Why does the SAT/ACT get more flak than GPA in college admissions? -

FuckedUp

Trump's half-Chosen
kiwifarms.net
It's been two years since this was relevant to me, but hearing about you-know-what cancelling SAT and ACT administrations made me think of this again...

I'm not disputing that wealthier kids have an advantage, but pretty much every reason also applies to GPA. I mean, teens who have part-time jobs obviously can't spend as much time studying and doing work for classes as those who don't have to, and tutors are even more suited for academic material than the game-like skills for the SAT/ACT. So why's GPA considered the holy equalizer and not being made optional en masse? And that's not even getting into all the extracurriculars rich kids can afford to do...

Even more, you can pretty easily increase your score without prep classes.

I went from a 1320 on the 2016 PSAT to a 1530 on the October 2017 SAT. My study plan? Eight practice tests downloadable for free from the College Board site, about ten hours of free official Khan Academy prep, and sitting for three official administrations costing $57 each ($65 now, but still). While my final score wasn't the highest in my ultra-competitive high school, I improved more than anyone I knew, many of whom took $1k prep classes.

This prep was already available three years ago, yet the whole "test-optional" trend has only accelerated since then. :\

Again, I know wealthy kids have an advantage with the SAT, but it's no greater than what they have with GPA and extracurriculars.
 

Kari Kamiya

"I beat her up, so I gave her a cuck-cup."
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
It's been ten/eleven years, but I honestly don't remember if Arizona really puts a lot of pressure on SAT through high school, the state has (had.... I think it's had, now) AIMS (Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards), but I literally forgot how that went after junior year when I passed it, so I couldn't tell you what was my best and what was my worst thing about it. All I can remember, though, is that throughout my school years, we'd have those practice tests that were based off it, and there was the one year (third grade, maybe? Can't remember exactly what Mom said, but it was in elementary) where I apparently missed the passing grade on it by a couple points. I know when I was about twelve, someone from church who was entering her senior year was scaring us kids on that you can't graduate if you don't pass it and it's like suuuuper hard, but I figured that by then, I'd have studied up enough and had enough practice to get it down. Then I think they dropped that requirement by the time I was taking it, I dunno.

I remember for sure that at least my schools never fully prepared us for it, but I think for the most part, I went on autopilot, so that may be why I just don't think back to it much and didn't stress over them so much like other kids. I can't remember my application for the college I went to, nor do I even remember what my GPA was at all, but given that school closed a couple years after I graduated anyway, I just don't care anymore at this point, they're just a bunch of numbers that don't matter after graduation as long as you did the work. But come back in about four years or so to see if that student loan debt was worth it.

Although it's good to know there's downloadable practice tests, I think that's quite an advantage that wasn't available ten years ago... maybe? I don't recall ever hearing about that being a thing back then.
 

Pikonic

Now catchable in Pokémon GO
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I kinda want to write this off as “life’s not fair”
Even if we made GPA optional, rich kids are still gonna have an advantage after college, because their parents are probably going to have connections to more lucrative job positions, and we can’t really stop that. We can’t make nepotism illegal in any enforceable way.
The wealthy will always have an advantage.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: The Last Stand

FuckedUp

Trump's half-Chosen
kiwifarms.net
It's been ten/eleven years, but I honestly don't remember if Arizona really puts a lot of pressure on SAT through high school, the state has (had.... I think it's had, now) AIMS (Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards), but I literally forgot how that went after junior year when I passed it, so I couldn't tell you what was my best and what was my worst thing about it. All I can remember, though, is that throughout my school years, we'd have those practice tests that were based off it, and there was the one year (third grade, maybe? Can't remember exactly what Mom said, but it was in elementary) where I apparently missed the passing grade on it by a couple points. I know when I was about twelve, someone from church who was entering her senior year was scaring us kids on that you can't graduate if you don't pass it and it's like suuuuper hard, but I figured that by then, I'd have studied up enough and had enough practice to get it down. Then I think they dropped that requirement by the time I was taking it, I dunno.

