Validity Studies

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Sign Up for the National SAT Validity Study

We are documenting the relationship between performances on the SAT and outcomes important to higher education.

To do this, we are launching a longitudinal national SAT validity study in partnership with colleges and universities, to examine the relationship between SAT scores and college outcomes such as GPAs, course grades, persistence, and completion. The study will begin with the entering college class of fall 2017, the first cohort of students to primarily take the new SAT. It will include extensive validity analyses by subgroup. The time frame for this work will be:

  • Before summer 2018: Institutions email us to participate in the study.
  • July 31, 2018: Data file is received by the College Board, including completed data-sharing agreement.
  • 2019: national validity study is complete and distributed.

Visit the SAT Validity Study website to learn more.

Conducting Institutional Validity Studies

The College Board offers colleges and universities a free online service to conduct validity research on College Board assessments used in admission and placement. This service, Admitted Class Evaluation Service™ (ACES), helps institutions to:

  • implement predictive models on campus for admission, placement, advisement, and retention practices and initiatives
  • evaluate the relative and combined value of the predictors used in admission and placement decisions
  • examine relationships between predictors (e.g. SAT) and outcomes (e.g. GPA, retention, completion) by subgroups of interest
  • modify credit or placement policies based on institutional data
  • analyze possible new predictors to use in admission or placement decisions
  • understand how or if relationships between predictors and outcomes may change over time

Visit the ACES website to learn more.

Pilot Predictive Validity Study

With the help of colleges and universities, we conducted a pilot study of the predictive validity of the SAT in fall 2014. This study provided early evidence about the relationship between new SAT scores and college grades.

In particular, we examined the validity of SAT scores alone and in combination with high school GPA to predict college grades. The findings follow:

  • The new SAT covers the content and skills research shows matter most for college readiness—and it remains as predictive of college success as the old SAT.
  • New SAT scores improve the ability to predict college performance above high school GPA alone.
  • There is a strong, positive relationship between new SAT scores and grades in matching college course domains, suggesting that the new SAT is sensitive to instruction in English language arts, math, science, and history/social studies.