SAT Scores 2008 Release

for further information:
Bob Schaeffer: (239) 395-6773
cell: (239) 699-0468

for use with annual SAT score release -- 11am EDT Tuesday, August 26, 2008


SAT LOSING MARKET SHARE TO TEST-OPTIONAL COLLEGES AND ACT;
EXAM’S BIASES AND WEAK PREDICTIVE VALIDITY REDUCE ITS POPULARITY

The SAT is losing market-share as a college admissions test.

Data released today by the exam’s sponsor, the College Board, indicate that a declining percentage of students is taking the exam. In the high school class of 2008, barely 46% of graduating seniors had taken the SAT even once. Three years ago, the last class before a longer and more expensive version of the test was introduced, 47.5% of graduates had taken the SAT.

At the same time, many more students are signing up for the rival ACT exam. Since 2005, the number of ACT registrants has grown by 235,690, an increase five times greater than for the SAT.

There are three reasons for the trend according to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest): the “new” SAT’s failure to address long-standing concerns about the exam’s biases and predictive value; the rapid growth of test-optional admissions; and the more consumer-friendly reputation of the ACT.

“The ‘new” SAT is a flop,” explained FairTest Public Education Director Robert Schaeffer. “It is neither fairer nor more accurate than the exam it replaced. It underpredicts for females, discouraging them from careers in math and science, and for many minority groups. Because average SAT scores dramatically rise as family income increases, its use in the admissions process gives another leg up to children from wealthy households: Yet, even the test-makers admit that high school grades are better than the SAT at forecasting college performance.”

Schaeffer continued, “In part as a result of the SAT’s flaws, more students are considering the growing number of test-optional colleges and universities. Many are shifting to the ACT, which is accepted at the same schools but does not require a costly and time-consuming ‘writing’ section.”

“The best policy for promoting equity and excellence in higher education is test-optional admissions,” Schaeffer concluded. “The ACT may be more student-friendly, but it is just a different test, not a better one. As more than 760 schools now demonstrate, no standardized exam is necessary to assess applicants.”

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Attached in pdf format find table with 2008 SAT scores by gender, ethnicity, income and all test takers, for critical reading, math, writing and totals.

A list of 760+ test-optional colleges is online at http://www.fairtest.org/optinit.htm

A table showing the annual number of students taking the ACT and SAT over the past 20 years is available on request.

 

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2008 COLLEGE BOUND SENIORS AVERAGE SAT SCORES.pdf11.95 KB