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Tis the season for the SAT: are standardized tests a good indicator of success?




Suzane Nazir uses a Princeton Review SAT Preparation book to study for the test on March 6, 2014 in Pembroke Pines, Florida.
Suzane Nazir uses a Princeton Review SAT Preparation book to study for the test on March 6, 2014 in Pembroke Pines, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Some educators continually make claims for what standardized tests can do.

There is a popular assumption about what we can learn about a student from these tests and what the scores mean.

But can these claims be challenged. Two psychology professors from the University of Minnesota published research findings that say SAT and ACT can provide an invaluable measure of how students are likely to perform in college and beyond. The researchers argue that some myths that have developed around these tests stand in the way of a thoughtful discussion of their role and importance.

Meanwhile, standardized tests have come under attack in recent years. More than 1,000 accredited bachelor-degree-granting institutions will make admissions decisions about many applicants without regard to ACT or SAT scores, according to Robert Schaeffer, public education director at the National Center for Fair and Open Testing. Schaeffer says that more than 100 schools have dropped admissions exam requirements in the past four years alone.

With more people debating the merits of these tests, we take a deeper look into their value and question how effective they are.

Guests:

Robert Schaeffer, public education director at the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, a nonprofit based in Massachusetts that advocates to reform testing practices.

Nathan Kuncel, professor of industrial-organizational psychology at the University of Minnesota who published the research



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