The Truth About the SAT and the ACT

Matt Larriva
Jul 28, 2023
Home » The Truth About the SAT and the ACT

–According to The Journal

The Wall Street Journal ran a decidedly pro SAT & ACT earlier this month. The full article can be found here, and is noteworthy for being supportive of the tests when the media’s usual stance is one of condemnation. This stance is understandable: it is far easier to write stories about the cultural bias, the socioeconomic bias, the cheating, and the outlandishly expensive test-prep industry.

And while those stories are not wholly inaccurate, they belie the fact that the SAT and ACT accomplish their primary goal: to predict students’ performance in college. According to the article, “Longitudinal research demonstrates that standardized tests predict not just grades all the way through college but also the level of courses a student is likely to take.”

Expanding to broader implications, the article cites studies linking test performance to later-life accomplishments, such as publishing a novel or patenting technology.

The article debunks a number of other anti-test myths (i.e., the tests are just measures of social class). But the overarching theme is clear: the SAT and ACT are serving their purpose, and are unlikely to be replaced or deemphasized.

In a time of greater numbers of college applicants facing fixed numbers of college seats, admissions officers will continue to look for the kinds of objective metrics provided by standardized test scores.

Finally, the article