SAT and ACT Tests Effectiveness


SAT and ACT tests scores are a standard part of the application process in college, but does not promise the best student’s success in college. Many universities expect students to submit their test scores when applying for college placement. Hence, a good score in your tests is tantamount to being placed in the best university. For many decades, admission experts, educators and students have been wondering about the effectiveness of SAT and ACT tests. They have been asking themselves what these tests measure especially when it provided a totally different learning experience from the classroom setting. Anyway, standardized tests and score add help student succeed in college. SAT and ACT test scores are significant and should be incorporated during admissions of students to universities. 

Advocates concerned with standardized assessment in admission of students in college agree that SAT and ACT tests act as a standardized measure that denotes the preparation status of individual for college. This assessment method improves the measure of IQ which indicates an unreasonable relationship with the number of high-school graduates taking ACT and SAT (McDaniel 605). Firstly, these tests are practical, with an explicit form of direction that enhances an ease to administer these tests. Secondly, standardized tests are easy to evaluate hence less time-consuming. Thirdly, it prepares students to learn of exam-taking skills that will enable them to cope up with future college tests. Moreover, these tests counterbalance the inflation rate of exam performance to students hence making them aware of their educational potential (“Tests That Teach: Using Standardized Tests to Improve Instruction” 45). Considering the increase inflation of grades in college systems, SAT and ACT are best to conduct an effective comparison of students’ aptitude and knowledge. 

Students scoring the highest marks in SAT and ACT are said to earn more credit scores in their college exams which again reflects to their salaries received when employed. This is because using these test score the six subscale value of control-learning, task value, self-efficacy, metacognition evaluation and work regulation can be calculated (Coyle and Pillow 720). Employers can gain a fully understanding of students’ skills and competencies before employing them.  Reflecting this assumption, higher scores in standardized scores indicates a correlative success of students in college. This effect is strengthened due to the fact that many top universities in the world implement these scores as their factor of selection. In that case, acknowledging the effectiveness of SAT and ACT tests is significant for students to help them get admission in top universities. 

It should be noted that this factor is not that simple. There are other minor factors that complicate an interpretation of this selection criterion. Firstly, the assumptions only indicate a correlation and not a causation; which is a distinction that could have been learnt in statistical and science courses. Basically, it can be evident that those who score high marks in standardized tests have a higher success level in college education. However, this assumption does not indicate the rationale behind student success prior assessment these tests. For students to do well in standardized tests, a wide speculation of factors is considered to affect the inherent ability of students (“Factors Affect Students Achievement in Their Examinations” 387). For instance, aimed test preparations are capable of raising students’ scores. However, significant resources to be used to prepare these standardized tests are unavailable or rather limited in access to students. So it is hard to outline how these factors are engaged to produce more successful students. Some other factors have more implications compared to higher test scores. 

Another factor that can be put into consideration is that empirical studies indicate that there is a relationship between college educational success and SAT and ACT scores. However this relationship is not so strong. This implies that students who obtain the highest score on standardized test is somewhat expected to succeed in college, but this does not mean ‘only slightly’. SAT and ACT scores do not always predict the future success of students. Good grades in high school and GPA obtained have been considered as predictors to the overall success of students compared to SAT and ACT scores (Collins 78). It is noted that grades in coursework, which are a collection of various assignments and tests done over a long duration of time, can be compared to challenges to be faced in college that standardized tests. In that case, to maintain you overall GPA, it is fundamental that dedicated effort is invested over a given duration of study and streamline your skills expected to be evaluated in the end. 

 However a lot of opinions have been provided about the value of SAT and ACT, their output and how it should be considered. Many universities have opt-out tests stating that students need not to submit their standardized tests together with their applications. Despite the fact that standardized scores have some value predicting future challenges in college, these researchers negate this. Their assumption to this is that when test scores are lower than expected it will not insinuate that you are destined to fail in college. In reference to researchers, some college students perform better in classroom setting that they did in SAT and ACT tests. 

