O.T. Uconn drops SAT for 3 years

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Okay so Uconn (along with others) will not ask for SAT results for admision. For 3 years at least. So is this a good thing? Or the dumbing down of our education system. I have no dog in this hunt..Just think its a good topic to discuss.......
 

KnightBridgeAZ

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Don't know. They say your background affects your score, and of course everyone tests differently on standardized tests.

I did very well on SAT (and PSAT where I was a Merit Scholarship semifinalist). And I was 11th in a class of 700 (10 tied for perfect). And this proved what? In general, schools were not interested in me because I wasn't "well rounded" meaning I didn't participate in clubs and other activities (I was very shy in high school). A good SAT at most got me looked at.

Due to other factors, I could have gone to Union College (Schenectady IIRC), Wesleyan or RPI. I went to Rutgers, I was well educated, enjoyed my college experience and went on to a satisfying work life in a different field than my major.

All this is to make the point that I don't think SAT score is a be-all / end-all. Lots of folks with less lofty SAT scores ended up doing just as well. And isn't the outcome what matters?
 

huskeynut

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The SAT's are only one aspect of a complex puzzle called a high school student. Some test very well on these types of tests. Others do not. This has been known for a long while now. I don't see the SAT's as a predictor of success or inability to succeed. The emphasis on these scores by colleges diminished several years ago.
 
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I graduated 8th in a class of 766 students yet my SATs were very average. I went to a state college in Michigan (was accepted by the University of Michigan but went to Michigan State instead, even though UofM is ranked as high as the No. 3 public university in the US behind only UCLA and Cal Berkeley, No. 25 overall***), had a successful career and I'm now retired. So, I down vote the importance of the test and even the "prestige" of the university.

***US News and World Report for 2020
 
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CL82

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I think the president has a very egalitarian view of the university’s role in the state. His decision that UConn will give free tuition to students whose family income is $50,000 or less emphasizes economic need over academic achievement. If the legislature believes that is an appropriate expenditure of state funds, there probably are better institutions to do it then the states premier public university.

Keep in mind that high achieving kids from those families are already getting offers to attend college at little or no cost. What Pres. Katsolous’ decision does is offer the rest an education. Again that’s a noble enough goal I’m just not sure it should be done at UConn rather than other state institutions.

New Jersey, for example, has a program where good students can attend county college for free and, if their grades are strong enough, finish their last two years at any state school at no cost. I think that’s a better approach.
 
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The SAT's are only one aspect of a complex puzzle called a high school student. Some test very well on these types of tests. Others do not. This has been known for a long while now. I don't see the SAT's as a predictor of success or inability to succeed. The emphasis on these scores by colleges diminished several years ago.
100% agree here. My alma mater (WPI) made SAT’s optional on applications over a decade ago and they don’t seem to have suffered one bit in terms of their student talent pool.

I’m a high school teacher and have seen anecdotally from speaking with alums that SAT performance is not an indicator of ability or success in college. I’m not saying the test is useless but I’m glad to see the emphasis on it decreasing and hope to see this trend continue substantially.
 
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Mississippi was and I believe is an ACT state, which is pretty common in the south. I had a good score which helped me receive a partial scholarship to Mississippi State where I did well (3.7ish in Industrial Engineering).

I don’t believe the ACT or SAT are the best way to determine college success but I believe they have validity to be used as part of a holistic approach to admission at a selective university.
 

Bigboote

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A couple of points to add to the excellent replies already posted.

If they're dropping SATs, that likely means they already carry little weight.

I don't know how large the admissions staff is at UConn, but if they take a long look at all the applicants on the bubble, they can suss out which are good and which aren't without the SATs.

I went to a small highly selective college that was one of the first to go SAT-optional, in the mid 80's. They were able to do it because they were small and had the staff to view the applications holistically. Despite some doom and gloom expressed by some alumni, it remains a highly selective school, and as I said, the admissions criteria changed little because the SAT didn't carry much weight prior to the change.
 

huskeynut

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100% agree here. My alma mater (WPI) made SAT’s optional on applications over a decade ago and they don’t seem to have suffered one bit in terms of their student talent pool.

I’m a high school teacher and have seen anecdotally from speaking with alums that SAT performance is not an indicator of ability or success in college. I’m not saying the test is useless but I’m glad to see the emphasis on it decreasing and hope to see this trend continue substantially.
I taught for 33 years on the high school and middle school level. Seems we both saw the same indicators. Plus we have 3 sons who did not do particularly well on the SAT's. All three are doing very well in their fields of endeavor.
 
