Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Are the Average SATs for your school really that high?

Have you ever wondered how so many Universities can have such intimidatingly high SAT scores? Well, perhaps they can't. I was reading one of the many brochures colleges are sending to my kids nowadays, and I noticed that the SAT range it presented was for those who were admitted, not for those that matriculated. So I looked at another. And another. And what I found was that in their literature, almost all schools report SATs of admitted students.

Self-sorting on the part of students should mean that in general, average scores for matriculants will be lower than average scores for admits.

If you really want to know how students who enter a university performed on the SAT, look to see whether it publishes a "Common Data Set" (here is University of Nebraska-Lincoln: http://irp.unl.edu/pdfs/CDS2006-07.pdf). It reports only scores of entering degree candidates.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm... so we need more emphasis on interviews, past academic performance, ap exams, etc. Seems logical. I'm inclined to think that many who score high on the sats (and ap exams as well) have simply learned how to perform well on standardized tests. I had a friend from high school who might be the exception... perfect scores on both parts, and he seemingly never picked up a school book. Nor, per friend, did he take a prep class for the exam (but this of course is anecdotal).

Anonymous said...

The more we look deeply into the numbers, the more we want to avert our eyes:


In the words of "Rummy"(?): "It's not what we don't know, it's what we don't know what we don't know"

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