The researches argue that SAT and ACT should totally be excluded from preventing students’ admission in top universities. The human mind is complex and multifaceted signaling that finding just one tool that is said to measure competencies of student in ineffective (Hannon 55). Despite the fact that standardized tests determine core competencies of students in classrooms setting, it is argued that students’ have their courses varied depending on complexity. In that case, when some college students may have a wide speculation of course experience and application, others may only be interested in mastering the course materials to improve their exam scores. I can never say that standardized tests have no predictive value for students, they do if implemented effectively. According to these researchers, the value of these tests is irrelevant in universities (Wang, 35). Subtypes of every factor of assessment need to be identified denoting students’ strengths and limitations before approving the effectivity of undertaking standardized tests.

Conducting a research of 850 colleges in U.S. that eliminated standardized tests during student admission, it was argued that there was a slight difference in the overall college performance compared to colleges including tests. It was concluded that only 0.05 differences in GPA was noticed between them denoting a graduation rate of 0.6%. These researchers argue that colleges need to consider alternative measures of assessing student into college. Their assumption is based on the idea that GPA obtained in high-school matters a lot (Collins 78). This is because it included a wide speculation of long-term self-discipline, hard-work and intellectual study curiosity, which matters. 

SAT and ACT test scores affect the overall success in college, but never promises the best. When all other factors are considered accurately, then students’ educational paths can be predicted effectively based on the standardized tests. In that case, it is fundamental to prepare and get sophisticated with SAT and ACT tests which again should not get you caught up so much by scores outcomes. Despite the notion that these tests need to be eliminated or not placed the value it deserves, they still measure the worth and capabilities of students. Moreover, students need also to make the most out of their high-school education to gain full understanding of tests both simple and complex college tests. 

Most students lack prior college and language competencies regarding a certain structure of test and topic. Lacking these factors affects the ability of students to understand certain fundamental principles like; critical thinking during exams. Moreover, including standardized tests and/or any subtypes of assessment provides professors with an overview of students’ strengths and weaknesses which enable them identify how they can assist effectively. Despite the fact that SAT and ACT notion of scholastic aptitude and intelligence measuring is regarded to be ineffective, undertaking one if not full length practice of these tests improves the overall result of college grade. Students who prepare for these tests effectively, focusing on their practice weaknesses improve in their overall SAT scores hence also improving the college success. 

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  1. Collins, Edward L. “Success In College: From C ‘S In High School To A ‘S In College”. Journal Of College Student Development, vol 49, no. 1, 2008, pp. 77-79. Johns Hopkins University Press, doi:10.1353/csd.2008.0007.
  2. Coyle, Thomas R., and David R. Pillow. “SAT And ACT Predict College GPA After Removing G”. Intelligence, vol 36, no. 6, 2008, pp. 719-729. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.intell.2008.05.001.
  3. “Factors Affect Students Achievement In Their Examinations”. Vol 12, no. 1, 2016. European Scientific Institute, ESI, doi:10.19044/esj.2016.v12n1p387.
  4. Hannon, Brenda. “General And Non-General Intelligence Factors Simultaneously Influence SAT, SAT-V, And SAT-M Performance”. Intelligence, vol 59, 2016, pp. 51-63. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.intell.2016.07.002.
  5. McDaniel, Michael A. “State Preferences For The ACT Versus SAT Complicates Inferences About SAT-Derived State IQ Estimates: A Comment On Kanazawa (2006)”. Intelligence, vol 34, no. 6, 2006, pp. 601-606. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.intell.2006.07.005.
  6. “Tests That Teach: Using Standardized Tests To Improve Instruction”. Vol 45, no. 10, 2008, pp. 45-5709-45-5709. American Library Association, doi:10.5860/choice.45-5709.
  7. Wang, Danhua. “What Can Standardized Reading Tests Tell Us? Question-Answer Relationships And Students’ Performance”. Journal Of College Reading And Learning, vol 36, no. 2, 2006, pp. 21-37. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.1080/10790195.2006.10850185.
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