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Standardized Admissions Tests Daily Update

Standardized tests biased against minorities and discourage application to top universities

Beth Hawkins, August 19, 2019,, Big promises, big data: Is the SAT’s new ‘environmental context’ score a tool to personalize college admissions, or another impersonal data point?

Alas, it hasn’t worked out that way. Among students who took the ACT between 2014 and 2018, just 11 percent of African Americans met at least three college-ready benchmarks. Twenty-four percent of Latinos met that bar, as did 48 percent of whites. Of SAT takers from the class of 2018, 21 percent of African Americans met college-ready benchmarks, as did 31 percent of Latino students and 59 percent of white students. Research has shown that high school grade-point averages are better predictors of college success — an especially cruel truth given that a low SAT or ACT score sends the message to both students and their prospective colleges that a teenager is not college material. And low-income test-takers do underestimate themselves: Even with good grades and accolades, they are 75 percent less likely to apply to selective colleges than affluent students with the same scores.