Study Says SAT Is New, But Not Improved

June 18, 2008 12:48 PM
by Colleen Brondou
The College Board released studies Tuesday indicating that the new SAT is no better than the old version—no surprise to the many colleges that have dropped standardized test requirements.

30-Second Summary

Following announcements last month that some colleges will eliminate the SAT as a requiremnet for college admission, a study has found that revisions to the test have not made it any more effective as a predictor of student performance.

Officials at Wake Forest University and Smith College expressed similar sentiments last month, when they dropped the SAT and ACT as entrance requirements, saying that the tests aren’t the best indication of academic success in college.

The study was conducted by the College Board, which owns the test.

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 had previsously contended 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: ‘Study Finds Little Benefit in New SAT’

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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