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# V10-19

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Founder
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 17240
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5

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17 Aug 2015, 12:02
00:00

Difficulty:

55% (hard)

Question Stats:

75% (00:57) correct 25% (01:51) wrong based on 20 sessions

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The requirement of using standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT in undergraduate admissions decisions has long been debated. A recent report from the National Association for College Admission Council (NACAC) recommends that more colleges consider switching to a test-optional admissions policy. Although the report acknowledges that a blanket approach cannot be applied to all colleges, it states that “The Commission encourages institutions to consider dropping the admission test requirements if it is determined that the predictive utility of the test or the admission policies of the institution (such as open access) support that decision and if the institution believes that standardized test results would not be necessary for other reasons such as course placement, advising, or research.”

The reports agrees with the conventional wisdom that standardized tests are a strong predictor of first-year grades, and even agrees that they are a strong predictor of full four-year grades. Speaking about the SAT and ACT, the report states that “The Commission is in agreement that the tests measure what they purport to measure.” However, the authors recommend that overall college success be defined by a broader set of criteria than first-year grades. College success can be defined in terms of overall degree attainment, a range of GPAs, post-college employment, or progression to graduate school. When defined in this way, there are tests that may be even more predictive of overall college success than the SAT and ACT. These are the College Board’s Advanced Placement exams and the International Baccalaureate Examinations. These tests have two benefits: First, they measure knowledge of portions of the actual high school curriculum. Second, there is little test prep industry around these exams, so students have less ability to buy their way to a good score.

Despite the Commission’s recommendations, it acknowledges that high school students may experience some disadvantages if they do not take the usual standardized tests. For example, a student’s PSAT scores are used in the initial screen of eligibility for National Merit scholarships. A student that skips the PSAT passes up a scholarship opportunity. Additionally, colleges themselves have an incentive to require high SAT scores: the ranking tables of major publications depend heavily on a school’s average test scores. In its report, the Commission recommends that these publications stop using test scores as a measure of institutional quality.

The author’s main purpose in the article is to

A. advocate that standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT be discontinued for use in college admissions decisions
B. question the conventional wisdom that standardized tests are a strong predictor of first-year grades
C. discuss a report by the NACAC and describe some of it recommendations
D. argue that all standardized tests have little validity
E. recommend that the PSAT stop being used as a criteria for National Merit scholarships

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Founder
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 17240
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5

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17 Aug 2015, 12:02
Official Solution:

The requirement of using standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT in undergraduate admissions decisions has long been debated. A recent report from the National Association for College Admission Council (NACAC) recommends that more colleges consider switching to a test-optional admissions policy. Although the report acknowledges that a blanket approach cannot be applied to all colleges, it states that “The Commission encourages institutions to consider dropping the admission test requirements if it is determined that the predictive utility of the test or the admission policies of the institution (such as open access) support that decision and if the institution believes that standardized test results would not be necessary for other reasons such as course placement, advising, or research.”

The reports agrees with the conventional wisdom that standardized tests are a strong predictor of first-year grades, and even agrees that they are a strong predictor of full four-year grades. Speaking about the SAT and ACT, the report states that “The Commission is in agreement that the tests measure what they purport to measure.” However, the authors recommend that overall college success be defined by a broader set of criteria than first-year grades. College success can be defined in terms of overall degree attainment, a range of GPAs, post-college employment, or progression to graduate school. When defined in this way, there are tests that may be even more predictive of overall college success than the SAT and ACT. These are the College Board’s Advanced Placement exams and the International Baccalaureate Examinations. These tests have two benefits: First, they measure knowledge of portions of the actual high school curriculum. Second, there is little test prep industry around these exams, so students have less ability to buy their way to a good score.

Despite the Commission’s recommendations, it acknowledges that high school students may experience some disadvantages if they do not take the usual standardized tests. For example, a student’s PSAT scores are used in the initial screen of eligibility for National Merit scholarships. A student that skips the PSAT passes up a scholarship opportunity. Additionally, colleges themselves have an incentive to require high SAT scores: the ranking tables of major publications depend heavily on a school’s average test scores. In its report, the Commission recommends that these publications stop using test scores as a measure of institutional quality.

The author’s main purpose in the article is to

A. advocate that standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT be discontinued for use in college admissions decisions
B. question the conventional wisdom that standardized tests are a strong predictor of first-year grades
C. discuss a report by the NACAC and describe some of it recommendations
D. argue that all standardized tests have little validity
E. recommend that the PSAT stop being used as a criteria for National Merit scholarships

(A) While the author may believe the tests should be used less, he does not advocate they be discontinued entirely.

(B) The author actually accepts this conventional wisdom.

(C) Correct. The purpose of the article is to provide an overview of the NACAC report and describe some of its recommendations.

(D) The author actually supports the use of standardized tests such as the Advanced Placement exams.

(E) The author does this in the third paragraph, but it is not the main purpose of the article. This answer choice is too narrow.

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Intern
Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Posts: 1

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29 Dec 2016, 09:53
I think this is a high-quality question.
Manager
Joined: 30 Dec 2016
Posts: 239
GMAT 1: 650 Q42 V37
GPA: 4

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28 Nov 2017, 10:49
Hi,

I guess there is a grammatical error in second paragraph.

The reports agrees with the conventional wisdom that standardized tests are a strong predictor of first-year grades, and even agrees that they are

Reports are plural, and agrees is singular. Should have been reports agree and even agree
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Re: V10-19   [#permalink] 28 Nov 2017, 10:49
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# V10-19

Moderators: chetan2u, Bunuel

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