I remember for sure that at least my schools never fully prepared us for it, but I think for the most part, I went on autopilot, so that may be why I just don't think back to it much and didn't stress over them so much like other kids. I can't remember my application for the college I went to, nor do I even remember what my GPA was at all, but given that school closed a couple years after I graduated anyway, I just don't care anymore at this point, they're just a bunch of numbers that don't matter after graduation as long as you did the work. But come back in about four years or so to see if that student loan debt was worth it.

Although it's good to know there's downloadable practice tests, I think that's quite an advantage that wasn't available ten years ago... maybe? I don't recall ever hearing about that being a thing back then.
That's totally different. Every state has their own standardized test (over here it's the MCAS), but they're not used for college admissions; they're just used to measure the quality of schools.
 

Robert James

Not your average John Smith
kiwifarms.net
Because the SAT's are a racket and are infamous for having incorrect or non-understandable questions. Shit my brother got in trouble for pointing out three math questions that had the wrong answer in his PSAT class and was told he needed to just answer the way the book told him to.
My Bro graduated with a bachelors in aerospace engineering in three years and got a masters in 1 year while working full time.

Also it's because PSAT classes aren't free and often you are recommended in buying a couple hundred dollars worth of study material as well. Sure if your poor you can't afford tutors but you'll still have everything provided to you by the school. It's the illusion of fairness and that inner city schools can decide how GPA is decided.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: Recoil
Because it's an objective measure of intelligence wheras GPA is relatively arbitary.
LOL

Please! How can anyone who has taken this actually believe this shit? All you have to do is have a minimal knowledge of the subject (at least for math), and the understanding of how the tests work, and the ability to rule out the ridiculous answers. I literally missed 20+ days a year starting in 7th grade, didn't do my homework, (though i did do the in-school work and more importantly take the tests), and I had no problem with it. I got like a 27 (ACT) in 8th grade and ended up with like a 33 in 11th. Now my GPA was shot, but in my opinion that's hardly relevant. GPA only shows how much of the work your doing not really the quality, unless you're really committed to getting a 4.0, who cares? Without even paying attention you should be able to go through high school with your grades still hovering somewhere around body temperature.

OP has the right idea. Just do a few of those free practice tests, get an understanding of how the test likes to question you. And most important of all, stop building the shit up in your head. REMEMBER it's PUBLIC SCHOOL nothing they give you will be hard.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: FuckedUp

Kari Kamiya

"I beat her up, so I gave her a cuck-cup."
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
That's totally different. Every state has their own standardized test (over here it's the MCAS), but they're not used for college admissions; they're just used to measure the quality of schools.
Oh yeah? Were they always a graduation requirement for the states, then? Like I had said, I never felt like my schools prepared us for it, even with the practice tests.
 

Analog Stick

kiwifarms.net
Galvanizing the GPA as an equalizer allows the bureaucrats to sweep the problems of the current educational system under the rug. Same for SAT.

By "improve", do you mean exceeding the grades of many students who had incurred an outrageous financing for their studies? Or did you improve your SAT better than most without overtaking their score? Because gaining a very high SAT is a steep curve, and it's here that money makes a remarkable (if not subtle) difference. Sure, being able to increase your score without prep is a given. But, unless you were very studious or predisposed for the kind of examining required of you by SAT, your results will be paltry at best. This also applies to one's GPA.
 

Slap47

Hehe xd
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
GPA is sustained and represents long term effort.

Having one insane test represents little.
 

Recoil

Tactical Autism Response Division
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Test prep is a lucrative industry, as is higher education in general.
 

FuckedUp

Trump's half-Chosen
kiwifarms.net
Galvanizing the GPA as an equalizer allows the bureaucrats to sweep the problems of the current educational system under the rug. Same for SAT.

By "improve", do you mean exceeding the grades of many students who had incurred an outrageous financing for their studies? Or did you improve your SAT better than most without overtaking their score? Because gaining a very high SAT is a steep curve, and it's here that money makes a remarkable (if not subtle) difference. Sure, being able to increase your score without prep is a given. But, unless you were very studious or predisposed for the kind of examining required of you by SAT, your results will be paltry at best. This also applies to one's GPA.
By "highest improvement", I meant literally nobody I knew managed to raise their score by as many points as I did, regardless of study method(s).

