your thoughts on standardized test scores

<p>Do you believe standardized test scores (SAT, ACT) are a good indicator of students academic abilities???</p>

<p>To a degree. In one way, it tests what you learned in high school. In a big way though, it tests problem-solving skills, and the ability to quickly get a favorable answer. For most people, a high score requires a lot of practice, and is a good indicator of a student's determination. It may not be a perfect indicator, but it usually rules out students who don't care much about their education.</p>

<p>Its a pretty good indicator of academic potential. After maybe 2100, it does not really distinguish much.</p>

<p>In my opinion, it's a bit of a necessary evil. Do they reveal intelligence? Sure...to a certain point. However, once you get into the 2250+ range, it becomes very difficult to say that the person with the higher test score is necessarily "smarter." The fact that studying for the SAT can boost scores by several hundred points can also be seen as a flaw of the test; does memorizing vocab and grammar rules truly constitute as making a person smarter? Perhaps a better test taker, but not necessarily more intelligent.</p>

<p>Nonetheless, college admissions would be much more difficult for the admissions officers without them, since they do provide an objective benchmark.</p>

<p>The SAT is an easy out for admission offices that don't want to devote the resources to do a careful, individualized scrutiny of applicants. It's not surprising that there are very few large universities with huge applicant pools that are SAT optional. </p>

<p>It's also an entrenched multi-billion dollar company, oops! nonprofit. That's not to mention the multi-billion SAT prep industry. The Washington Post owns Kaplan, which is the most profitable part of its company. </p>

<p>Bates College, a leader in the SAT optional movement studied whether there was any difference between SAT submitters and non-submitters. </p>

<p>This title says it all:</p>

<p>"20-year Bates College study of optional SATs finds no differences"
News</a> | Bates College</p>

<p>Some of the key findings:</p>

<p>The difference in Bates graduation rates between submitters and non-submitters is 0.1% (one-tenth of one percent).</p>

<p>The difference in overall GPAs at Bates is .05 (five-hundredths of a GPA point); the exact difference is 3.06 for non-submitters and 3.11 for submitters.</p>

<p>Testing is not necessary for predicting good performance; the academic ratings assigned by Bates admissions staff are highly accurate for both submitters and non-submitters in predicting GPA.</p>

<p>There are very modest differences in the majors that submitters and non-submitters choose at Bates, but some intriguing patterns: Non-submitters are more likely to major in fields that put a premium on creativity and originality.</p>

<p>There are modest differences in the career outcomes of submitters and non-submitters, with one glaring exception: the four fields where students have to take another standardized test to gain entrance to graduate programs for medicine, law, an M.B.A. or Ph.D. In fields where success does not depend on further standardized testing—including business executive officers and finance careers—submitters and non-submitters are equally represented.</p>

<p>They indicate correlation but not causation.</p>

<p>The facts appear to be that you can predict success at college without SAT scores as a variable. I think they did a regression analysis on this if you're worried about causation. Note too that the non-submitters did have lower SATS, which is a further indicator of their weak relationship to college success. I'd like to see an experiment where admission officers looked at SAT submitters without knowledge of their scores to see whether they'd be admitted. I wouldn't be surprised to see that some people submit at optional schools to compensate for other weakneses in their profile--lower GPAs, few ECs.</p>

<p>The SAT is an awful indicator of intelligence and academic ability. All it indicates is how well you can take the SAT, which is often very closely correlated with how wealthy you are - the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to be well prepared.</p>

<p>While the College Board claims to be providing charitable services by offering fee waivers and thus gets its status as a non-profit, let's face it - the waivers only mean anything because their test's existence makes the waivers necessary. And the waivers, while they may help low-SES students take the test, don't pay for the preparation that high-SES students often purchase.</p>

<p>Further, performance on the SAT is strongly correlated to race. Race has nothing to do with either intelligence or academic ability.</p>

<p>Much of the same can be said about the ACT.</p>

<p>I think it is a monstrosity in our civilization. I do very bad on standardized testing, no matter the amount of effort i do. Categorizing each of us in the "smart" and "dumb" realm is absurd. I am considered smart at my school, but when it comes to those tests, i cannot succeed. I think that grades should determine how a student is perceived.</p>

<p>I can relate to the above post. Though the SAT/ACT can be greatly improved upon with practice, right off the bat, it doesn't necessarily mean a whole lot. The questions themselves are pretty easy, and given enough time, most students could probably come to the right answer. So in that sense, it measures thinking speed more than academic potential. In college, some kids will need to study longer than others in order to comprehend the same information. I'm considered a smart student at my small charter school, and I'm in the top rankings of my school, yet the first time I took the ACT, I got a 22, and the second time, I got a 25. Someone else in my class who spent considerably less time studying than me got a 30 her first try, no sweat. She's quite the quick-thinking, "street smart" person, and I think that helped her a lot. I on the other hand am a bit slower. I'm very analytical, and often have to dissect problems to even understand what they want. This takes a considerable amount of time when we're talking about less than a minute per question. </p>

