FairTest's Reaction to the Release of the 2007 SAT Scores

for further information:
Bob Schaeffer (239) 395-6773
Cell (239) 699-0468
for release with annual SAT scores
Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Continued Score Decline, Stagnant Test-Taker Growth Reinforce Concerns about New SAT Scores
Scores on Rival ACT Increased as Its Registrations Soared;
Neither Test Needed for High-Quality Admissions

The continued decline in scores on the "new" SAT - during the same period when scores on the rival ACT increased -- demonstrates that "the College Board failed to keep its promise that the revised SAT would remain a consistent measuring tool," according to FairTest, the National Center for Fair & Open Testing. FairTest also noted that the number of students taking the SAT has stagnated, while ACT registration totals have grown rapidly.

"On the SAT, both Critical Reading and Math results were rising before the revised exam was administered," explained FairTest Public Education Director Robert Schaeffer. "After they plunged seven points last year, the College Board attempted to explain the decline as a one-time variation in re-testing patterns. That excuse does not hold up after this year's additional four point drop. This unexplained trend will further chip away at the exam's credibility."

"The less than two percent growth in the number of SAT takers, in a year when ACT registrations rose by more than seven percent, indicates that students also recognize that the 'new' SAT is fundamentally flawed," Schaeffer added. In the two years since the "new" exam was introduced the number of high school graduates who had taken the SAT grew by only 19,088 while ACT attracted 114,348 additional test takers.

Schaeffer concluded, "The ACT may be more consumer friendly, but it's just a different test, not a better predictor of college performance. The truth is that no standardized exam is needed in the admissions process, as a growing number of schools have demonstrated."

Since the "new" SAT was introduced, two dozen more colleges and universities have dropped test score requirements for many or all applicants. Twenty-six of the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings do not require the SAT or ACT. All told more than 740 accredited, bachelor-degree granting institutions have test-optional policies (http://www.fairtest.org/optinit.htm).

Addditional Information

2007 SAT score changes by race/ethnicity, gender and income as well as a list of test-score optional colleges are online at http://www.fairtest.org.

A chronology of colleges adopting test-optional policies and a table tracking the numbers of students taking the ACT and SAT each year for the past two decades are available on request from FairTest.

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