SAT scores, Grade point averages, and other educational factors Essay Example
SAT scores, Grade point averages, and other educational factors Essay Example

SAT scores, Grade point averages, and other educational factors Essay Example

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  • Pages: 11 (2907 words)
  • Published: December 6, 2016
  • Type: Essay
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For many years, researchers have attempted to determine whether future performance can be predicted based on past performance. This study specifically addresses the question that many students ponder: "Will my success in high school translate to success in college?" The paper investigates various factors such as SAT scores, grade point averages, and other educational factors to shed light on this age-old inquiry. The researcher collected SAT data from Dartmouth University students as well as students from other institutions across the country.

The data provided includes the High School GPA, College GPA, and SAT score for each student, and there is a general belief that the SAT data should be somehow related to the students' GPA. The researcher plans to review the literature on the nature of the SAT and other methods used to determine a student's academic achievement. The goal is to gathe


r information that will contribute to research on student development. In the article "Behind the SAT-Optional Movement: Context and Controversy" by J. P. Epstein (summer 2009) published in the Journal of College Admission, a literature review is presented.

This article explores the Scholastic Aptitude Test, also known as the SAT. The test was created by the Electronic Testing Center (ETS) and former Harvard University President James Conant. Its initial purpose was to provide opportunities for highly intelligent students. It aimed to make education more accessible by allowing all students, regardless of their financial status or family reputation, to demonstrate their intelligence and worthiness through academic achievements.

The distinction between academically intelligent students and those who prioritized the social aspects of school was quickly established through tests. The SA

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gained popularity in the 1950s and became a primary method of college admission. The University of California became the first institution to adopt the SAT nationwide in 1968. In 1990, the test was renamed as the Scholastic Assessment Test to emphasize that it assessed students' scholarly abilities rather than innate talents.

In 1994, the SAT faced various issues when people questioned its ability to accurately measure intelligence. This article explores several aspects related to the SAT, including its purpose in today's society, the history and importance of scoring students, concerns about the SAT as a potential threat, critiques of the exam, and an explanation of the Fair Test concept and how it relates to the adoption of the SAT by The National Center for Fair and Open Testing and their policies. Additionally, this article will address certain concerns about the SAT and evaluate its overall benefits (Epstein 2009).

Micceri, T. (january 2010). Assessing the Usefulness of SAT and ACT Tests in Minority Admissions. Education Resource Education Center , 21. The source discusses the relationship between standardized scores and the probable success of first-time-in-college (FTIC) students at a university, specifically focusing on underrepresented minorities and women. The author suggests that these groups often face negative bias compared to whites and males on standardized tests. To analyze this, the study utilizes historical data on FTIC matriculates from Academic Year (AY) 1999 through 2003, considering factors such as admissions, degrees granted, and enrollment data. This allows for a minimum of six complete academic years for graduation. The article defines academic progress as a six-level variable ranging from 1 to 6. Additionally, it delves into predictor

variables, which consist of the highest SAT, ACT, GPA, high school class rank, and other factors.

The article discusses how various variables impact different definitions of academic progress. It also explores discrimination against underrepresented minorities, particularly women and minorities. Figure 6 and 7 in the article reveal that tests confirm that the progress of African Americans and Hispanics does not accurately reflect the overall college performance of these students (Mlodinow, L. July 2008).

The SAT: An Essay in Uncertainty. Chronicle of Higher Education , 1. This article discusses the release of comprehensive exams and a study of the SAT. The College Board Website claims that the SAT is a strong predictor of college success (Mlodinow 2008). However, a different conclusion is presented on the website of Fairest, a watchdog nonprofit organization that has been in operation for 23 years.

The College Board concluded that the SAT exam is not significantly better than the old exam. They also acknowledged that the old test was not a useful predictor either. The original SAT had only math and verbal sections, while the revised test included a writing section with a 25-minute essay. Despite the authority often attributed to numbers, it is worth questioning whether SAT raters can accurately make the necessary distinctions when grading the writing test, considering that even nine major publishers rejected the manuscript of the first Harry Potter book.

The author asserts that grading the essay portion of the SAT is highly subjective, rendering the results useless. They reference a research conducted by Coyle, T. R., & Pillow, D. R. in December 2008, titled "SAT and ACT Predict College GPA after Removing," which

explored whether the SAT and ACT scores can accurately predict college grade point average (GPA) when factors such as "g" were eliminated from the tests. The research obtained SAT and ACT scores and freshman GPAs from a university sample of 161 individuals and the 1997 National Longitudinal Study of Youth, which consisted of 8984 participants.

