SAT Exam To Give Students "Adversity Score" To Help Level Playing Field

SAT Scores Up As Record-Breaking Numbers Of Students Take The Test

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There's a big change to the SAT exam now.

The College Board has assigned a new "adversity score" to the SAT that will reflect a students' family income, environmental and educational differences. This is an attempt to level the playing field in the highly competitive college admissions process.

According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 50 schools have used this new indicator during their admissions process last year and the College Board is looking to add more than 150 schools into the mix this fall.

In case you were unaware, the College Board is a New York-based non-profit that is in charge of overseeing the SAT. Because of the explosive college admissions scandal that blew up earlier this year, its caused the College Board to reexamine their testing process.

The new "adversity score" number is calculated using 15 different factors. These factors are divided into three different categories: high school environment, neighborhood environment, and family environment. These factors are supposed to better help admissions officer determine a student's social and economic background.

The neighborhood environment takes into account crime rate, poverty rate, vacancy rate, and housing values. Family environment evaluates a student's family median income, if the student lives in a single parent household, the educational level of the student's parents, and if English is the primary language. The high school environment categories will look at a school's curriculum difficulty, free-lunch rate and AP class opportunities.

Together these factors will determine the student's adversity score on a scale of one to 100.

A score of 50 is considered average, below 50 is considered privilege, and anything above 50 is hardship.

For more information, please read here.

Hear Mark Thompson's conversation with Bob Schaeffer, Director of Public Education of Fair Test, on these changes to the SAT exam. For more information on Bob Schaeffer and Open & Free Testing, please visit his website here.

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