Dory Vega

Dory Vega

University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth



Mentor: Richard M. Barton, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor of Education

Are there cultural and gender differences on the Scholastic Aptitude Test?

Since 1926 the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) has been widely used by colleges and universities for admission purposes. The test is also used by government agencies and private organizations for awarding merit scholarships. The test has attempted to aid in the prediction of first year grade point averages. However, critics of the test argue the credibility of the SAT as a valid testing instrument.

This study consisted of 1000 seniors who took the SAT in 1995. They were chosen randomly from a file where the racial split was forced to insure an equal sample size for each population. The independent variables utilized were race (Black, Hispanic, and White) and gender; SAT verbal and quantitative scores were used as dependent variables.

My study looks at the extent to which the SAT is a valid testing instrument, focusing specifically at existing differences in scores. Analysis of variance and contrasts were conducted. This study found: 1) significant differences by race on the SAT verbal subtest and 2) significant differences by race and gender on the SAT quantitative subtest, which makes the usage of the SAT for admission purposes and merit scholarships questionable. Outcomes of this research will hopefully place lesser emphasis on SAT usage and further the awareness of its deficiencies.

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