Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Yale Researchers' New SAT Test Could Better Predict College Success

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Yale Researchers' New SAT Test Could Better Predict College Success

Article excerpt

Arevised college admissions test that measures creative and practical skills as well as memory and analytical ability has succeeded in its first round of testing with college students, according to the lead investigator at Yale University.

"We did better at predicting college success than the current SAT and high school grade point average, and we did better at reducing group differences," says Dr. Robert Sternberg, professor of psychology at Yale and lead investigator of the study. "In times when affirmative action's legal status is up in the air, the useful thing about our test is it can help accompush the same goal as affirmative action without using affirmative action."

Sternberg's Center for the Psychology of Abilities, Competencies, and Expertise (PACE) at Yale, a think tank within the Department of Psychology, is developing the test in a study known as the Rainbow Project. The study is funded by the College Board, the nonprofit group that sponsors the SAT.

The new test, which Sternberg says augments rather than replaces the SAT, also creates much less of a discrepancy in results between various groups. The SAT has long been criticized for favoring White and Asian students over African American and Hispanic students. Sternberg said the SAT also favors traditional learners over others, such as those for whom English is their second language or whose talents lie in creative and/or practical skills.

The test is based on Sternberg's psychological theory of successful intelligence, which maintains that there are several types of intelligence, while the SATs are not based on any theory. …

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