<p>As to my previous post, the amount of effort you put into studying to get a good score does hint at your determination, but as many have said, unfortunately, not everyone has equal knowledge of the importance of doing well on standardized tests. My mom didn't know about the ACT until the day before she was supposed to take it. My dad never mentioned it to me. My school did a fair job of informing us students, and recommended that we take one practice test, but one practice test is nothing compared to what most of he people on these forums are doing. Further, I never got the message as to why a good ACT score is important, until my senior year when I started looking at colleges and scholarship requirements. </p>

<p>Overall, standardized tests to a degree reveal knowledge of basic high school concepts, but they really cater towards certain skills, which really only apply to a limited number of fields. </p>

<p>P.S. Just a silly thought, but imagine the reaction if on an ACT/SAT essay prompt, the question was similar to the title of this topic. Lol...</p>

<p>Standardized tests are certainly an indicator of one's ability in a certain area, but not much more than that. You would have a hard time convincing me that someone who scored a 600 in the SAT math is more mathematically minded than someone who scored an 800.</p>

<p>I think it may not be the best thing but it is makes thing a lot more fair to a lot of people.
At the beginning of the test, the proctor reads the prompt and says,
"The SAT will allow you to showcase your skills and abilities to colleges and higher education institutions in a fair environment." </p>

<p>I think this is very true in my case. I don't have as high a GPA as some of my peers, (I'm Towards the higher end of the top 10%), but I am DEFINITELY as apt or more apt than them to succeed in a high level college. The SAT(Which I do really well on) allows me to stand out on a fair level not influenced by which classes one takes, teachers one gets, cheating in school one does, or actual school one goes to. (I am not rated as high as I could be in my class, but I will probably have the highest score in my grade.)
The SAT allows me to still compete for a spot in an elite college.</p>

<p>They are a good indicator. Only people who do poorly claim they are terrible, shouldn't be used, etc.</p>

<p>Why is the SAT criticized as the test of the wealthy? Waivers are easily available for the poor, and test prep books from a library or online. I got a 2320 with a single take using only 2 prep books. Whatever other flaws it has, it is fair in that regard.</p>

<p>No amount of money in the world can give you the mental ability needed to succeed on the SAT unless you buy the actual test beforehand. Otherwise no poor student would score very high on it.</p>

<p>
[quote]
The SAT is an easy out for admission offices that don't want to devote the resources to do a careful, individualized scrutiny of applicants. It's not surprising that there are very few large universities with huge applicant pools that are SAT optional.
[quote]
</p>

<p>Wrong. Do you really think colleges have the time to carefully study and evaluate 25,000+ applicants? No. Many applicants already complain about waiting for the decision; if colleges follow your idea and do not use the SAT or use it much more lightly, than it could take more than 6 months for an admissions office of around 10 officers to carefully evaluate more than 30,000 applications, unless colleges started mass hiring admissions officers, which is not practical. You are right, it is definitely not surprising that very few schools have the SAT test optional, but that doesn't mean many applicants don't submit their SAT score. Take American University for example. Around 85% of applicants still submit the SAT, yet it is a SAT optional school.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I think it is a monstrosity in our civilization. I do very bad on standardized testing, no matter the amount of effort i do. Categorizing each of us in the "smart" and "dumb" realm is absurd. I am considered smart at my school, but when it comes to those tests, i cannot succeed. I think that grades should determine how a student is perceived

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Grades ARE used to determine how a student is perceived. As is the SAT and other factors. As stated above, the SAT is an efficient solution to the problem of evaluating 30,000+ applicants to a college. Yes, it sucks that a mediocre SAT score can pretty much destroy your application to a top college (if you don't have a hook), but that's the way it works and there is always graduate school, which is less focused on test scores in admitting students. </p>

<p>
[quote]
I'm very analytical, and often have to dissect problems to even understand what they want. This takes a considerable amount of time when we're talking about less than a minute per question.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I understand that is how you approach problems, but don't blame someone who scored higher than you on your analytical approach. Many jobs require you to think quick on your feet. Being able to come up with efficient solutions fast is appealing to many employers. The SAT/ACT test this. </p>

<p>
[quote]
Standardized tests are certainly an indicator of one's ability in a certain area, but not much more than that. You would have a hard time convincing me that someone who scored a 600 in the SAT math is more mathematically minded than someone who scored an 800.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>No, but if I was an admissions officer who didn't know the applicants at all and was going by this, I would certainly choose a person who scored an 800 over someone who scored a 600. And that is a significant discrepancy in score btw, that's not a 2-3 question difference.</p>