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SAT scores do correlate with academic performance, says study

April 30, 2001

The SAT reliably predicts academic performance throughout college, according to a study conducted at the University of Minnesota and reported in the April 27 issue of "The Chronicle of Higher Education."

The SAT has come under attack in recent years from those who say the standardized test is biased against women and minorities. Some universities have proposed dropping their SAT requirement for entrance or limited its role.

The study, a "meta-analysis" of more than 1,700 studies on the subject, represents more than a million students. Authors say it clearly shows that students who score well on the SAT have higher grade-point averages in their first year of college--and are more likely to stay in college.

The study does have its critics, as it was made possible through a grant from the College Board. But researchers who worked on the study defend its results. "The fact of the matter is the SAT does predict these things," said Nathan Kuncel a research fellow at Minnesota, "based on an overwhelming amount of evidence across different universities."