It’s official: the new SAT exam isn’t any better than the old one

Well, the experts finally agree with what we always knew… the new SAT isn’t any better at predicting first year college grades than the original SAT exam. More specifically, the addition of a new writing section didn’t have any significant impact on the SAT’s ability to predict the grades of first-year college students.

According to the New America Foundation: the College Board added the writing section to the SAT amid criticism that the old test was not an accurate predictor of college success and that it gave an unfair advantage to wealthier students who could afford coaching. The report, based on the test scores and grades of 150,000 students at schools across the country, found that the new exam is little better than the old one and that high school grades remain the most accurate predictor of academic success for students in their freshman year of college.

Well, folks, that settles it. Your grades are a better indicator of future performance than one single test. No surprise there. Will this give you any sympathy with admissions’ committees if you score poorly? Unlikely…

Source: New America Foundation news roundup, 2008.

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