Sunday, January 20, 2013

The SAT's Failure to Accurately Assess Students

In March of 2005, Dr. Les Perelman, a professor at MIT, conducted a study that ultimately exposed one of the fundamental flaws of the SAT. For many years, critics of the SAT have argued that the test does not assess students' true abilities in reading, math and writing. Dr. Perelman's study seemed to back this up. After analyzing countless essays, Perelman reached a conclusion that irrefutably linked long SAT essays to high scores. "If you just graded them based on length without ever reading them, you'd be right over 90 percent of the time. The shortest essays, typically 100 words, got the lowest grade of one. The longest, about 400 words, got the top grade of six. In between, there was virtually a direct match between length and grade." It's hard to argue that the SAT is an effective test when such flagrant flaws are present in the system through which it is scored.

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