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SAT OR ACT More Closely Related to IQ?

ThereseRThereseR Registered User Posts: 419 Member
I know that neither the SAT nor the ACT is an IQ test and that there are great differences between standardized tests and intelligence tests.

However, I also read somewhere that, of the two tests, the SAT is more closely related to IQ. In other words, if one absolutely had to choose, the SAT would be more intelligence-based.

Do you agree with that?
Post edited by ThereseR on

Replies to: SAT OR ACT More Closely Related to IQ?

  • rspencerspence Registered User Posts: 2,118 Senior Member
    For the math section at least, the SAT is a little closer to an IQ test. This is mostly because it contains slightly trickier questions, while the ACT's math questions are more straightforward (but some involve pre-calculus).
  • SerenityJadeSerenityJade Registered User Posts: 1,226 Senior Member
    And IQ test is a reasoning and logic test. And while I have not taken the ACT, I know that the SAT is very much about reasoning and logic. So it is similar to an IQ test. Which might be why the school systems around here advocate their "gifted" students take the SAT and their "lower" students take the ACT.
  • 2112rush2112rush Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    I'd think the gifted student would fare better on the ACT since the ACT imposes such anal time constraints.
    I'd agree with the majority here, however--the SAT is the IQ test of the bunch. But please understand that intelligence testing goes above and beyond what a mere college entrance test does. And many of the kids here will find out later on in college that those with the higher SAT score aren't a priori more intelligent. Many will prove to be highly intelligent, but others will make you second-guess the SAT's role in intelligence.
    I think Marilyn Vos Savant said it correctly when a poster wrote to her about SAT's and intelligence; She said, "It's only the very low and the very high SAT scores that are important. Anything in-between shouldn't be taken very seriously..."
  • PhilovitistPhilovitist Registered User Posts: 2,739 Senior Member
    Frey and Detterman (2003) analyzed the correlation of SAT scores with intelligence test scores. They found SAT scores to be highly correlated with general mental ability, or g (r=.82 in their sample).
  • PhilovitistPhilovitist Registered User Posts: 2,739 Senior Member
    The correlation for the ACT is about .77
  • 2112rush2112rush Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    You present us with a peer-reviewed paper by two research psychologists. I'm still going to side with Marilyn, however.
    SAT problem: Suppose the student who takes the test can't finish in time, lowering his potential score (and hence, any accurate suggestion of raw IQ)? IQ tests are timed too, I know, but there is a different motive for the time constraints on the IQ test as opposed to the SAT constraints, with the Stanford-Binet being much more lenient...
  • allyphoeallyphoe Registered User Posts: 1,023 Senior Member
    The Reading and Science sections of the ACT are more-heavily g-loaded than are the others.
  • PhilovitistPhilovitist Registered User Posts: 2,739 Senior Member
    Well of course they aren't perfect predictors, but IQ isn't really a perfect indicator of intelligence, either.

    But since there is a reaally strong correlation between SAT scores and IQ test performance, differences in the way each test is given aren't really relevant. One could say that they assess intelligence in two distinct ways.
  • ReallypeopleReallypeople Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    My kids' IQ numbers are essentially exactly the same. One was top of the charts on the SAT and still very good, but not equivalent, on the ACT. The other did not do well at all on either PSAT taken and chose to go with only the ACT. The ACT score, after three tries, was fine but not as good as the other child's ACT score. So, not always a real correlation...
  • rspencerspence Registered User Posts: 2,118 Senior Member
    An 82% and a 77% correlation aren't that different...that corresponds to r^2 = .67 and r^2 = .59.
  • CollectivSynergyCollectivSynergy Registered User Posts: 982 Member
    So, not always a real correlation...

    Correlation doesn't mean determination. You can't prove or disprove correlation based on one anecdote.
  • DDHMDDHM Registered User Posts: 529 Member
    These tests scores need to be understood also based on a student's situation. Note that many intelligent students are at schools with inexperienced or poorly trained math and grammar teachers or stuck in classes with classmates whose needs slow the pace and rigor of the curriculum. Many schools don't help kids prepare for these standardized tests either, and the students take the exams with very little preparation or practice, maybe just a brief self-study in a review book. This can definitely can affect scores. Kids coming from families and schools with limited vocabulary, no attention to grammar, and dumbed down assigned literature are disadvantaged in the Reading/Writing sections.

    Also, some kids read questions (including math word problems) more slowly and think about all the various alternative ways to figure out an answer. They could be as smart as Einstein or Edison but not able to perform on ACT/SAT rapid speed tests (e.g. dyslexic students cannot do some things with lightning quick speed but can be extremely intelligent). There is correlation of IQ and scores, but many other variables are real contributors to the exact scores.
  • SerenityJadeSerenityJade Registered User Posts: 1,226 Senior Member
    I love how someone pointed out that IQ tests test one type of intelligence. They test a person's reason and logic skill, not their intelligence as a whole.
    For example, I consider my best friend smarter than myself however I fair better on an IQ test because he's dyslexic and I'm better with logic, numbers, and word puzzles.
  • lioness4lioness4 Registered User Posts: 190 Junior Member
    from what i know, the SAT is more like the IQ test but that does not imply that either exam is a particularly great measure of intelligence. it is pretty accepted that, above a "critical mass" type number, it's all irrelevant as a predictor of academic success. For example, a 135 IQ is very superior while not "genius" but an individual with a 135 is no less likely ( perhaps more likely?) to achieve success compared with someone in the genius category. There is a baseline number likely needed for different levels of achievement but after that, it really comes down to grit, perseverance, motivation, inspiration, etc.

    Regarding the specific differences between the tests; if you're looking for a direction in which to guide your student, my experience is the SAT is puzzles and the ACT is direct. It depends on the individual student's strengths (not necessarily their smarts). The ACT math absolutely refers to a more advanced curriculum and is very much a race against the clock, no prisoners style test; you know it or you don't (although no penalties for guesses). And the science section is notoriously rough and very much think on your feet type questions --ability to read complex charts and graphs is a pretty advanced skill particularly in a pressure situation. Yo It would seem easier to practice for the ACT but tests are hard to come by while the market is flooded with SAT's and the "code" of the SAT can certainly be "cracked." Either way, perfect practice makes perfect so preparation is the name of the game.....
  • lioness4lioness4 Registered User Posts: 190 Junior Member
    ps. very difficult to qualify for extra time on ACT because the time factor is so critical
This discussion has been closed.