"New" SAT Plan Fails to Address Exam's Major Flaws

for further information:                                                                  

Bob Schaeffer (239) 395-6773

                   cell (239) 699-0468

 

for immediate release, Wednesday, March 5, 2014

       “NEW” SAT PLAN FAILS TO ADDRESS EXAM’S MAJOR FLAWS --
WEAK PREDICTIVE VALUE, SUSCEPTIBILITY TO COACHING, AND MISUSE;
   UPCOMING OVERHAUL LIKELY TO SPUR TEST-OPTIONAL ADMISSION

    Changes to the SAT college admissions test announced today fail to address many major concerns of independent researchers, standardized exam critics, and equity advocates.  According to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest), the revised test is unlikely to be better than the current one. It will not predict college success more accurately, assess low-income students more fairly, or be less susceptible to high-priced commercial coaching courses. 

     FairTest Public Education Director Bob Schaeffer explained, “The College Board’s failure to tackle the SAT’s historic weaknesses means that more schools will go test-optional. Since the 2005 introduction of a flawed ‘new’ SAT, nearly 100 additional colleges and universities dropped admissions exam requirements. A recent research report demonstrating that test-optional admissions policies enhance both diversity and academic quality will further accelerate this movement. The truth is no one needs the SAT, either ‘old’ or ‘new.’”

     Schaeffer continued, “Rather than simply making the essay optional to compete with the ACT -- now the most popular admissions exam -- the College Board should stop misuse of SAT results. They should refuse to transmit scores to schools and scholarship agencies that improperly require minimum scores for admission or financial aid.” 

    “Providing free SAT prep is laudable, but it already exists through programs such as Number2.com. The partnership with the Khan Academy is unlikely to make a dent in the huge market for high-priced, personalized SAT workshops and tutoring that only well-to-do families can afford. Like most of the other College Board initiatives announced today, this move is less significant than its promoters claim.” 

    The first administration of the revised SAT is scheduled for 2016. A database of more than 800 institutions that do not require ACT or SAT scores to make admissions decisions for all or many applicants is online at: http://www.fairtest.org/university/optional

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION: The following charts are available on request

-  Chronology of 95 schools de-emphasizing ACT/SAT use since the last revision of the SAT

-  List of 150+ test-optional and test-flexible schools ranked in the top tiers of their respective categories

-  Comparison of number of high school students taking the ACT and SAT annually over the past 20 years

-  Links to other fact sheets on the SAT and related topics at: http://www.fairtest.org