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Convincing People the SAT's Does Not Test Your Level of Intelligence!

mr californiamr california Registered User Posts: 227 Junior Member
edited May 2009 in SAT Preparation
I think most people can take that as a given.

However others (like my parents), say it does in fact test how smart of a student you are.

They say it tests your skills and knowledge that you develop during middle school and the beginning part of high school.

Although I don't agree that basic math and grammer skills are needed to do well on the test, the scores on the test does not prove if you're smart or not.

I go on to ask if it does test how smart you are why doesn't the SAT's test you on Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, Physics, and History?

Their rebuttal is that they don't need to. Colleges can tell if you're a good student or not just based off of how well you do in math and reading/writing.

They then go onto give the example that if you can carry a 50lb bucket of water, that means you can most likely carry a 50lb bucket of rocks (They're trying to say it's the same thing).

I really just want to take that bucket of water and rocks and dump it on their face.

So I need some help.

Can anybody find like legit news articles, any research or studies that prove that the SAT's are not how smart you are. It's just a stupid test to test how well you take a test.

Please post links and such,

Post edited by mr california on

Replies to: Convincing People the SAT's Does Not Test Your Level of Intelligence!

  • Bigb14Bigb14 Registered User Posts: 2,044 Senior Member
    This is what I thought at first as well, but after taking psychology, I actually think the SAT has a degree of validity. If you don't like your score (I saw your other post), fine. But don't blame other people (i.e. your parent, the test) for your scores.
  • nikeboy3004nikeboy3004 Registered User Posts: 446 Member
    btw just for info the SAT has subject tests too
  • elizabethonlineelizabethonline Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    When the SAT first started it was a riff on an IQ test that was used to assess men looking to join the armed forces. The test has drastically changed since then, but it does retain much of the "reasoning" basics that it had at first.

    It seems like you're a little confused about the test and what it measures and why it matters, and that's understandable. It can be really frustrating to feel like you're "smart" (the definition of which is pretty broad) and still struggle with the SAT. Be careful about confusing natural intelligence (of which there are a lot of components, like working memory, long term memory, spacial estimation, processing speed) and your SAT score.

    Being educated, knowing a great number of facts, and being "smart" can be very different, too, so make sure you and your folks are using the same terms. Moreover, if you feel more comfortable with Chemistry, Bio, History, etc., you may feel more comfortable taking the ACT.

    Nevertheless, you do need to know that *you do* need math and grammar fundamentals to excel on both the SAT and the ACT. In fact, you should be able to do the entire math section without a calculator (the test is designed so that a calculator is actually not necessary).

    I would challenge you with this, though: whether you love or hate the SAT, no matter what you think about it or your folks think about it, it's probably going to be in your best interest in the long run to accept as part of the college admissions process (or again, look into the ACT *or* consider schools that don't require either test). Don't look for ways to campaign in your household for why the test is meaningless (but if you're looking for that, you can check out the Education Conservancy and spend time getting riled up about it); instead, change your mindset and commit yourself to finding ways to get the best score you possibly can and then enjoy the achievement of having conquered it.
  • 174IQPartier174IQPartier Registered User Posts: 256 Junior Member
    No, it does test your level of intelligence to a large extent..it's important because otherwise the top colleges would be filled with a bunch of Type A dummies.
  • noname22noname22 Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
    I have to agree that SAT is an intelligence predictor. Math and verbal reasoning are the same criteria for IQ tests. Writing and grammar on the other hand are more learned skills.
  • anonymousposter234anonymousposter234 Registered User Posts: 285 Junior Member
    The SAT really does measure intelligence to an extent. Like an iq test, SAT tests are distributed as a bell curve, with a 1500 SAT (3 sections) equating to about a 100 IQ.

    Furthermore, some high IQ societies such as MENSA actually take SAT scores for admission.

    Is it a coincidence Bill Gates got a perfect score?

    To some extent most people would agree it measures a form of intelligence.
  • JNE23JNE23 Registered User Posts: 207 Junior Member
    I hope your post doesn't measure your intelligence either. With all of those grammar mistakes, not to mention faulty logic, it's no wonder you're looking for something to justify your scores.

    The test does exactly what your parents say: "They say it tests your skills and knowledge that you develop during middle school and the beginning part of high school."
  • yipyip0901yipyip0901 Registered User Posts: 1,072 Senior Member
    lol it tests your intelligence?is this test only for americans?how about for those who are not native english speakers? the reading section definitely cant be a good intelligence predictor for those people already.

    well,im not a native english speaker,but the thing is that i can score a 700+ on math with no prep but a 600+ on reading with LOTs LOTs LOTs of prep. so,do you think it still works for me?
  • zapzap - Posts: 489 Member
    JNE23, this is an online forum. Quit picking on peoples grammar.

    Though I do with you JNE23. If I had read when I was younger, and was attentive in my math classes, I would have a nice score. I really tests your skills and knowledge that you develop during middle school and the beginning part of high school.
  • BigWeightBigWeight Registered User Posts: 978 Member
    doesnt test anything other than how much u study for it.........

    i went from an 1870 to a 2270 in three months by studying for it and taking over 20 practice tests....didn't make me more intelligent tho.
  • dirdirdirdir Registered User Posts: 120 Junior Member
    It is a test of intelligence, just not the most accurate one. A really dumb person won't score a 2400, neither will a really smart person score less than 1800. Everything else is studying/natural talent/gaming the test.
  • Bigb14Bigb14 Registered User Posts: 2,044 Senior Member
    Keep in mind this: the Operational Definition of IQ is that IQ is basically whatever it is that intelligence tests measure. Also keep in mind that you can score higher on an IQ test by practicing too. The SAT does have validity and reliability as an IQ test. But because IQ is so poorly defined, whether the SAT tests IQ only depends on whether you consider the SAT an Intelligence test.

    just noticed how many "Big"s there are in this thread... BigG, BigB, and Bigweight. :P
  • BigGBigG Registered User Posts: 3,885 Senior Member
    It doesn't matter what it measures. It is the accepted standard for admission to many schools. Even preferences for URM's are derived from explicit or implicit normalization of scores for a disadvantage population sector.

    You can not change that.

    Apply to schools that give it less weight or which don't consider it.

    Most of the people I know do equate high SAT's with high intelligence. Stateing something you want to believe as a given in a venue where it is definitely not a given is arrogant.
  • EverLaneEverLane Registered User Posts: 345 Member
    I qualified for AIME with the second highest score in the school (a decent school) and have failed to get that oh-so-easy 800 on the math section. (720, 730 second time around)

    SAT being a test of intelligence - most likely to some degree as smarter students do better usually
  • MonoclideMonoclide Registered User Posts: 972 Member
    Intelligence is more of a measurement of the willingness to learn something.

    Anyone can learn anything, given that they are interested and are willing to learn. Same with the SATs. If you are willing to learn and study your ass off -- then you will be rewarded with a high score. It's the same for every test.

    .. And, of course, in the end, you walk away with a little more knowledge. Sure, it's not a considerable amount. But learning how to correct a badly paralleled sentence is equal to learning what makes up a hydrogen bond.
This discussion has been closed.