SAT

Different Tests, Same Flaws: A Comparison of the SAT, SAT II and ACT

Recent debate in college admissions has centered on a critique of the SAT I in favor of the SAT II and/or ACT. Proponents of these alternatives argue that the SAT I is primarily an aptitude test measuring some vague concept of "inherent ability," while the SAT II and ACT are more closely tied to what students learn in high school. However, while the origins of the exams and the rhetoric test-makers offer may differ, the SAT I, SAT II, and ACT present many of the same flaws and shortcomings.

10 Myths about the SAT

1. The SAT gives all students an equal shot at college admission.

Because of the way the test is constructed, its rewards for strategic guessing, the highly-speeded pace, and cultural biases, the SAT denies African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and women equal opportunities for higher education. Research shows that when admissions offices place heavy emphasis on SAT scores - particularly when they use rigid cut-off score minimums - the number of qualified students of color and low-income students admitted goes down.

Selected Annotated Bibliography on The SAT: Bias and Misuse


Includes entries on:


Admissions Alternatives

Coaching

Gender Bias

Test Misuse

Predictive Validity

Racial/Ethnic Bias

Speededness

Test Construction

 


Compiled by the staff of the

The "New" SAT: A Better Test or Just a Marketing Ploy?

In June 2002, the College Board announced a series of changes to the SAT-I that were implemented in March 2005. The action primarily responded to threats by the University of California, the SAT's biggest customer, that it planned to drop the test and to the growing number of colleges which have made test scores optional for many applicants. 

The SAT: Questions and Answers

What Is the SAT?

The SAT Reasoning Test is this nation's oldest, most widely used -- and misused -- college entrance exam. The SAT is composed of three sections, "Critical Reading," "Mathematics," and "Writing," each scored on a 200-800 point scale. The 171 questions are nearly all multiple-choice; the exam now includes one brief essay, and ten math questions require students to "grid in" the answer. By design, the test is "speeded" which means that many test takers are unable to finish all the questions.

Two More Colleges Drop ACT/SAT Requirements

It's a list that just keeps growing. Lake Forest College in Illinois and Salisbury University in Maryland have joined the ranks of undergraduate programs which do not require substantial numbers of applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores before admissions decisions are made. Their new policies bring the total of test-optional schools to 734, more than a quarter of all four-year, accredited institutions recognized by the federal government.

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further information

"New" SAT Average Score Plunge, Test-Registration Drop Further Undermine College Board Credibility

for immediate release, Tuesday, August 29, 2006

This year's seven point decline in average SAT scores combined with a drop in the number of students taking that admissions exam add to the mounting credibility problems faced by the test's sponsor, the College Board, according to assessment reform advocates at the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest). The score plunge is the largest annual change in three decades; the number of SAT takers declined for the first time since 1991.

Test-Maker's SAT Score-Decline Math Fails to Add Up; FairTest Urges College Board, "Tell the Truth"

for further information, contact:
Robert Schaeffer (239) 305-6773
cell (239) 699-0468

For immediate release, Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Minimal Changes in SAT and ACT Admissions Scores Show High School Graduation Testing Has Not Improved

for further information:
Bob Schaeffer (239) 395-6773
cell: (239) 699-0468
Dr. Monty Neill (857) 350-8207

for release with SAT College Bound Seniors scores, Tuesday, August 30, 2005
"Minor score changes on the SAT and ACT exams by this year's high school graduates again demonstrate the failure of the test-and-punish approach to meaningfully improve the quality of our public schools," according to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest).

College Board Seeks to Suppress SAT Equity Charts

for further information
Bob Schaefer (239) 395-6773
cell (239) 699-0468

for immediate release Wednesday, December 1, 2004

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