAT-optional,” he said. “At this point, their persistence is nearly identical to those who came in with the SAT.”

Headline Link: ‘Wake Forest Joins Schools Dropping SAT Requirement’

Background: The SAT’s rocky road

Opinion & Analysis: Does the SAT predict college performance?

Reference: A guide to applying to college

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