Are SAT and ACT scores reliable?

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The use of ACT and SAT scores in the college admissions process has always been debated. Considering the correlation between admissions tests and college grades are typically below .5 as the Lillenfield text points out, I can see why the use of such scores is so criticized. Many students, like Danielle Rettinger who was interviewed in an NPR report (see link), feel that the tests do not adequately show academic performance. The College Board argues that standardized tests are necessary for colleges to use considering the number of applications they review. Those who argue against the use of SAT and SAT scores say that the number is not an adequate predictor of a student's ability and that the test is particularly biased against women and minorities. I see a problem in the reliability of standardized testing. For example, those who do not do well on the SAT usually score a better equivalent score on the ACT. The SAT and ACT also vary on what they test. Although they test in some similar subjects, the SAT focuses more on grammar than the ACT whereas the ACT tests harder math skills than the SAT. Some colleges have chosen to do away with the ACT and SAT requirement. Bates College in Maine has found that the difference in graduation rate between students who submit scores and those who do not is less than .1 percent indicating that the tests may not be the best predictor of success. I do not think that SAT and ACT scores should be the sole predictor of one's intelligence. As Howard Gardner illustrated, intelligence can come in many forms. Some students are not successful at test taking but might show high intelligence in a different area of academics. Although it would be more difficult during the admissions process, I believe that ultimately, colleges could find more value in looking at overall intelligence rather than a number scored on a standardized test.

NPR article about ACT and SAT scores

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This page contains a single entry by fenlo012 published on November 20, 2011 9:18 PM.

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