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Commentary: Time to Ditch the SAT


Replies to: Commentary: Time to Ditch the SAT

  • SatchelSFSatchelSF Registered User Posts: 1,055 Senior Member
    Here is a super interesting site on grade inflation at the college level over the last half century or so. The school level data (at the bottom) are particularly helpful.

  • CanuckguyCanuckguy Registered User Posts: 1,144 Senior Member
    Maybe standardized tests only show how well one takes a standardized test.

    Here is an excellent article on this very question:


    It is important to note that correlation between academic/ job success and standardized testing is .5 or higher. No where else in the social sciences you see R this high. If standardized testing is not good enough, then all of the social sciences is a scam.

    The most stunning figure for me comes from Vanderbilt, where they found students scoring at the top quarter of 1% at age 13 to be much more accomplished than those in the bottom quarter of 1% many decades later. For some one like me, growing up in the lowest strata of the working class, it was my performance on an experimental version of an SAT for Ontario that set me off for university. I realized then that students from the wealthy suburbs did not have anything, intellectually speaking, over me. I was right.
  • Kelman13Kelman13 Registered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    Don't agree at all. I see this as just more "Everyone gets a participation trophy" mentality. Girls seem to get test anxiety more than boys and that probably artificially lower their test scores. On the other hand boy have a tougher time in school settings because school is designed more for how girls learn, and that probably artificially lowers boy's GPAs. There is no perfect solution, but GPA and test scores are good indicators of IQ, college performance, and reaching career goals.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 11,824 Senior Member
    @Kelman13 Girls seem to get test anxiety more than boys and that probably artificially lower their test scores. On the other hand boy have a tougher time in school settings because school is designed more for how girls learn, and that probably artificially lowers boy's GPAs.

    We can flip these things and thereby show how biased they are.

    Girls have a tougher time with tests because they are designed more for how boys think, but they do better in school because boys don't know how to plan and execute complex assignments over time.
  • mamalionmamalion Registered User Posts: 702 Member
    @OHMomof2 Brilliantly said.
  • thomas4881thomas4881 Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    edited May 3
    The education system was set up to teach people to be test takers because they're easier to control that way.
  • StevenToCollegeStevenToCollege Registered User Posts: 787 Member
    We should be thankful that US colleges look at the applications holistically.
    In most of the foreign countries, entrance exams are the only way to get into colleges.
  • stardustmomstardustmom Registered User Posts: 384 Member
    I just came across a discouraging article about wealthy students getting accommodations for tests who may not really need them. The article states that at some schools a whopping 30% of students are given extra time to take the SAT, ACT, etc. I asked my son about his classmates, and he agreed that about 30%, if not more, of the students in his grade were getting accommodations. The article suggests that the College Board does not want to tackle this issue because it would lead people to question the legitimacy of their test results.

    Maybe becoming test optional and more holistic is a way for colleges to address this issue? For universities with huge applicant pools, though, they really need test results to quickly sift through applicants.

  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 Registered User Posts: 753 Member
    @Kelman13 and @Ohiomomof2 Are you for real? I personally have three family members all FEMALE who have scored 99% on both SAT ( 7th grade!!! for one) SET ( that means kids who score above 700 on either math or English before the age of 13, SSAT and other various tests.
    To say that the sex of a person has bearing on an SAT test takes us back years!! People who think this way also buy into the notion that boys are better in math and girls are better in English. Please adjust your thinking to 21st Century mores or at least do not paint the entire female gender pool with your anti-female bias. Perhaps you should visit with some high achieving females who have scored in the top of the top. Do you realize that women are in every industry and college in the nation doing amazing things? I have heard so many parents (mainly Moms sadly) say their girls are not interested in math and science around 3rd grade. Guess what, with that attitude they won't be. Not to mention at best they will only score well in 1/2 of the SAT. Congrats this type of thinking will set kids up for lower paying jobs and access to half of the choices they would otherwise have.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 11,824 Senior Member
    @Happytimes2001 maybe you should re-read my post. We agree.
  • shutterbug123shutterbug123 Registered User Posts: 17 Junior Member
    This is fascinating.
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 1,813 Senior Member
    I always told my kids that standardized tests really are about testing their ability to sit still and fill in little bubbles.
    The fact that teachers make such a big deal about them, is why kids are nervous. Tests are fun, for some of us.
    Teachers in some public school districts are judged and promoted based on standardized test scores. But in the end, sitting still is a great skill to have. Take the SAT to learn it or go to church and try not to squirm.

    As far as college, Pitzer College in CA, Rollins College in Florida and Reed College are some that may not
    care as much about test scores, and look for creative individuals.

    How do colleges measure creativity? Some use an interview process. That may be helpful, but keep the standardized tests so our kids know how to fill in bubbles and sit still! Great skills to have!

    I once tutored a Guatemalan who had never filled in bubbles and it took her five tries to pass her written driving test.
    I bet most of our SAT savvy kiddos do not struggle with a written multiple guess driving test! Now thats something!
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 1,813 Senior Member
    @Happytimes2001. gender bias in testing is REAl. It can go either way in fact, be biased towards or away from girls.
    And yes, all USA Math Olympiad winners are boys. Those are facts. Its not about "your politics" just look up the scores on the Putnam Math exam, a college level proof based exam. The winners are boys, for as long as the Putnam Math exam has existed. Then, ask yourself why that is? No one knows for sure. And yes I am a girl who is good in math.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 11,824 Senior Member
    @Coloradomama many girls don't take the qualifying exams at all.
    “There’s a problem in international mathematics competitions that the proportion of girls participating is very low,” Smith said, noting that it’s particularly low at world championships such as the International Math Olympiad, where only one in 10 contestants are female and many teams have no girls at all. (Last year’s Team USA, which took gold for the first time in 21 years, was all male.)

    many girls with extremely high aptitude for math exist, but they are rarely identified in the U.S. because they veer from a career trajectory in the mathematical sciences due to the low respect American culture places on math, systemic flaws in the U.S. public school education system, and a lack of role models.


    There has been one female Putnam winner - she was not raised in the US.

  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 Registered User Posts: 753 Member
    @Coloradomama You are welcome to believe what you want. How can there be gender bias on a written test? Now if you were to state the girls are locked out of the higher math classes by gender bias ( teachers emphasizing boys skills and giving them extra opportunities) or more importantly parents not getting their girls into math at a young age and making them compete on the same level. Another thing is, maybe not all are going for the Putnam or whatever other award maybe some are going into math related things? It does seem to be an issue with the Math Olympiad team being all male. Most of these kids are coached from a very early age, many have parents not born in the US and many of the kids coached are boys. I do NOT think that whether you are male or female matters one bit. You need the math background to succeed. I know this as a fact as we have family members who are national and world leaders in this category. and they are FEMALE. Then again, we don't emphasize boy/girl just competency.
    And I think the bias is the girls not wanting to be in a room filled with boys/men who are rude in various ways. Girls need to learn to stand up to this type of behavior. Test scores do not lie. Girls and women come across this ALL the time how they deal with it is what matters. It's funny that very few men can push a woman out of the conversation if she is the smartest in the room. Again, the knowledge matters.
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