Members in the Media
From: Quartz

Should the SAT be optional?


Recently, several colleges and universities in the US have declared that applicants no longer need to submit their SAT or ACT scores to be considered for admission. Numerous schools have gone test optional; in fact, Bowdoin College has been test optional since 1969. However, when available, standardized test scores have been used almost uniformly in making admission decisions at most schools, with the SAT being used since 1926 and the ACT since 1959. Testing has come under intense scrutiny, and an ongoing discussion over its usefulness in college admissions has followed them to this day. The debate over the use of tests is really a debate over what criteria should be used for admissions. Ultimately, the objective and subjective criteria used for selecting students will determine the kinds of people who end up getting coveted spots in incoming classes.

Should standardized tests be used in admissions? And how should we determine whether to use them?

In some of my research (pdf), along with colleagues Gregory Park (pdf), David Lubinski, and Camilla Benbow, we have shown that SAT scores from talented 13-year-olds end up predicting performance on multiple educational and occupational outcomes decades later such as earning doctorates, publications, university tenure, patents, and even income. This shows that test scores can be a useful tool not just for predicting performance in college, but well beyond it. There’s also a large body of evidence in support for standardized tests as documented by David Z. Hambrick and Christopher Chabris in Slate. Finally, it’s worth considering why many businesses are asking candidates for their SAT scores, as Shaila Dewan discussed in the New York Times. If the SAT is being used as a filtering mechanism for hiring after college, why is it being removed as a filtering mechanism before college?

Read the whole story: Quartz

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