Using structural equation modeling, researchers examined the connections between g (general intelligence factor), GPA (grade point average), and the SAT and ACT (standardized tests). The g factor was determined by analyzing results from cognitive tests and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. After removing the influence of g, the unique variances of the SAT and ACT scores were used to forecast GPA. Findings from both samples indicated that while the SAT and ACT scores were heavily dependent on g, they still predicted GPA even after accounting for g. These findings suggest a strong correlation between the SAT and ACT scores, which are related to IQ and intelligence tests, and g. Additionally, it is evident that the SAT and ACT scores can predict GPA independently of g factors.

Further research is needed to identify the non-g factors that contribute to the predictive validity of the SAT and ACT. This research aims to examine the relationship between the history of the SAT exam and the students who take it. The main research question investigates whether there is a significant correlation between students' SAT scores, high school GPAs, and college GPAs. The hypothesis states that there is no relationship between high school SAT scores and the grade point average of post-secondary students, as well as no relationship between SAT scores of

high school students and their high school grade point averages.

H02: The correlation between High School GPA and Post Secondary GPA is nonexistent. The data collected for this study encompasses all 50 states, including the overall national scores. The researcher gathered SAT average scores of high school students and various other factors contributing to college graduation rates in each state. It should be noted that comparing certain states was challenging due to the prevalence of the ACT as the primary college entrance exam in some areas, while others require the SAT.

The researcher grouped both SAT scores and high school GPA into the same category to gain a comprehensive understanding of a student's overall performance. The dependent variable used in the experiment consisted of both SAT scores and high school GPA. The specific dependent variable in this study is the SAT scores of high school students across the United States. The operational definition of the dependent variable is calculated as the average mean of both the math section and verbal section scores.

The College Board defines the dependent variable as a standardized test that many colleges and universities in the United States require for admission. It is commonly referred to as "the SAT," even though the letters have no meaning. Some colleges accept the ACT as an alternative to the SAT, and others have an "SAT optional" policy where submitting scores is not mandatory.

The dependent variable comes from the initial version of the SAT, which was given to approximately 1,000 students in 1901. The SAT is currently administered by the College Board, along with various other standardized tests used in

college admissions. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) is responsible for designing and publishing the test. Over the years, the SAT has undergone several modifications to simplify the testing process and adapt to changes in the education system.

The SAT was last overhauled in 2005 in response to criticism from the University of California system. They were considering removing the test as a requirement for admission. The current SAT consists of three sections, each with a maximum score of 800 and a minimum score of 200. The final score is determined by adding the three section scores together. It typically includes a percentile, which is calculated based on the scores of other test-takers who took similar tests.

Traditionally, prestigious universities like the Ivy Leagues have required applicants to achieve high SAT scores. The mathematics section of the SAT is divided into three parts, with most questions offering multiple choice answers, while a few require test-takers to provide numerical answers on an optical answer sheet. The critical reading section follows, which involves reading short passages and selecting the correct multiple choice responses.

Students also need to demonstrate their vocabulary skills by filling in the blanks in sentences using a list of word choices. Additionally, the SAT writing section requires students to write a short essay and answer questions that assess their writing and editing skills. According to the College Board, post-secondary education, which may also be referred to as higher or tertiary education, is an optional level of study beyond what is legally required. In the United States, schooling is mandatory until age 16 or until a certificate of completion is received.


education encompasses undergraduate, graduate, and professional college programs. It is mandatory in several countries to impart citizens with essential knowledge across various subjects like mathematics, science, history, and literature. The objective of compulsory studies is to equip students with fundamental survival skills for the professional realm. Post-secondary education comes in diverse forms to address the educational requirements of various career paths beyond high school.

Undergraduate programs are a common type of post-secondary school that typically last for four years and lead to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. These programs usually consist of two years of general education and two years of focused study in a specific field, such as theater, biology, or psychology. On the other hand, graduate study programs are for individuals who have already earned a BA degree or have satisfied alternative competency requirements. These programs usually result in a Master of Arts (MA) or Doctoral (PhD) degree. (Coyle, T. R., & Pillow, D. R., December 2008).

Independent Variable II (High School): The education department states that a secondary school in the United States can also be called a high school or an academy. It typically offers educational instruction for students aged 14 to 18. In the U.S., a secondary school usually encompasses grades 9 to 12, known as freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior, respectively. Certain larger school districts may fund secondary schools that solely teach grades 10, 11, and 12. Additionally, some secondary schools include students in grades seven and eight, alongside the higher grade levels.

Secondary schools are the final stage of compulsory schooling in most U.S. states. According to state law, school attendance is required until

graduation or until a specific age is reached, whichever comes first. In terms of academic performance, GPA stands for grade point average, a mathematical calculation that measures a student's grades on a scale from 1.0 to 4.0, with 4.0 being the highest average. Surprisingly, my research revealed a correlation between low GPAs and high school dropout rates.

