The Washington Post:
There’s a reason the College Board scrubbed “aptitude” from the name of its big admission test two decades ago. The idea of a Scholastic Aptitude Test left the organization open to criticism that it believed some people were born to go to college and some weren’t.
The latest version of what is now simply called the SAT drops questions about arcane vocabulary, continuing a long move away from testing for aptitude as the College Board seeks to tie the exam more closely to what students learn in the classroom. Previous revisions had dropped antonym, analogy and quantitative-comparison questions that were also seen as detached from the nation’s school curriculum.
“If students’ preparations differ (e.g. at good schools vs. bad schools), achievement will go down in the bad schools. That is why we call them ‘bad,’” Earl Hunt, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Washington, said in an e-mail. “Aptitude tests, which emphasize more ‘on the spot’ reasoning over recall of facts, can be used to identify talent or lack of it amongst students with poor preparation.”
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