Report Shows Many Admissions Offices Don't Have Current ACT/SAT Predictive Validity Studies

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Bob Schaeffer  (239) 395-6773                                        

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for immediate release with NACAC predictive validity report, Wednesday, June 15, 2016

MANY COLLEGES DON’T HAVE CURRENT ACT/SAT VALIDITY ANALYSES,

ACCORDING TO NEW, NATIONAL ADMISSIONS STUDY;

TEST-OPTIONAL ADVOCATES URGE SCHOOLS TO REVIEW REQUIREMENTS

A report released today by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) reveals that nearly half of all four-year institutions do not have current data on the predictive value of the ACT and SAT scores they use. The study should encourage more schools to analyze their standardized exam requirements, according to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest), the test-optional admissions leader.

FairTest Public Education Director Bob Schaeffer explained, “Some admissions offices continue to require the ACT and SAT out of habit. Others believe the tests convey ‘prestige.’ As NACAC shows, many of these institutions lack current evidence that the scores accurately forecast academic outcomes.”

FairTest’s Schaeffer added, “Admissions offices without recent predictive validity data violate testing industry policies.” According to Guidelines on the Usage of College Board Test Scores and Related Data, schools should “Regularly validate data used in the selection process to ensure their continuing relevance.” The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing also calls for regular analyses of admissions exams.

In the five years since the NACAC survey on which today’s report is based, 77 more colleges and universities dropped ACT and SAT requirements, according to a FairTest tally. Many of those decisions came after schools updated their validity studies.

More than 860 colleges and universities are now test-optional for all or many applicants (http://fairtest.org/university/optional). The test-optional pace accelerated after the “redesigned” SAT was unveiled (http://www.fairtest.org/sites/default/files/Optional-Growth-Chronology.pdf).

Schaeffer concluded, “Among the questions schools should ask in reviewing their requirements:

        -  Do the tests have meaningful predictive validity at this institution?
        -  Does that validity hold for all ethnic, gender, age, and income groups?
        -  Do the tests add anything significant to what we already know about applicants?
        -  Are test scores deterring potential applicants who would make suitable students?

We are confident that the result will be another surge of schools adopting test-optional admissions policies.”

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