SAT Controversy Term Paper

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SAT Controversy

The application of SAT for College Entrance Examination has been widely debated, with several supporters for its continued usage and several opponents for its discontinuance. The paper shall deal with both sides of the argument and shall reach at a conclusion.

The SAT is the country's historical, widely prevalent, and misapplied, of College Entrance examinations. The SAT-I is constituted of two phases, Verbal and Math, each marked on a 200-800 point scale. The 138 questions include specifically many choices and the ten questions relating to Mathematics need students to pen down the answers. By pattern, the test denotes more speed that many test undertakers are prevalently finding it short of answering them within the stipulated time. The SAT-II, previously attainment tests, is one hour subject-based exams, which is completely in a multiple choice pattern (excluding the SAT-II written exam, which is comprehensive of one 20 minute essay). The Educational Testing Service (ETS), hired under contract to the College Board, installs all SAT tests. A direct child of the racist anti-immigrant Army Mental Tests around the 1920s, the SAT was initially applied in 1926 but did not turn out to be a complete variety of preference examination till the phase of the World War II. (Pascarella; Terenzini, 1991).

During the phase of First World War, Robert Yerkes, a prominent member of the new IQ testing movement, persisted on the U.S. army to allow him examine all the enrollers for a quotient of intelligence. This exam, the Army Alpha, -- was the initially undertaken IQ test. One among the Yerkes' subordinate was a budding psychologist by the name of Carl Brigham, who imbibed teachings at Princeton. After the war was over, Brigham started undertaking the Army Alpha (chiefly by turning it really arduous) for application as a college admissions test. It was initially applied on an experimental basis to a set of college applicants during the time of 1926. In 1933, James Bryant Conant, on attaining the presidency of Harvard, drew a decision that he should initiate a new scholarship program for academically gifted boys who did not turn up for the Eastern boarding schools that were the consistent donors of Harvard's enrollers. He donated Henry Chauncey, a subordinate dean at Harvard, for the purpose of undertaking the discovery of a test to elucidate candidates for these particular scholarship programs. (Nicholas, 1999)

Chauncey came across Brigham, and reached back to Conant with the strong advice that he need to apply the SAT. Conant had an attraction to the test due to the fact that he assumed that it scaled sheer intelligence, irrespective of the quality of the undertaker's high school literacy. During the time of 1938, he initiated all the fellow schools of the College Board to apply the SAT as a consistent exam, but exclusively for scholarship enrollers. During the time of 1942, due to the war, the College Board admission tests that existed were terminated, so that the SAT turned out the test for all enrollers. In 1944, taken under contract to the Army and the Navy, Chauncey implemented the SAT to more or less 300,000 masses across the country in one day. During the time of 1948 the Educational Testing Service was labeled and the SAT was proceeding on its deliberation to turn out the basic college admissions gadget for millions of people. In the beginning titled the Scholastic Aptitude Test and then following that to Scholastic Assessment Test, it has now been formally labeled just SAT due to the queasiness at ETS and the College Board about elucidating just what the exam scales. SAT is not an upstart; it does not expand to anything. The test had molded over the years, but not thoroughly. (Nicholas, 1999)

Argument array

For 75 years SAT has been a valuable part of the process for admissions. According to the supporters of SAT, this examination not only increases the chances of admission for all students but may also help the individual student. The main objective of SAT is to assess the readiness of a student to attend college. The effectiveness of the test can also be judged from the correlation of the grades in SAT with the grades in college. Individually the SAT scores give the predictions for the students not only about their college grades but also about their high school grades. The scores in this examination can also be used in conjunction with the GPA scores achieved by the students and this normally gives more accurate results. This ability to give a good prediction helps the examination to determine the chances of success that a student has at a fixed college. At the same time, since it provides accurate predictions it will also predict the chances of failure that a student will have, and this is almost mathematical in its accuracy. When the student fails, but could have succeeded at some other colleges, then the non-prediction is a disservice done to him. According to the supporters of SAT, if the SAT examinations are not taken the result will be seen in the failure of more students, especially the minority students. (Hiss, 1990)

The test is formulated to be free of high school curriculum (bearing least semblance to the SAT's major rival, the ACT). It now constitutes of analogies, sentence completion, reading comprehension, standard mathematics and quantitative comparison items. The SAT-I is not comprehensive of advanced mathematics topics or in no way does it try to ascertain enhanced level of thinking or reasoning skills. Though a mark in the verbal abilities is given, test undertakers do not pen down a single word. Ever since its origination in 1926, the SAT Reasoning Test has served as a significant instrument for colleges to draw out objective elucidations between students from a disarray of high schools stretched all through the country. As a student might have a GPA higher ordinance to that of his counterparts, his SAT marks enables admission boards to pinpoint whether his good marks are arising out of his own deliberate effort or the redundantly donating marking policies of tutors who give up the honesty of their marks on the attire of social inculcation. (Schneider and Dorans, 1999)

There have been several criticisms raised against the use of SAT. SAT is proclaimed as foreseeing fresher year marks in college to a meager extent. And of course it carries out. It scales it in a meager chunk. Almost every thing one carries out, comprehensive of family asset, will scale fresher year marks in a meager amount. But the exact fact is that it does not scale intellect, according to critics. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scales particular credentials, but may not mirror everyday intelligence quotient. U.S. presidential enrollers Al Gore and George Bush did not get marks specifically well on the verbal phase of the SAT. Gore was in reception of 625 and Bush a 566. In spite of these meager scores, majority of the masses would as a case comply with the fact that Gore and Bush are intelligent. It has been criticized that general intelligence tests do not scale credentials such as creativity and adaptability. To be determinant of success through SAT, the student's SAT mark is etched on a table, along with both the cases as whether or not the student has had a graduation. (Cavanagh, 2003)

Via these means, data can be gathered for both results, and, when the ratio of students mark at a specific level is graphed or histogrammed, it will constitute two dissipations, which can be clearly elucidated by two bell curves. One curve is constituted for students who did not clear graduation, and makes a record of their marks on the x-axis, with the recurrence of their scores at variant levels on the y-axis, while a semblance of the curve can portray those who clear graduation. In virtual surroundings, there is a semblance of overlapping of the curves. Some students with associatively increasing SATs may not have cleared graduation, while some with associatively meager SATs may as a matter of fact clear their graduation. Critics argue that due to the fact that we are attempting to apply SAT marks as the foreseeing aspect of success in clearing graduation at college we require to prefer some area that will give rise to majority of students admitting that they have indeed graduated taking into assumption that an education may be wasted on those particular people who do not bear the least semblance of getting a graduation. (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991).

Again further it has been criticized that SAT has created possibilities of non-graduating students who will be inappropriately admitted and the figure of capable graduating students who will be inappropriately turned down admission. Anyhow, if high school GPA is also applied, the mixture of SAT and GPA can be put as many variant rational and mathematical definitive rules, of which a single one will statistically mitigate the probabilities of perpetrating admission errors, according to critics. This is an instance of the means in which decisive rules…[continue]

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