the SAT

Topics: SAT, Norm-referenced test, Multiple choice Pages: 7 (2757 words) Published: October 16, 2013


How Reliable and Valid Is the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)?

Lee Middleton
MGMT 640, Assessment
Professor White
February 14, 2013
Abstract
In the world of today, assessments and tests are used as a means to distinguish the knowledge and ability of individuals. The Scholastic Assessment Test, more commonly known as the SAT, is a standardized test that is consistently used throughout the United States. The SAT is used by Universities and Colleges to gain an understanding of a particular student’s academic knowledge. With the SAT being used to determine a student’s future, it is essential that this test provides data that is both reliable and valid. This paper will investigate into the process of the SAT and provide detailed analysis of the tests’ validity and reliability. The examination of the SAT will explore the different aspects of the test and analyze the data that can be derived and interpreted by universities, colleges, professors, and the students themselves.

How Reliable and Valid Is the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)? The SAT is a standardized test, administrated by the College Board, which most Universities and Colleges in the United States require in order to be accepted. The SAT test was first designed and used in 1901 and has undergone many substantial changes since then. The test is made of three sections; mathematics, critical reading, and writing. The four hour test includes a range of questions which all vary in difficulty. The purpose of this test is primarily to judge the level of education each student has and whether they are at a sufficient level in order to meet the educational requirements of a particular college. Different colleges set different SAT requirement scores and therefore a SAT score can determine a student’s future and the likelihood of being accepted into the colleges of their choice. As it stands today, the SAT is still predominantly used as a way of judging a student’s knowledge and predicting their future success in college. However, in recent years, the SAT test has come under major fire, with people not only questioning its reliability and validity, but also colleges dropping the SAT test scores from their entry requirements. With the United States becoming an increasingly diverse country, many believe the SAT is unnecessary, does not tell you enough about the student, and simply cannot determine how successful they are going to be in attaining a college education. Many believe that the high school grade point average gives a better indication of a student’s knowledge and how successful they are likely to be thought their four years at the undergraduate level of college. In addition, they believe the SAT is too closely linked to a student’s socioeconomic status and therefore is not a reliable or valid standardized test. As the SAT comes under increasing pressure, people are going to look for answers and want to know if the SAT is not only necessary but also a valid and reliable standardized testing method for students.

The SAT is design to measure scholastic aptitude, but many would argue that the SAT does not measure this at all. The SAT is designed to measure the likelihood of success in a student’s freshman year of college. However, can that level of success really be determined from a test that focuses on reading comprehension and does not consider a student’s motivation, innovation, creativity, research skills, and character? (Robinson, 1981). This particular statement does not make the test in-valid or unreliable, it simply emphasizes the point that there are other traits that students boast that determine their level of success. The SAT can only measure one or two of these traits and therefore can never give the full picture. Standardized tests are also very dependent on the external variables associated with the student. The examination board can ensure that they do everything in their...
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