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The SAT's are only one aspect of a complex puzzle called a high school student. Some test very well on these types of tests. Others do not. This has been known for a long while now. I don't see the SAT's as a predictor of success or inability to succeed. The emphasis on these scores by colleges diminished several years ago.
I liked your comment on SAT's being "one aspect of a complex puzzle." I have twins, one who did well on standardized tests and one who did not. Both graduated high school in top 20, did well in college and have good careers. My son, who does poorly on standardized tests, became self aware of his issues and this has helped his pursuit of certain careers and jobs. Similar to personality and 360 degree tests, I would not ignore how someone performs on standardized test. I would also second the theory that its only one of many indicators.
 
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The SAT has been declining in stature for a very long time. And with the rise of AP exams and SAT II subject tests, which test what you've actually learned in important and challenging subjects, the touchy-feely SAT was becoming even less necessary.

Universities have long realized that grades in high school, plus the rigor of the academic record, were far better predictors of academic success. Indeed, the SAT is much more amenable to expensive test prep courses for suburban kids, resulting in worse scores relatively for those from lower-income households.

So I'm guessing that the SAT might be one of those things that Covid-19 eliminates permanently.
 

UcMiami

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Interestingly, I think this can cut both ways - most everyone understands the limitations of standardized tests and from good high schools with good teaching and good facilities there is plenty of other information available for admissions to evaluate applicants. Having worked at one point bringing artists groups into elementary schools in the South Bronx, I have also seen the really ugly side of elementary education and for some of those kids I suspect good standardized test scores made up a huge part of the available evaluation.

As others say - if there is a chance to really process every applicant 'holistically' that is great, but the reality of a lot of admissions departments is that process only occurs after the applications have gone through a quick and dirty pass to cut out 50% (or a lot more) of the candidates.
 
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Never took the SAT. Did 4 years military then 25.6 yrs patrolling the mean streets. Retired and doing a part time celebrity gigs when I feel like it! Life is good! Pensions are niiiiiice! . Oh and my daughter did will in that SAT thing. Go Cuse!! Did I answer the question? Lol
 
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Here's the problem. Of course the SAT isn't a perfect predictor of college success - no one claims that it is. But it's BY FAR the BEST predictor of college success. Far better than HS grades. Far better than extracurricular activities. Far better than application essays. In fact, better than the entire portfolios that many schools ask for and have evaluated by professional educators. Take away the SAT and all you have left are things that 1) disproportionately favor the wealthy and 2) have far less correlation to college success.

Personally, I would not have made it to a competitive institution had it not been for my SAT scores. My family was not wealthy and lived in the country - I worked and had almost zero extra-curricular activities. I had some minor disciplinary problems early in my HS days and was shut out of the AP classes. My transcript was mostly A's, but a few D's and . But my SAT score sparkled like the sun and I put all that behind me when I got to university.

Removing the SAT is a well-disguised attempt by college administrators to remove the (already slight) limits on their ability to pick-and-choose who they want in their schools. And you can be assured that they people they want in their schools are the ones that look - no, think - like they do.
 

Plebe

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Here's the problem. Of course the SAT isn't a perfect predictor of college success - no one claims that it is. But it's BY FAR the BEST predictor of college success. Far better than HS grades.
I don't believe this is accurate.

"Research has shown that grades are the best single predictor of college performance and aren’t as heavily influenced as the standardized exams by income, parent education levels and race."


See also Predicting College Success
 

Aluminny69

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The college admissions process is more carefully guarded than our nuclear secrets. If you are rejected, there is no way to find out why. The SATs level the playing field. High School grades are highly subjective, as not all High Schools grade the same. Of course, I am partial to SATS, since I probably don't get into UConn without high SATS. I was barely in the top third of my class gradewise, due in part to the fact that they didn't wiegh the Honors classes. I didn't even realize the importance of grades until my senior year, when I then had to sweat out admission to the only school I could afford. Ironically, after never coming close to honor roll in High School, I made Honor Roll both semesters at Stamford Branch, freshman year. Freshman year actually proved easier than senior year of High School. ( Sophomore year, living in a fraternity, was an entirely different story.)

The SAT has already been dumbed down. College Admission drop it basically because they want to admit whoever they want. Although they raise the numbers of minorities, it's ultimately the Asian and Jewish students who get the short end of the stick. /Rant off
 

oldude

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The college admissions process is more carefully guarded than our nuclear secrets. If you are rejected, there is no way to find out why. The SATs level the playing field. High School grades are highly subjective, as not all High Schools grade the same. Of course, I am partial to SATS, since I probably don't get into UConn without high SATS. I was barely in the top third of my class gradewise, due in part to the fact that they didn't wiegh the Honors classes. I didn't even realize the importance of grades until my senior year, when I then had to sweat out admission to the only school I could afford. Ironically, after never coming close to honor roll in High School, I made Honor Roll both semesters at Stamford Branch, freshman year. Freshman year actually proved easier than senior year of High School. ( Sophomore year, living in a fraternity, was an entirely different story.)

