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The SAT The SAT holds tremendous power in determining where you will go to college. To go to virtually any college or university in the United States, you need to have taken the Scholastic Aptitude Test, a standardized exam that assigns you a score that ranks your verbal and math abilities. The SAT is not an intelligence test, rather, it is a predictor of college success. College admissions committees use the SAT to get a general idea of your scholastic aptitude. Each section of the SAT is graded on a scale of 200 - 800, with 500 being the average score. Though many colleges require the SAT for admission because it is a standard way of measuring a student's ability to do college-level work, there are many problems with it. No test can accurately predict with 100 percent certainty what your grades will be in college. This is because many factors, including personal motivation, influence your college grades. Colleges use SAT scores to help estimate how well students are likely to do at its school. Knowing your SAT helps the college make a decision about how likely it is that you'll do well at the school, but for many their first year of college grades are different from what their SAT scores had predicted for them. The oldest and most familiar accusation against standardized tests is that they are discriminatory. The prime evidence for this charge is the test results themselves. For many years now, the median score for blacks on the SAT has fallen 200 points short of that for whites. Also there has been the persistent 59-point gender gap in the combined scores of the SAT. The men tend to do better than the women on the math section, while the women perform better on the verbal section.

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