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How is the SAT used in College Admission?

date:Mar 19,2013 source:互联网 editorial staff:linan clicks:


 

How is the SAT used in College Admission?
Admissions officers use the SAT in conjunction with other valid measures (such as high school GPA) to predict how well a student will perform academically at a particular college or university.

The College Board has always advised that the SAT be used in combination with other valid measures as part of a holistic review of a student’s application for admission.

What is predictive validity?
In college admissions, predictive validity refers to the ability of an admissions factor (SAT scores, HSGPA, etc.) to successfully predict a specific outcome (first-year GPA, retention to second year, etc.).

Is the SAT valid?
The SAT is consistently shown to be a valid predictor of college success for students from all backgrounds.

The College Board conducts regular validity research to evaluate the efficacy of the SAT. In 2006 the College Board initiated a multi-year, national validity study to follow cohorts of students through their college years, enabling the College Board to acquire longitudinal data about the efficacy of the SAT to predict college outcomes beyond the first year.

To date, more than 200 four-year colleges and universities have participated in the national validity study. The participants represent a broad cross-section of four-year higher education institutions, based on size, sector (public/private), selectivity and geography.

The national validity studies have found that the SAT is not only a valid predictor of first-year college GPA, but also predicts fourth-year cumulative GPA equally as well as high school GPA. As always, the combined use of the SAT and high school GPA is the best predictor of college GPA.

Is the SAT fair?
The SAT is the most rigorously researched and designed test in the world, and is consistently shown to be a fair and valid predictor of first-year college success for all students, regardless of gender, race or socioeconomic status.

The idea that differences in test scores among different groups of students is somehow the result of testing bias is an idea that is largely rejected within mainstream psychology. As stated by NACAC's Report of the Commission on the Use of Standardized Tests in Undergraduate Admission: "A substantial body of literature indicates that test bias has been largely mitigated in today's admission tests due to extensive research and development of question items on both the SAT and ACT."

How does the College Board ensure that the SAT is fair?
The College Board is committed to ensuring that the SAT is fair for students from all backgrounds. To accomplish this, the College Board employs rigorous test development standards.

Every question:

Is reviewed by external experts to make sure it reflects the reading, mathematics and writing skills and knowledge that is acquired as part of a rigorous high school curriculum and crucial for success in college.
Goes through a special sensitivity review process.
Is pretested in all 50 states and any question that performs substantially differently for any gender or ethnic group is eliminated and never makes it to an official scored exam.
If the SAT is fair, why don't some minority students do as well on the SAT as white students? Why can performance vary by family-income groups?
The disparity in average scores among some student subgroups reflects the unfortunate reality that there is a great disparity in educational opportunities for students across the United States. These inequities are reflected in all standardized test scores — regardless of which test is administered — as well as in other measures such as high school graduation and college completion rates.

If a fair national benchmark such as the SAT reveals disparate score averages, it should be viewed as a call to action to ensure access and equity for all students.

The College Board is very concerned about equity and is committed to improving educational access for all students. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students make a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness, connection and success — including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools

The College Board established the Advocacy & Policy Center in 2010 to ensure that students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed in college and beyond. Through initiatives aimed at policy, research and real-world practice, the center addresses the broad needs of our membership of education professionals from over 6,000 institutions. Priorities include college preparation and access; college affordability and financial aid; and college admission and completion.

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Resources For Low-Income Students
 

Does the College Board offer help to students who can't afford to pay test fees?
In keeping with its mission to connect students to college success and opportunity, the College Board provides SAT fee waivers to low-income students for whom exam fees would present an unnecessary barrier in the college-going process.

How many students receive fee waivers?
More students in the class of 2012 utilized fee waivers than any class in the history of the SAT Fee-Waiver Service. Twenty-two percent of all SAT takers – and 27 percent of SAT takers in public schools – utilized fee waiver to take the SAT. Since 2008, participation in the College Board’s SAT Fee-Waiver Program has increased 61 percent.

During the 2011-12 academic year, the College Board expended more than $44 million in fee waivers and related expenses.