The SAT has already been dumbed down. College Admission drop it basically because they want to admit whoever they want. Although they raise the numbers of minorities, it's ultimately the Asian and Jewish students who get the short end of the stick. /Rant off
SAT’s & ACT’s can be a crutch for college admissions departments that don’t have the resources or are too lazy to fully evaluate candidates. While such tests can be a useful tool in the process, they are just one tool, and not the best one.

As Plebe and others point out, the biggest single predictive factor of how a HS kid will perform in college is their grades/class rank in HS, regardless of whether they went to an underfunded public HS or their parents paid $20,000 a year so they could go to an elite prep school.

Why is this so? One word: motivation. The kids that do well academically in HS are highly motivated to succeed with a strong competitive drive, figure out what it takes to do so at their respective schools and then manage their time and effort appropriately. Once these kids get to college, they go through the same process to figure out what it takes to succeed and then do so again.

One additional point, throughout my career I hired hundreds of employees. Initially, I made some mistakes by hiring individuals with exemplary resumes who turned out to be duds. I eventually figured out that I needed to dig deeper in my hiring process to essentially understand what made that employment candidate tick, i.e. what motivated them? Once I altered my hiring process to give greater weight to motivation and competitive drive, I was much more successful in hiring the right people.
 

Sifaka

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One more anecdotal drop in the bucket-

Background: I was fortunate to have a superb ninth grade science teacher. With the PSATs coming up, he took me aside after class to give some advice. Paraphrasing
memories from about 60 years ago—You think too much to cope with a standardized test; you may rightfully find fault with all four of the answers offered.
So here's what you should do. When they pass out the test, don't pick up your pencil. Read the first page of questions and answers two or three times. Try to get into the mind of the test makers, then do the test, and give them precisely what they are looking for, not what you think is the best answer.


----------

I scored in the top 1% on the PSAT. When it came time to suffer the SATS a few years later, I recalled his advice, and scored 800 in each part. I also did the Writing Sample with a leaky ballpoint and atrocious penmanship.

Class rank was 21st in a class of about 425. Was in the All State (NY) orchestra, and competed well at the county level in track and cross country. When I arrived
at college (Dartmouth) in the autumn of '65, I found myself surrounded with loads of people with slightly lower SAT scores. Most of them were a lot smarter than me, and did better—grade-wise.

So then, what do I think of the SATs? No doubt they helped me get into my school of choice. The severe socio-economic flaws in the tests are well known so I won't rehash them. Their absence from the admissions process doesn't trouble me even a little bit.
 
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Two comments on above posts:

1. UConn is not "getting rid of" the SAT/ACT. They have merely made submission of scores optional. Those with a good SAT score will no doubt continue to submit it.

2. This decision won't really have any impact on UConn sports, since the NCAA still requires a test score to certify any athlete who is getting financial aid.
 

oldude

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They are strapped for cash and this certainly is one way to gain enrollment.
Assuming UConn does start classes in the fall, it will be interesting to see how many incoming freshmen decide to take a “gap year” and defer enrollment, and how many returning students decide to take a year off. I am hearing that this will be a nationwide trend. The impact to college finances will be significant.
 
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Some years ago (take that into consideration when assessing my info) I did a graduate degree in statistics at Rutgers. Some of the courses for that degree were taught on the SAT campus in Princeton. I learned a lot about the SATs there. Basically, the SAT is an IQ test. IQ is an attempt to measure an individual's ability to perform in an academic setting. Again, it is a measure of the ability to do so, not whether or not they will do so. Learning requires more than just ability. The ACT on the other hand is an achievement test. It attempts to assess how much an individual has learned in specific subject areas.

The people who produced the SATs stated that their objective was to predict college freshman year grades. Nothing more. They also stated that their tests were the single best predictor of those grades. Better than faculty recommendations; better that high school grades.

There are good and bad aspects to the SATs. Even if they are the best predictor of freshman grades, so what? How good is the "best"? Not very as it turned out. The SATs weren't all that good at predicting freshman grades, just the best of the available measures. Beyond that, are freshman grades a good predictor of overall college grade performance? And so what anyway? How well do college grades correlate with career success?

There are just too many variables and their correlations to success are too weak to conclude that any single measurement is all that important. Still, decisions must be made. Anybody that follows this board knows that Geno doesn't make recruiting decisions based on athletic ability (or any other single quality) alone. I'm sure the coach looks at both the strengths and weaknesses of each possible recruit. Like recruits, the SAT has strengths and weaknesses. Any use of it should recognize that.
 

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