Socio-economic Background And Performance On The SAT

The College Board describes the SAT as a tool to "assess academic readiness for college [...] and provide a path to opportunities, financial support and scholarships, in a way that's fair to all students."  However, according to the organization's own data, the tests appear to favor certain demographics--a realization that has spurred the recent redesign of the SAT in an effort to "level the playing field a bit for high school students from a wider range of families."

As shown by Zachary Goldfarb, of the Washington Post, SAT scores are positively correlated with family income and parents' education, as well as PSAT participation--a reflection of the fact that the "SAT benefits families who can provide their kids with a better education," including choosing schools in wealthier communities that are better able to prepare students for standardized testing by offering PSATs.  The data also show that Asians and whites do better on the test than other ethnic groups.



The redesigned SAT "will no longer require a timed essay, will dwell less on fancy vocabulary and will return to the familiar 1600-point scoring scale in a major overhaul intended to open doors to higher education for students who are now shut out."  College Board officials also announced that SAT prep would be provided for free, and that up to four college application fee waivers would be given to each test-taker meeting income eligibility requirements, allowing them to apply to schools for free.

Read more:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/03/05/these-four-charts-show-how-the-sat-favors-the-rich-educated-families/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/sat-to-drop-essay-requirement-and-return-to-top-score-of-1600-in-redesign-of-admission-test/2014/03/05/2aa9eee4-a46a-11e3-8466-d34c451760b9_story.html
https://sat.collegeboard.org/about-tests
Frederique Laubepin

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