To the Editor:
Your editorial (“The 1,600 Blues,” Nov. 1, 2007) contained several significant errors that misrepresented the SAT and its role in college admissions.
Your editorial states that the SAT “favors candidates from higher incomes who can afford tutoring.” That statement is both wrong and misleading. The SAT cannot be “cracked” or “gamed” with expensive, short-term test prep courses. Research proves that these courses do not improve scores more than the free and low-cost practice tests available online or in bookstores. Expensive test prep courses only serve to give affluent parents and students the illusion of [control] over a scary process. In fact, the best preparation for the SATs is developing good study habits, taking rigorous high school courses and becoming familiar with the SAT by taking sample practice tests.
The editorial also incorrectly states that the SAT is “… not a good indicator of one’s academic achievement.” In fact, dozens of independent research studies prove that the SAT, along with high school grades, is the best single predictor of success in college.
As greater numbers of students apply to colleges, tests such as the SAT provide admissions officers with critical information that help match a students’ potential with the best school for them. Our goal for the SATs is to help connect students to a college or university where they can achieve, succeed and graduate.
Laurence Bunin, senior vice president for operations, The College Board