Like what @Another Pretty Kiwi User said, I basically treated it like a video game: usually it's technically possible to do a no-damage run on your first try, but usually you have to replay it multiple times until you get good enough to do it.
 
Last edited:

2020Suicide

kiwifarms.net
like the people getting neg rated here are saying. the SAT is a national thing which means your local school can't fudge the numbers without getting into trouble. I know teachers that gave open book group finals or just gave people A's on their finals and midterms for passing the state tests. At least with GPAs the teachers in the ghetto schools can just pass out As and make the idiots that can't read but can play sports well seem capable of doing well in college. They can't do the same shit with the SAT unless they just straight up take it for the kids.

SATs are the one place where most colleges can know for sure how good a kid is. Case in point David Hogg, he supposedly had a 4.2 GPA, but got only a 1270 SAT score, which should correspond roughly to a C+ or roughly a 2.4 GPA. There's a reason he couldn't get into any college beyond the local community one before the shooting.*

And if his high school which is supposed to be one of the top 1000 in the country or some shit like that, is inflating kids GPAs that much, imagine how much the rest of the high schools are doing it.

Having said that, being a bad test taker is also a huge problem with most people. So they get angry at the test itself, test anxiety is responsible for about a 200+ point drop in people's scores. thats why most SAT prep places can guarantee people a 200 point increase or your money back sort of deal, the one our school offered was only $50 and was taught by some weeb math major at the local college. Despite that it still worked for my friends who took it. My favorite part is that the 200+ guarantee was still in place even if you had a 1380, my best friend Matt basically got a guaranteed 1600 or $50 out of it.


*another personal story, my friend Harvey was present at the ASVAB testing a bunch of kids at a high school took, most of them had GPAs in the 2s, but despite that their scores were too low to even be allowed in the Armed Forces. The only kid that wasn't a cat 4, was a flamer, like Paul Lynde esque in how blatantly gay he was, that kid got 70+ in every category. Despite that, he still tried to get him to sign up, the boy thought Harv was trying to fuck him, That was the last time Harv tried to recruit kids from the high school. Basically grade inflation in every school around the country plus teaching to the test and no child left behind has basically meant A =average, C=borderline tard

TL;DR SATs get more flak because its standardized and can't be fucked with the way GPAs have been the last 30 years.
 
Last edited:

dreamworks face

Model bugman
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
GPA is sustained and represents long term effort.

Having one insane test represents little.
The big problem with GPA is that there is no common convention for what GPA in high school actually means, given that every program is different. For example, some high schools do GPA out of a 5 point scale with AP classes being the only way to get 5.0's, some high schools do class rank, some do not. Similarly, not all high school programs have equivalent difficulty - e.g. some students can take honors classes, and some can take remedial math. There was actually a down syndrome student who attended my high school who managed a 4.0 GPA. Private high schools can be encouraged to do stuff like not have grades or just write down 4.0 at the behest of the parents, and there's all sorts of college admissions "counseling" the wealthy have that can make very impressive looking transcripts.

The equalizing factor with SAT/ACT is that every student takes pretty much the same test, so the performance is somewhat independent of background. Certainly, there is a advantage given to the wealthy given that they are more able to afford special tutoring or programs, but the actual subject matter being tested on the SAT/ACT is not so esoteric that one couldn't just go to the library and get some old SAT books and study it on your own.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: FuckedUp

Chilson

kiwifarms.net
GPA is sustained and represents long term effort.

Having one insane test represents little.
if your from a shitty school you can get a 4.0 (or whatever arbitrary top level GPA they give you) with relative ease by just showing up. If your from a genuinely academically challenging institution then your GPA could be a 2.0 for giving the same effort as the shitty school. or your could have taken easier classes in the above challenging school and get a 3.5 while someone took much harder classes and only got a 3.3. You could have gotten lucky with your calc class and gotten an easy grading professor, or gotten unlucky in your chemistry class by getting a hardass who punishes every single mistake.

