The SAT – Fun Facts!

Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? But really, the SAT can be fun! Well, no, that’s a lie. But let’s pretend it’s true while reading these cool SAT facts!

Fun fact n. 1: The SAT represents …

… nothing! The SAT is a pseudo-acronym. Like its siblings “KFC” and “A&M” at Texas A&M University, “SAT” appears to be an acronym, but officially it no longer stands for anything. Originally, “SAT” stood for “Academic Aptitude Test”, but was changed in 1990 to mean “Academic Assessment Test” to appease critics who claimed that the test was not a measure of intelligence. Then, just three short years later, the letters officially lost their meaning when the name was changed to “SAT I: Reasoning Test,” again to appease critics who argued that the test did not accurately reflect academic achievement.

Fun fact n. 2: The miracle of education in Texas

One load-bearing wall of George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign was the so-called “Texas Education Miracle,” which touted his successes in raising test scores across Texas during his 1995-2000 governorship. One bullet point on this list of educational phenomena was the fact that, between 1994 and 1995, SAT scores rose a staggering 100 points! Wizard Governor Bush waved his wand and made all teens in Texas smarter! A miracle indeed!

Well not really. In April 1995, the College Board decided to refocus the SAT due to the decline in the national average. Originally, the SAT was designed to produce an average score of around 1000, but over the years, as more and more people took the test, the national average dropped around 100 points to 900. The new system of tests The score artificially inflated the scores so that the average would go back up to around 1000. Actually, adjusted for re-centering, the SAT scores did not go up or down significantly during Bush’s term of governor, but no one noticed. . If you ask me, that’s the real miracle.

Fun fact n. 3: Californication

The University of California Public University System is the largest university system in the country, consisting of ten schools and approximately 160,000 college students. In 2009, the UC system received approximately 350,000 applications from high school seniors, most of whom took the SAT at least once. Even if each of those applicants only took the SAT once (probably not the case), that would work out to around $ 16,450,000 for the College Board. You could probably buy a small country with that amount of money!

So in 2001, when the UC president announced a recommendation to eliminate the SAT as a required admissions factor, the College Board listened carefully. President Atkinson questioned the validity of the SAT as an indicator of academic achievement and sparked a debate on the merits of standardized tests that ultimately led to a major review process that began in 2001 and culminated in changes that were unveiled in 2005. The College Board added a writing section to the SAT, increased the maximum score from 1600 to 2400, removed the analogies from the critical reading section, and made the test a bit more difficult overall (to decrease the number of perfect scores) . Struggling to meet your target SAT score? Blame California. Interestingly (and strangely), the UC system already required SAT II (subject test) writing scores in addition to the normal SAT scores, which makes you wonder how moving the writing section from SAT II to SAT I did. helped to evaluate students more. precisely?