Grades vs Scores in College Admission

A recent study by William Hiss, former Director of Admission at Bates Colleges, explores the value of SAT/ACT vs high school grades in predicting student college success. “Defining Promise: Optional Standardized Testing in American College and University Admission” released by the National Association of College Admission Counselors analyzed data from tens of thousands of students from six public universities over several years.

The study revealed only a 0.05% lower GPA average among students who did not submit scores compared to student who did submit scores. Equally insignificant was the 0.06% lower 6-year graduation date of the non-submitters.

In an admissions climate in which the testing industry has become the tail that wags the dog, over $2 billion is spent annually on test preparation. Many feel that success on the SAT and ACT reflects family income and education of parents, not ability and motivation. Only 800 of the 3,000 US colleges and universities are currently test-optional.

Hiss states, ” …hard work, discipline and curiosity in high school are highly predictive in contrast to what students do in 3-4 hours on a Saturday morning.”


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3 Responses to Grades vs Scores in College Admission

  1. Pingback: Grades vs Scores in College Admission | Informed Educational Solutions

  2. Zada says:

    Hi. I wanted to know ,apart from grades and scores how do the AP classes matter? I am going to be an international applicant and my school does not have AP. What effect will this have?

  3. reesesarahc says:

    The universities will not penalize you for classes you could not take because your school did not offer them. I am happy to answer any other questions at:

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