Standardized tests may not predict college success after all

Listen to the full audio story
Show Embed Code | Download the MP3

Standardized test scores have little—to no—correlation to college performance, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

“Essentially there is no difference in GPA or graduation rates between submitters and non-submitters,” said Bill Hiss, the researcher that led the three-year study.

Hiss studied the effectiveness of standardized testing and found that exams are not predictive across different populations. His results found that students who do submit their standardized test scores to colleges and students who don't have very similar success outcomes.

He says private school students have access to better tutors than their less affluent counterparts. Therefore, standardized tests do not indicate potential for success. They actually reward students who have mastered testing strategies. He believes that all people function at different mental levels and comparing one to the other is purposeless.

Unfortunately, over 2/3 of four-year universities require standardized test submissions. Although the current exams are inconclusive, Hiss commends the College Board for acknowledging how standardized testing is flawed and for continuing to make changes to the exams each year.

He cites high school GPA as a reliable predictor of college success.

He believes low SAT scores may dissuade students from applying to certain colleges.

“Students don’t apply to schools because test [scores] are too low,” said Hiss. “But they may have been successful at that school.”

While seemingly inconclusive, Hiss says standardized tests will be going nowhere.

For more information on college prepatory research and knowledge visit The National Association for College Admission Counseling website.