- Adversity ranking to range from 1 to 100 with 100 being the most disadvantaged
- Score to be calculated on the basis of 15 factors
- Adversity rating is part of the Environmental Context Dashboard being introduced to schools
The SAT is a standardized entrance test used by most colleges and universities in the USA. Every year about 2 million students sit for this exam.
The 3-hour exam grades math and language skills and for the first time, this year will also assess students on their socioeconomic and educational backgrounds.
Let’s find out what the new SAT Adversity Score means for students who are looking for studying in the USA
The Adversity Score
The College Board that administers the SAT exams has included a new rating known as the Adversity score for all students. This score will range from 1 to 100 with higher scores referring to a more disadvantaged background.
This score will be calculated on the basis of 15 factors including the crime rate in the area the student is from, the relative quality of the high school attended and the poverty level in the student’s neighborhood.
The data will be provided by a number of sources such as crime data from the FBI and data from the Census Bureau.
This score will not affect math and language scores. It will be reported only to college admission officials.
Why Has The Adversity Score Been Introduced?
For a while now, colleges have voiced their concerns about how the SATs are not a fair test of merit. Their argument was that students from wealthy families can afford tutors and expensive consultants to improve their SAT scores.
On the other hand, students from poorer families have to rely on their own aptitude and high school learning for this exam. Hence, it is not surprising to note that students from wealthy families tend to have higher scores than those from the economically backward sections of society.
This pattern has made a number of colleges treat the SAT scores as optional scores that the student may or may not submit when applying for admission. However, this may change with the introduction of the adversity rating.
Introducing an adversity rating will help colleges identify students who may not have the highest scores but have still done very well considering their backgrounds.
The Environmental Context Dashboard
The Adversity Score is not the only tool college admission officers will have to recognize students who could do well in college despite having not-so-great test scores.
This is only one part of a larger rating system known as the Environmental Context Dashboard. A trial version of this dashboard has already been tested by 50 colleges. It will be officially rolled out to 150 schools in 2019-20.
Criticisms For The SAT Adversity Score
While the rating will be beneficial to students from poor families, those from well-off families are worried as to whether they will stand to lose out on college sets only because of their economically stronger situation.
Many people feel that given the rising number of low-income students and first-generation students in elite colleges, there is already enough being done to increase student population diversity.
Exclusion Of Race In The Adversity Score
The student’s race will not be one of the factors influencing his/her adversity score. One of the reasons for this is the legal regulations, college admission officials need to keep in mind.
Many well-known universities have a long history of lawsuits related to how race has influenced the admission process. The new Supreme Court is also predicted to take a hard line on the use of racial background for admission related decisions.
Thus, the adversity score is being seen as a viable alternative to using race to achieve diversity in the school. This tool helps contextualize the SAT scores and identify students who can transcend their situations.
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