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College Board Announces New Addition “Adversity Score” To SAT

The SAT Will Be Featuring A New Score In a controversial move, the College Board, which crafts and administers the SAT, announced it will add an “adversity score” to...

(Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The SAT Will Be Featuring A New Score

In a controversial move, the College Board, which crafts and administers the SAT, announced it will add an “adversity score” to the test. The score will factor in things like the poverty level and crime rate at the high school of test-takers, although students themselves will not be able to view the score. The score will be visible to college admissions officers who review the students’ SAT scores.

The new scoring system has been criticized in the media as arbitrary and unfair, but many in higher education circles embrace the idea of leveling the standardized-testing playing field.

“I love this idea,” Morgan Polikoff, associate professor of education at USC, told US News & World Report. “College and university admission officers often do this kind of calculation implicitly or on the back of the envelope. I think it’s great that the College Board is taking a more serious, scientific approach to it.”

Some called the new scoring system a “publicity stunt.” Others speculated it is the College Board’s attempt to fend off criticism that the SAT is inherently biased against struggling students, who lack access to resources like SAT prep courses.

“Test-makers long claimed that their products were a common yardstick for comparing applicants from a wide range of schools,” said Bob Schaeffer, the public education director at the National Center for Fair and Open Testing. “This latest initiative concedes that the SAT is really a measure of accumulated advantage, which should not be used without an understanding of a student’s community and family background.”

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