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Do you think standardized tests accurately measure intelligence?

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Replies to: Do you think standardized tests accurately measure intelligence?

  • 8bagels8bagels Registered User Posts: 401 Member
    @marvin100
    Absolutely, I agree, parent income would have a correlation to SAT scores.
    But that's because income also correlates to intelligence.
    I'm 25 years out of college/grad school. My classmates (Ivy league) and I have kids now in college, or late in high school.
    I'm blown away by how high they ALL score on the SAT/ACT. Statistically, it's highly improbable, in our group all of our kids scored in the top 1%.
    Yes, all of my classmates also have incomes ranging from high to extremely high (they are CEOs, managing partners on Wall Street, etc.). But they are also very intelligent (by any measure), and also are married to spouses who are equally intelligent.
    So what's the predictor of the high SAT/ACT scores?
    It's the genetics. Not the income. The income is just a byproduct of intelligence. They don't check your financial statement and award extra points on the tests. The kids have to answer the questions just like everyone else.
    Because of their genetics, these kids would score the same whether their dads are in high paying jobs, or whether they decided to work for the Peace Corps.
  • 8bagels8bagels Registered User Posts: 401 Member
    Intelligence is not an undefinable term.
  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,909 Senior Member
    Both d's had the experience of going up between 80 to 110 points in sections of the SAT without any additional prep. The more times you take these tests, the more you will see these kinds of discrepancies. And I'm talking about scores going up and down, not a linear pattern of improvement. Also major differences in scores between act and sat. 35 ACT English vs 660 SAT verbal within a week. 35 ACT math vs 650 math (other d-- both tests taken within two weeks if each other. )

    So no, don think any one sitting is an accurate account of anything.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,037 Senior Member
    @8bagels - the plural of anecdote is not "data."

    And this:
    Intelligence is not an undefinable term.

    Is not a refutation.

    Seriously. There is a TON of research on "intelligence" and its genetic components, and the knee-jerk answers some of you seem so eager to propound are not supported by the research. Get a JSTOR or Lexis-Nexis account and do some searching. It's a huge and varied field, and I assure you any "easy" answer is false.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,037 Senior Member
    (All that said, I do believe there is a genetic component in whatever it is we mean when we say "intelligence"--although we definitely mean many different, unrelated things to different people--in addition to the significant impact of parenting, home life, and of course education. The last item is of course the most easily controlled, so that's the one I and most others focus on, and much of the research suggests that the single most impactful variable in education outcomes is teachers.

    A great teacher can boost a kid 2 grade levels in a subject and a poor teacher can drop a kid a grade level or two, so that's a tremendous factor.

    I'd also argue that students who work hard often end up being pretty "intelligent" by whatever metric you use, because some of the few things we know about academic "intelligence" is that it's related to acquisition and application of knowledge, that it's not a permanent, set quality, and that it can be nurtured--or, of course, squandered.)
  • Studious99Studious99 Registered User Posts: 911 Member
    The SAT and ACT probably measure intelligence to some degree once the opportunities, background, and experiences of students are controlled. For example, if you compare native English speakers to non-natives, they will perform better on the SAT almost every time just because it rewards people who have spent years developing skills that match what the SAT requires. This doesn't mean that the non-native speakers are less intelligent in any way.
  • aunt beaaunt bea Registered User Posts: 9,115 Senior Member
    These tests measure performance.

    When my colleagues assess students, they tell the parents that the results are a measurement of a 1 day, 1 time performance.

    We have students who do well on our "intelligence" tests but have other issues that affect their performance in other areas.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,037 Senior Member
    SAT and ACT may not be totally irrelevant to whatever you think "intelligence" is, but the only thing a test can test is how good you are at taking that test.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,037 Senior Member
    For example, if you compare native English speakers to non-natives, they will perform better on the SAT almost every time just because it rewards people who have spent years developing skills that match what the SAT requires.

    O rly?
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