SAT “Facelift” Fails To Address Exam’s Basic Flaws; 50+ Schools Go Test-Optional Since Revisions Announced

for further information:                                                                 

Bob Schaeffer (239) 395-6773

                  cell (239) 699-0468

for immediate release, Tuesday, February 23, 2016

SAT “FACELIFT” FAILS TO ADDRESS EXAM’S BASIC FLAWS --

WEAK PREDICTION, BIASES, AND SENSITIVITY TO COACHING;

50+ SCHOOLS GO TEST-OPTIONAL SINCE REVISIONS ANNOUNCED

      Saturday, March 5, is the first administration of the “redesigned SAT.” Though its sponsor, the College Board, is promoting revisions in the exam’s appearance, none of the upcoming changes addresses its key weaknesses, according to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest).

       Bob Schaeffer, FairTest’s Public Education Director, explained, “Even the College Board admits that the ‘new’ SAT will not provide more accurate forecasts of undergraduate success. It will still under-predict the classroom performance of women, older applicants and students whose first language is not English. The coaching industry is already selling high-priced ‘test prep steroids’ to teenagers whose parents can pay thousands to artificially boost scores on the revised exam.”

       “The ‘new’ SAT may look more consumer-friendly, but is not a better test,” Schaeffer continued. “The facelift is largely marketing bells and whistles. The changes seem designed to compete with the ACT, the most widely used admissions exam. The College Board also appears more interested in trying to slow the test-optional movement than improving the test’s measurement precision.”

       Schaeffer concluded, “Higher education decision-makers increasingly recognize that neither the ‘new’ SAT nor the rival ACT is needed for high-quality admissions.” Since the College Board announced the SAT redesign, more than 50 schools adopted test-optional policies. This month, a Harvard study encouraged other colleges and universities to follow suit. More than 850 accredited, bachelor degree granting institutions do not require SAT or ACT scores from all or many applicants. That list includes 200 schools ranked in the top tiers of their academic categories.  

 

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- FairTest’s directory of test-optional and test-flexible colleges and universities:

            http://www.fairtest.org/university/optional

 

- Chronology of 140+ schools dropping ACT/SAT requirements in past decade

            http://www.fairtest.org/sites/default/files/Optional-Growth-Chronology.pdf

 

- List of 200+ top tier schools that do not require admissions test scores from all or many applicants            http://www.fairtest.org/sites/default/files/Optional-Schools-in-U.S.News-Top-Tiers.pdf