Letter to the Editor

By Steven Morgan

Editor:

In ?The Chronicle?s View? Feb. 20 titled “The Only Standard Is Their Failure” the writers referred to the SAT as the Scholastic Achievement Test. In fact, the College Board changed the name a few years ago to the “Scholastic Assessment Test” since they believed that it did not really measure achievement but rather was a form of assessing a student’s college ability.

As for the opinion that the standardized tests are not tied to success in school, studies have in fact been done, which show that they are correlated, although weakly.

In the magazine Science in 1996, a study was done correlating the physics GRE with grades achieved at Harvard, and the correlation was 0.48.

One Psychology professor has put the correlation for the SAT at 0.4. So they are weakly correlated. So, in fact, the statement that “no data exists that ties any standardized test to success in college” is not true.

It is not a strong correlation, but it does exist.

Are these tests the best indicators of success? No. But the fact is that standardized tests are part of the bar exam and part of graduate and undergraduate programs at large. So taking a test is part of college, of graduate school and of life.

Could they be changed to be made better? Yes. But since they do the job to even a small degree, they will continue to be used as a part of the graduate and undergraduate admissions process.

Steven Morgan

Senior, Physics