ACT/SAT Score Have No Use...

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by tug_boat, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

    Jun 18, 2012
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  2. JMS

    JMS Member

    Jul 2, 2011
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    Well, to offer another point of view, some of my kids test poorly, and so, in-spite of modest SATs went off to college and did just fine. My kids who had very good SATs did very well, too. I imagine there are anecdotes of students with the opposite experiences.
    If the SAT was designed to ascertain ones ability to do college level academic work, I am not sure they do it all that well. But it is hard to get past the score because it is a hard, if imprecise, score that admission people can use to sift and sort the applicants.
  3. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Jan 4, 2011
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    Something I found interesting from the study

    The study is saying because of POTENTIAL "false negatives," and "false positives" spend more money (by default spend less money on students or raise tuition) to conduct their own study or revamp the admissions process to not use SAT/ACT scores.

    I wonder what's the POTENTIAL for SAT/ACTs to be a good predictor?

    Why should high school students devote time to study and prepare for SAT/ACT to be competitive when they already know you need a good SAT/ACT scores?
  4. Blondie1

    Blondie1 Member

    Dec 19, 2013
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    I can see a place for SAT/ACT scores in that they are an even playing field, unlike high school grades. In our small town our high school is a Calif. Distinguised High School--the rigor at our school is VERY high in comparison to the majority of the schools in other nearby communities. A 4.0+ GPA at our high school is not the same as a 4.0+ GPA at these other schools! We constantly have students move to our district with straight A's--and they struggle to earn a B average at our school. Looking just at grades might not provide an accurate indicator of an individual's ability.
  5. Rocko

    Rocko Member

    Mar 29, 2013
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    IMHO, class rank says the most about how a student will fair. The issue with comparing GPA is that this is by no means a level playing field. Each school handles this differently and as stated some schools hand out A's while others don't. BUT the class rank IS an equal playing field for all students in a particular school. All students have the same opportunities, same level of instruction etc.

    ACT/SAT scores give a general idea where each student is academically at that time compared to all others. But to me, the advantage goes to those in GREAT academic schools who have the opportunities that others in less stellar schools don't have. They have had the high level instruction so it makes sense they may score higher. You don't know what you have not been taught.

    I honestly don't believe the top academic schools all just magically have the smartest kids in their area. They have the BEST teachers/curriculum and thus gain an academic advantage over those in less than stellar academic schools.

    But the question remains, once all these students go to the same school (Academy) on a level playing field as far as instruction goes, who in the end will succeed and who will struggle?

    In my humble opinion those who have managed to be on top (Class rank) given all things being equal are the ones I would pick. Give me the student from an average school who can rank top 1-2 percent and I'll take them over the student who scores higher on a standardized test, yet against his peers is top 25 percent. That person in my mind given all things equal did not fair as well.

    Again this is just my uneducated .02 cents worth.
  6. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

    Oct 23, 2013
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    Agreed about gpa, but just to play devil's advocate -- what would you do about homeschooled students (rank 1/1) or those in a class of 5 or 20? Rank 2/10 can't really be compared to a rank of 9/450 -- even though they're both top 2%. (Assuming here the homeschooled and class of 10 have fewer options classwise than the larger schools.)

    Is the point of the article really about ACT/SAT scores predicting academic success in college, or using ACT/SAT scores to rank students for acceptance into competitive colleges, or both? The ACT/SAT is one tool that is the same for all students nationwide, unlike the variances of gpa, class size/rank, honors/AP classes, etc. I guess that's where the WCS comes in, to take into account multiple variables to rank the candidates and reward strengths while considering weaknesses, especially if those weaknesses are not in the student's control (ie class size).
  7. Packer

    Packer Member

    Feb 11, 2011
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    You know they play this game down in Texas. At UT the top 7% gain automatic admission. That kid that is at the top 25% at the "good" school moves to a "average" school so that he/she will be in the top 7%. The class rank is used as a method of insuring diversity in the Texas schools.

    I think it is difficult at best to compare kids from different schools by class rank or gpa. The ACT/SAT tests are currently the only tool that compares every kid on an equal basis. The preparation for these tests are obviously not equal. The ACT/SAT would be better predictors in my opinion if kids were only allowed to take each one time. There is too much money involved in having kids take the tests and send scores multiple times, so this will not happen.
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Jun 9, 2006
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    You can hopefully imagine that it's hard for any national univeristy to compare and contrast students from different high schools, regions, states, etc.

    USNA uses class rank and standardized test scores in combination to evaluate a candidate. Class rank generally indicates how well you stack up against your peers in the little corner of the world that is your h.s. It is more meaningful to USNA than GPA because you can have a 3.5 and stand in the bottom 10% of your class or a 3.5 and stand in the top 10% of your class. Huge difference.

    Now you may be in a super-competitive h.s. or you may be the only smart person in your h.s. Or your h.s. class may be really small (e.g., <15 students) such that it's hard to make much sense of your class rank. Standardized test scores help compare you against people in other parts of the community, state, and country.

    That said, neither of the above is a perfect indicator of academic ability, achievement and future success. That's why USNA also looks hard at teacher recs to help evaluate academics. I've no doubt the other SAs use similar approaches; I'm just not familiar with their processes so can't comment.
  9. txpotato

    txpotato Member

    Jan 10, 2013
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    "Private test preparation market... is a $2 billion industry in the United States."

    I don't see the tests going anywhere.

    And as a home school parent, we welcome the standardized testing as a way to say, "I told you so." While I do not believe that scores are a predictor of future academic success, they serve to legitimize the education my children have received at home.

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