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"Higher education" starts with the freshman and sophomore years, and those are available on a low-cost easily accessible basis, no testing required, almost everywhere at community college. Those who are successful there seem to have little difficulty transferring to suitable four-year schools as juniors.
If you want to see more sobering statistics about the [recentered] SATs, you need only look at Harvard’s numbers on the recentered SAT for the class of 2000. Of the over 18,000 applications they received in 1995, 9,400 students received higher than a combined SAT of 1400; 1,600 received perfect verbal scores of 800; and 1,900 had perfect math scores of 800. Before recentering, only about twenty to thirty students worldwide scored a perfect 1,600 combined, whereas with the new test, Harvard alone turned down 165 (out of 365) applicants with perfect 1,600 combined SAT I scores. Nationwide, about 545 students scored 1,600 in 1996.
The SAT is far too easy for many, many top students. This means that top schools have no statistical basis to sort the very good from the top notch who can do the work at major colleges. I keep seeing all who score high can do the work, not true, if you are amongst the very best in the world ( math at MIT/Caltech) and you are 97% you are going to be drowning.