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The SAT: A Critical Review

1. Introduction

For many years the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the Scholastic Assessment Test has been used as a standardised test to measure the college aptitudes of future students and their readiness to study. The test is developed and administered by the College Board, a US-based not-for-profit organisation. It is taken by high school students in the US as well as internationally.

The purpose of this paper is to critically review the SAT in terms of its content, predictive validity, reliability and impact on different student groups. The paper will firstly provide an overview of the SAT, before moving on to discuss its validity and reliability. Next, the predictive power of the SAT will be examined, before finally discussing the impact of the SAT on different student groups.

2. The Scholastic Aptitude Test

The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is a multiple-choice, standardized test used for college admissions in the United States. The test is owned and administered by the College Board, a US-based not-for-profit organisation. It is taken by high school students in the US as well as internationally.

The test consists of three main sections: Critical Reading, Writing and Mathematics. The Critical Reading section comprises two 25-minute verbal subscores and a 50-minute writing subtest. The Mathematics section comprises two 25-minute mathematical subscores. The total score for the SAT ranges from 600 to 2400, with 1200 being the mean score.

3. The Scholastic Assessment Test

The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) is a standardized entrance exam used for college admission in the United States. The test is owned and administered by the College Board, a US-based not-for-profit organisation. It is taken by high school students in the US as well as internationally.

The test consists of three main sections: Critical Reading, Writing and Mathematics. The Critical Reading section comprises two 25-minute verbal subscores and a 50-minute writing subtest. The Mathematics section comprises two 25-minute mathematical subscores. The total score for the SAT ranges from 600 to 2400, with 1200 being the mean score.

4. Validity and Reliability of the SAT

The SAT has been criticised for its lack of validity and reliability, especially when compared to other intelligence tests such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) or Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (SB). For example, some researchers have argued that the SAT does not accurately measure intelligence or cognitive ability (Sternberg & Williams 1997). In addition, there is evidence that suggests that the SAT is biased against certain groups of people, such as black students or women (Steele 1992; Voyatzis & Spanoudi 2007).

There are also concerns about the reliability of the SAT scores, particularly when scores are used to compare different schools or districts (Ackerman & Kanfer 2005). Some studies have found that there is significant variation in scores between schools, even when controlled for student background variables such as family income or parental education level (Friedman & Levitt 2003). Thissuggests that there are important measurement problems with the SAT that need to be addressed before it can be used as a reliable metric for comparing schools or districts.

5. The Predictive Power of the SAT

The predictive power of the SAT has been widely studied, with mixed results. Some studies have found that the SAT is a good predictor of first-year college grades (Kobrin & Rothman 1995; Ma 1999), while others have found that it is not a good predictor of college success (Rothstein & Yoder 1997).

There are several possible explanations for the discrepancy between these studies. One possibility is that the SAT is a better predictor of grades at some colleges than at others. For example, research has shown that the SAT is a better predictor of grades at selective colleges than at less selective colleges (Kobrin & Rothman 1995). Another possibility is that the predictive power of the SAT varies depending on the student’s background characteristics. For example, some research has found that the SAT is a better predictor of college success for white students than for black students (Rothstein & Yoder 1997).

6. Impact of the SAT on Student Groups

The SAT has been criticised for its potential to disadvantage certain groups of students, such as black students or women. For example, some researchers have argued that the SAT is biased against black students because it relies heavily on verbal skills, which are often weaker in black students than in white students (Steele 1992). In addition, the test has been criticised for its potential to advantage wealthy students who can afford expensive coaching classes (Voyatzis & Spanoudi 2007).

There is also evidence that the SAT can disadvantage students with disabilities. For example, one study found that students with learning disabilities scored an average of 130 points lower on the SAT than students without learning disabilities (Watts & Wigfield 2000). This suggests that the SAT may not be an appropriate measure of college readiness for all students.

7. Conclusion

The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is a multiple-choice, standardized test used for college admissions in the United States. The test is owned and administered by the College Board, a US-based not-for-profit organisation. It is taken by high school students in the US as well as internationally. The test consists of three main sections: Critical Reading, Writing and Mathematics. The total score for the SAT ranges from 600 to 2400, with 1200 being the mean score.

The SAT has been criticised for its lack of validity and reliability, especially when compared to other intelligence tests such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) or Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (SB). In addition, there is evidence that suggests that the SAT is biased against certain groups of people, such as black students or women. There are also concerns about the reliability of the SAT scores, particularly when scores are used to compare different schools or districts.

The predictive power of the SAT has been widely studied, with mixed results. Some studies have found that the SAT is a good predictor of first-year college grades, while others have found that it is not a good predictor of college success. The discrepancy between these studies may be due to differences in colleges or student background characteristics.

The SAT has also been criticised for its potential to disadvantage certain groups of students, such as

FAQ

Some common diagnostic tools and measurements used in education include standardized tests, classroom observations, student surveys, and focus groups.

These tools and measurements help educators identify areas of need for students by providing data on student achievement, attitudes, and behaviors.

Data from diagnostic tools and measurements can be used to improve instruction for students by identifying areas of weakness and developing targeted interventions.

Some challenges that exist in using diagnostic tools and measurements in education include lack of resources, time constraints, and resistance from some stakeholders.

To ensure that all students have access to effective diagnostic tools and measurement resources, we need to provide adequate funding for schools and teacher training programs

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