How does the SAT Fee-Waiver Service Work?
Fee waivers for both the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests are available for high school students in the United States, U.S. territories and U.S. commonwealths who cannot afford to pay the test fees. Fee waivers for the SAT are available for juniors and seniors only, while eligible high school students in grades 9–12 may receive SAT Subject Test fee waivers.

Eligibility is based on the USDA income guidelines for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program/National School Lunch Program.

For more information, visit SAT fee waivers.

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Test Preparation
 

What is the best way to prepare for the SAT?
The SAT measures a student's academic preparedness for college, and tests the academic skills and knowledge students acquire as part of a rigorous high school curriculum. The best way to get ready for the SAT is to do well in school, take the most rigorous courses available, study hard and read as much as possible. Cramming and short-term prep can’t substitute for hard work in school: there are no tricks or shortcuts to preparing for the SAT. SAT performance data confirm that students who complete a core curriculum and/or take the most rigorous Advanced Placement or honors courses perform better on the SAT.

Test-prep companies claim that they can help students dramatically increase SAT scores. What is the College Board's reaction to these claims?
The College Board is an educational nonprofit, not a test-prep company, and we do not endorse the use of expensive test-prep courses.

Repeated studies show that test prep increases SAT scores by about the same amount as taking the test a second time. For instance, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) released an analysis in 2009 that showed that test-prep courses had minimal impact on improving SAT scores - about 10-20 points on average in mathematics and 5-10 points in critical reading. View the NACAC research.

Does short-term test prep improve SAT performance?
Research shows that short-term, for-profit test-prep courses don't increase test scores significantly, and such courses can't replace years of solid work in the classroom. The best way to get ready for the SAT is to do well in school, take the most rigorous courses available, study hard and read as much as possible. Cramming and short-term prep can’t substitute for hard work in school: there are no tricks or shortcuts to preparing for the SAT.

While there is no substitute for real learning, students often find it useful to familiarize themselves with the SAT format and question types in advance of test day. In order to help students get familiar with the test, the College Board uses retired test content to create free practice tools that are available on the SAT student web site.

More information on these resources can be found at sat.collegeboard.org/practice

Test-prep companies claim that they can help students dramatically increase SAT scores. What is the College Board's reaction to these claims?
The College Board is an educational nonprofit, not a test-prep company, and we do not endorse the use of expensive test-prep courses.

Research studies show that test prep increases SAT scores by about the same amount as taking the test a second time. For instance, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) released an analysis in 2009 that showed that test-prep courses had minimal impact on improving SAT scores - about 10-20 points on average in mathematics and 5-10 points in critical reading. View the NACAC research.

Does the College Board license test materials to the test-prep companies?
The College Board does not license test materials to test-prep companies. In order to help students become familiar with the test, the College Board uses retired test content to create a variety of free and low-cost practice tools that are available on the SAT student website. Test-prep companies cannot use our retired test content in their materials.

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Score Reporting And Score Choice™
 

When and how are scores reported?
SAT scores are reported to each test taker approximately 21 days after each administration. Score reports are also provided to each student’s high school based on the code provided during registration.

How do students send their score to colleges?
Each time a student registers to take the SAT, he or she can send up to four free score reports to colleges or scholarship programs. Additional score reports can be ordered online, by mail or by phone.

The College Board advises – and most colleges and universities require – that Official SAT score reports be sent directly to college and universities by the College Board. The score reports provided to students following an SAT administration are not considered Official SAT Score Reports. Student score reports and Official SAT Score Reports differ in both format and content. The College Board cannot verify scores that are submitted as photocopies of score reports, as printouts from the Internet, or as part of high school transcripts.

What scores are reported if a student tests more than once?
Students can utilize Score Choice to select which SAT scores they send to colleges. If a student does not proactively select Score Choice, all scores will be automatically included in the Official SAT Score Report sent to colleges.

Colleges — not the College Board — set admission policies, and students should check with colleges directly about their particular requirements before applying. As a matter of integrity, students must follow all admission policies, including SAT reporting requirements, set by the colleges.

Do students have to use Score Choice?
SAT Score Choice is an optional feature. If a student does not proactively select "Score Choice," all scores will automatically be included in the Official SAT Score Report sent to colleges.