There are far to many variables at play with GPA even within schools, let alone comparing them together. The SAT/ACT are flawed and are an outright scam in some parts of the country with how much studying materials/tutoring schools force you to buy for them. The theory is that they are supposed to represent how well you compare while to every other person who took the test that year (or whatever time frame they use).

Of course this is very much a flawed system and doesn't actually test anything useful for when you get into college but arbitrary mathematics, reading and writing questions that you will never have to answer again until you want to take a Masters/PHD exam.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zero Day Defense

dreamworks face

Model bugman
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
There are far to many variables at play with GPA even within schools, let alone comparing them together. The SAT/ACT are flawed and are an outright scam in some parts of the country with how much studying materials/tutoring schools force you to buy for them. The theory is that they are supposed to represent how well you compare while to every other person who took the test that year (or whatever time frame they use).

Of course this is very much a flawed system and doesn't actually test anything useful for when you get into college but arbitrary mathematics, reading and writing questions that you will never have to answer again until you want to take a Masters/PHD exam.
One of the things that happened to the SAT is that in the early days, performance on the SAT was directly correlated with IQ tests - e.g. mensa used to accept SAT scores as criteria for admission (a long ass time ago). The big problem though is that because the scores were correlated with IQ tests, the score ranges exhibited the same inequalities as IQ tests did and pissed off the same liberals. So as the years went on, sections were added to do things like inflate the scores of certain groups (e.g. there was a point where the SAT was out of 2400 and had separate reading and writing sections worth 800 points each, which increased the score of women on the tests significantly), and sections more closely correlated with G on the stanford-binet (such as the analogies section on the verbal SAT) were removed because of "cultural bias."

Nowadays, the only thing the test is good for is determining whether the test taker is "trainable" or not and starting arguments about whether it means anything.
 

3119967d0c

a... brain - @StarkRavingMad
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
All you have to do is have a minimal knowledge of the subject (at least for math), and the understanding of how the tests work, and the ability to rule out the ridiculous answers. I literally missed 20+ days a year starting in 7th grade, didn't do my homework, (though i did do the in-school work and more importantly take the tests), and I had no problem with it. I got like a 27 (ACT) in 8th grade and ended up with like a 33 in 11th. Now my GPA was shot, but in my opinion that's hardly relevant. GPA only shows how much of the work your doing not really the quality, unless you're really committed to getting a 4.0, who cares? Without even paying attention you should be able to go through high school with your grades still hovering somewhere around body temperature.
Thanks- you've provided anecdotal evidence that the SAT is a (less than ideal) test of intelligence, as I said, rather than other traits like concientiousness.

By comparison, GPA is a much poorer proxy for innate intelligence. It may provide some information as to your innate conscientiousness, but even then, do you think a GPA from Frederick Douglass High is remotely comparable to one from Bronx Science? It could be done, sure, but then you'd have to start norming GPAs by school on some objective measure (maybe by comparison to SAT or ACT scores by school) and that would have a racially discriminatory impact. That isn't what you want as a college admissions administrator. So you just pretend that FDH and BS are the same.
One of the things that happened to the SAT is that in the early days, performance on the SAT was directly correlated with IQ tests - e.g. mensa used to accept SAT scores as criteria for admission (a long ass time ago). The big problem though is that because the scores were correlated with IQ tests, the score ranges exhibited the same inequalities as IQ tests did and pissed off the same liberals. So as the years went on, sections were added to do things like inflate the scores of certain groups (e.g. there was a point where the SAT was out of 2400 and had separate reading and writing sections worth 800 points each, which increased the score of women on the tests significantly), and sections more closely correlated with G on the stanford-binet (such as the analogies section on the verbal SAT) were removed because of "cultural bias."
AFAIK the last changes to make the SAT a less good proxy for intelligence were made around 2015. I can't find any studies comparing to say the ASVAB or AFQT since, but it's impossible to entirely remove the utility of such tests for measuring intelligence.
 
Last edited:
Tags
None