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Unformatted text preview: UC and the SAT: Predictive Validity and Differential Impact of the SAT I and SAT II at the University of California Saul Geiser with Roger Studley University of California Office of the President October 29, 2001 UC and the SAT: Predictive Validity and Differential Impact of the SAT I and SAT II at the University of California Saul Geiser with Roger Studley University of California, Office of the President 1 University of California President Richard C. Atkinson’s proposal to discontinue use of the SAT I in college admissions in favor of achievement tests, 2 such as the SAT II, did not come out of the blue. UC is one of the few higher educational institutions in the nation that requires applicants to take both the SAT I and the SAT II achievement tests, so that UC has extensive experience with the two tests. Two years before President Atkinson made his proposal, BOARS (Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools), the UC faculty committee charged with formulating admissions policy, voted to de-emphasize the SAT I and to increase the weight given to the SAT II in its “Eligibility Index,” a formula used to identify the top 12.5% statewide pool of California high school graduates based on their grades and standardized test scores. Subsequently, President Atkinson’s speech to the American Council of Education in February 2001 prompted the growing national debate about the validity and role of the SAT in college admissions. 3 What is UC’s experience with the SAT I and SAT II, and what do our data show? This paper presents systemwide data for UC’s eight undergraduate campuses, examining the relationship between SAT scores and academic outcomes based on the records of almost 78,000 first-time freshmen who entered UC over the past four years. The paper is divided into four parts. Part I examines the relative power of the SAT I and the SAT II achievement tests in predicting students’ success at UC. Part II analyzes the conditioning effects of socioeconomic status and family background on the predictive validity of these tests. Part III looks at the differential impact of the SAT I and the SAT II on various racial/ethnic groups. Part IV concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for admissions policy. 1 Saul Geiser is director of research and evaluation and Roger Studley is senior research analyst in admissions and outreach at UC Office of the President. We wish to thank the following individuals for their constructive criticism of earlier drafts of this paper, although the authors remain solely responsible for the findings and conclusions herein: Michael Brown, Michael Feuer, Ed Haertel, Dan Koretz, Bob Linn, Juliet Shaffer, Rich Shavelson and Gregg Thomson....
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- Spring '10
- Regression Analysis, Standardized test, University of California, Norm-referenced test