What is the college's role in Score Choice?
The College Board does not release SAT scores without a student's consent, which means that colleges and universities will receive only the scores students choose to send. Colleges do not "use" Score Choice or opt in or out of Score Choice. Colleges set their own SAT score-use practices. Student can use Score Choice to send the SAT scores that they believe best represent them, according to the requirements of each college or university.

The College Board collects information about SAT score-use policies directly from colleges, and this information is available on our website. More than 3,994 colleges' SAT requirements are now posted on the site. This information is available through Big Future.

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SAT And College Admission
 

How important is the SAT in college admission?
With more students than ever pursuing a college degree admission officers consider college entrance exams such as the SAT integral to the college admission process. In the most recent "State of College Admission" report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), admission test scores ranked as the third-most important factor in college admission, behind only grades in college preparatory courses and strength of curriculum, and ahead of factors such as grades in all courses, application essay and class rank. Nearly 60 percent of admissions officers stated admission test scores were of “considerable importance,” up from 46 percent in 1993.

SAT scores are valid and reliable independent, standardized measure of a student’s college readiness skills. Combined with high school grades, the SAT is actually the best predictor of college success, with a high correlation between SAT scores and first-year college GPA.

How do colleges use the SAT in admission practices?
Nearly all four-year, undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States accept and use the SAT as a valuable and reliable measure of college readiness. Research studies consistently show that the SAT is an excellent predictor of college success. The SAT also serves the important function of guarding against grade inflation at the high school level. The best use of the SAT in the admission process is in combination with high school grades. The SAT and high school grades are both very predictive of first-year college success and, because they are slightly different measures, together they are extremely powerful.

The SAT is an integral part of the admission process at many institutions, and the colleges and universities that require SAT scores do so because they know they can make better admission decisions if they have as much data as possible about every applicant.

Is there a growing trend in college admission toward SAT optional admission policies?
The test-optional trend is overstated. Nearly all four-year, academic, not-for-profit colleges and universities in the United States require a standardized college entrance exam for admission. Only a small number of colleges have adopted test-optional policies, and these institutions still consider standardized test scores when students submit them. Many test-optional schools also use SAT scores for placement, scholarship and research purposes.

The SAT provides a fair, standardized national benchmark that colleges can use to evaluate their applicant pool. It is an especially important tool in a time when grade inflation appears to be increasing and academic standards vary across our nation's high schools.

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The SAT College And Career Readiness Benchmark
 

What is the Benchmark?
The SAT Benchmark was designed to measure the college readiness of groups of students. The SAT Benchmark score of 1550 is associated with a 65 percent probability of obtaining a first year GPA (FYGPA) of a B- or higher, which in turn is associated with a high likelihood of college success. Students meeting the benchmark score of 1550 were more likely to enroll in a four-year college, had higher first-year GPAs and were more likely to be retained for their second and third year than those students who did not attain the SAT benchmark.

The SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark was developed based on research analyzing the SAT scores and college performance of a nationally representative student sample at more than 100 colleges and universities.

Who should use the SAT Benchmark and how should it be used?
The SAT Benchmark is a very reliable tool for measuring the college and career readiness of groups of students and offers educators the benefit of one straightforward yet powerful combined score that captures students’ overall academic knowledge and cross-disciplinary skills.

It was developed to help secondary school administrators, educators and policymakers evaluate the effectiveness of academic programs in order to better prepare students for success in college and beyond.

The SAT Benchmark should not be used for high-stakes admissions decisions regarding the college readiness of any individual student. As college readiness depends on a number of factors, meeting or not meeting this benchmark does not guarantee success or failure in postsecondary education for any individual student. Students that score below the SAT Benchmark can still succeed in college. The SAT Benchmark should never discourage students from pursuing postsecondary education.

The College Board continues to advise that, for individual high-stakes decisions such as admission, SAT scores should always be used together with high school grades and other factors.

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Test Security
 

The College Board is steadfastly committed to ensuring the validity and security of the SAT® and protecting the integrity of the test administration process.