The Department of Education defines a drop out as a student who leaves secondary school without completing a diploma. According to the Department, some key facts about dropouts are that every year, 1.2 million students in the United States alone drop out of high school. This means that there is a student dropping out every 26 seconds or 6,000 students dropping out each day. Additionally, more than 25% of high school freshmen fail to graduate on time. There are also close to 2,000 high schools in the U.S. where 40% of the typical freshman class does not complete their senior year.

More than 25% of Hispanic youth drop out of school, with almost 50% leaving before the eighth grade. Hispanics have a dropout rate twice as high as African Americans. On the other hand, white and Asian American students are the least likely to quit school. Over the past two decades, the earning potential of dropouts has doubled, while it has nearly tripled for college graduates. In their lifetime, recent dropouts will earn $200,000 less than high school graduates and more than $800,000 less than college graduates. Almost half of welfare recipients are dropouts who also make up around 50% of heads of households receiving welfare benefits. In the United States, dropout rates account for 65%

of convicts, making lack of education a major predictor of criminal activity.

The dropout problem is expected to significantly increase by 2020 unless there are significant improvements. In the United States, the high school graduation rate is ranked 19th globally. (Four decades ago, the country held the top spot.) Epstein, J. P. (summer 2009). Research Methods The researcher is utilizing data at the nominal level to test the hypothesis through conducting cross tabulation. Initially, a Chi Square test will be conducted, which is a hypothesis testing model employed when the independent variable (IV) and dependent variable (DV) are at the nominal level. This test will aid in determining the statistical significance of the model.

This model will also assist in testing the fit of distribution and enable the researcher to calculate the number of responses in a specific category between the observed and expected cases to determine a normal distribution. The chi square test of Independence will function as a Goodness-of-Fit test for variables, checking whether two or more variables are independent of each other. Subsequently, the researcher will conduct a contingency co-efficient test which quantifies the strength of association using nominal levels of measurement of the cross tabs function.

This will also determine the statistical significance of the model, with a value ranging from 0 to 1, where 0 signifies no relationship. The researcher will employ Cramers V to measure the correlation among categorical variables, and this model will aid in gauging the strength of association after Chi Square has established significance. The researcher expects a strong relationship between High School GPA and the Students SAT score (x).

The success

rate on the SAT is likely to be higher for students who have better grades and perform well in their classes. However, this is not always guaranteed, as some students excel in class-based learning rather than in a single test. Scholars and educators have long debated this issue since the inception of standardized tests. The researcher acknowledges that some students struggle with test taking, but it is generally observed that those with high grades in high school tend to achieve higher SAT scores.

The researcher hypothesizes that the variable College GPA will exhibit a similar pattern as high school GPA, though perhaps not as strong. It is believed that students who demonstrate determination in high school will carry that same level of effort into their college studies. However, the researcher acknowledges that college presents a different environment and acknowledges the possibility for deviations from expected outcomes. Curiously, the researcher has chosen to investigate the correlation between High school GPA and College GPA.

The researcher believes that the two variables will not have any significant relationship due to previous findings. However, there are limitations to the study. One limitation, mentioned earlier, is the challenge of controlling for the different levels of difficulty between high school and college. There are numerous other variables that could be accounted for in the data, but the researcher only has limited information.

The data does not account for the possibility that certain students attended more challenging schools than others, nor does it indicate at which point in their academic career this data was obtained. It is widely known that incoming freshmen may experience greater difficulty adjusting, and

knowing the classification of college students would have been extremely helpful. In conclusion, the researcher found it fascinating that all three variables - SAT Score, College GPA, and High School GPA - exhibited a statistically significant relationship with each other. When SAT Score was treated as the dependent variable and High School GPA as the independent variable, the researcher discovered that the relationship between the two was statistically significant at a confidence level of 99.9%.

The researcher has concluded that there is a relationship between student SAT scores and High School grade point averages. In researching the relationship between the dependent variable of SAT scores and the independent variable College GPA, the researcher found a statistically significant relationship at the 99.9% confidence level. Therefore, the null hypothesis is rejected and an alternative is established stating that SAT scores do impact College grade point averages.

Finally, the researcher attempted to change the dependent variable in order to introduce diversity into the results. It was found that there is a statistically significant relationship at the 99.9% confidence level between High School GPA (as the dependent variable) and College GPA (as the independent variable). The researcher is therefore able to reject the null hypothesis and propose an alternative, which suggests that a student's High School GPA does indeed impact their College GPA. It should be noted once again that there are additional variables that could have been controlled for, but the lack of sufficient data made this challenging to accomplish.

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