SAT/ACT Remains Best Predictor of College Performance


Sabrina Abesamis

Madison Dalton, Staff Writer

Despite recent waves of criticism striking the shores of colleges that factor standardized tests scores into their admissions requirements, one fact still remains: These tests are the best current method that we have to measure a student’s academic performance aptitude. It is simply unrealistic to expect any system to be without its flaws, and the SAT and ACT tests have shown to possess substantially fewer flaws than other methods.

“The SAT is the single best predictor of how well someone will do in college. [Other] achievement tests are not as useful for admission decisions as the SAT, because they are heavily influenced by how much course work the student has had on a given subject, whereas the SAT measures aptitude for learning across many different types of subject matter,” states the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights.

The Rand Center goes on to discuss how the SAT does not show racial bias.

It is also important to realize that SAT and ACT scores are not the primary focus of college admissions offices.

College Data, an online college advisor, states that, “most colleges will consider your performance in college prep, honors, or Advanced Placement (AP) courses one of the strongest signs of your ability to do well in college.”

Thus, more emphasis is frequently put on grades rather than standardized test scores. However, GPA is often more biased than SAT and ACT scores, as credit opportunities and course difficulty levels vary highly from school to school.

Dean of the University of Pennsylvania, Eric Furda explains that “it will surprise people how quickly we go over something like test scores,” showing that while these tests still play a critical role in college admission, they are not the end all be all, so to speak, of a student’s chances for acceptance.