The College Board has implemented enhanced SAT security measures for all test-takers. These enhancements are designed to effectively address security issues without creating unnecessary barriers that might prevent students — particularly those traditionally underrepresented in higher education — from pursuing their college dreams. By implementing these changes, the College Board can maintain an honest and fair testing environment for the millions of students who take the SAT each year as part of the college admission process.

The following enhanced security measures apply to students participating in any of the seven national and six international SAT and SAT Subject Tests™ administrations that take place during a given academic year:

Registration Enhancements:
Effective with the October 2012 SAT administration:
Students are required to provide their attending high school code during registration. Registrations submitted without a high school code will not be processed.
Test center changes are no longer be permitted on test day. Students who want to take the SAT at a different test center than the one designated during registration will be required to request such a change prior to test day.
Test-type changes will no longer be permitted on test day. Students who want to change the type of test they intend to take (i.e., SAT rather than SAT Subject Tests or vice versa) must do so in advance.
Effective with the March 2013 SAT administration:
Students will be required to submit a current, recognizable photo during registration that will be included on a new photo admission ticket.
Students registering online will be required to upload a digital photo.
Students registering by mail will be required to enclose a photo with the paper registration form.
Test-Day Enhancements:
Effective with the October 2012 SAT administration:
Standby (walk-in) testing is no longer permitted.
Test center changes are no longer permitted on test day. Students are required to test at the center designated on their admission ticket.
Students are required to present their photo admission ticket for admittance to their designated test center. Students for the October 2012, November 2012, December 2012 and January 2013 test dates who do not submit a photo must still present their admission ticket at check-in.
Students who register online can print out their admission ticket by logging onto their online College Board account.
Students who register by mail can choose to have the admission ticket mailed or emailed prior to test day.
Students arriving at the test center without both their photo admission ticket and an acceptable form of photo ID will not be admitted to the test center.
Test-takers will be subject to additional ID checks throughout test day. Test-takers will be required to present both their photo admission ticket and an acceptable form of photo ID upon:
entry to test center
entry to their test room
reentry to their test room following breaks
collection of their answer sheet
Test-takers will be required to sign a more comprehensive certification statement on the SAT answer sheet, attesting to the accuracy of the information provided on their admission ticket and answer sheet, agreeing to comply with all test security and fairness policies, and acknowledging that engaging in impersonation could result in referral to law enforcement and prosecution
For more information, please visit: http://sat.collegeboard.org/register/id-requirements

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Test Format
 

What types of questions are on the SAT?
The SAT includes three kinds of questions:

Multiple-choice questions
Student-produced responses (mathematics only)
Essay question
What is the format of the SAT?
The SAT consists of 10 separately timed sections:

Three sections test critical reading (70 minutes total)
Three sections test mathematics (70 minutes total)
Three sections test writing (60 minutes total)
One variable (unscored) section tests critical reading, mathematics or writing (25 minutes total)
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   Minutes  Total Time  Content
Writing (essay)  25  60 minutes 
The essay measures a student's ability to develop and express a point of view on an issue.

Writing (multiple choice)  25 
The multiple-choice questions ask students to:

Recognize sentence errors
Choose the best version of a piece of writing
Improve paragraphs
Writing (multiple choice)  10
Critical reading (multiple choice)  25  70 minutes 
The questions assess students' reading skills, such as:

Identifying main and supporting ideas
Determining the meaning of words in context
Understanding authors' purposes
Understanding the structure and function of sentences
Critical reading (multiple choice)  25
Critical reading (multiple choice)  20
Mathematics (multiple choice and student-produced response)  25  70 minutes 
The questions require students to apply mathematical concepts and to use data literacy skills in interpreting tables, charts and graphs. They cover skills in four major areas:

Number and operations
Algebra and functions
Geometry and measurement
Data analysis, statistics and probability
Mathematics (multiple choice)  25
Mathematics (multiple choice)  20
Variable (unscored, multiple choice)  25  25 minutes 
This section may have critical reading, mathematics or multiple-choice writing questions. It does not count toward the final score.

How much time does the SAT take to complete?
The SAT takes 3 hours and 45 minutes. This includes three short breaks during the test.

What accommodations are available for students with disabilities?
Testing accommodations are available for students with a documented need.

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