The Ivy Coach Daily

May 16, 2019

SAT Adversity Score

A piece out today in The Wall Street Journal describes College Board’s new ’Adversity Score’.

The College Board will now be weighing in on a test-taker’s social and economic background. As reports Douglas Belkin for The Wall Street Journal in a piece entitled “SAT to Give Students ’Adversity Score’ to Capture Social and Economic Background,” “The new number, called an adversity score by college admissions officers, is calculated using 15 factors including the crime rate and poverty levels from the student’s high school and neighborhood. Students won’t be told the scores, but colleges will see the numbers when reviewing their applications. Fifty colleges used the score last year as part of a beta test. The College Board plans to expand it to 150 institutions this fall and then use it broadly the following year.”

College Board Creates ’Adversity Score’ for SAT Test-Takers

Let us get this straight. The College Board feels they need to quantify — on a scale of one through 100 — the socioeconomic adversity test-takers have faced? We find that to be absolutely ridiculous. Does College Board not think that college admissions officers are savvy enough to know about the socioeconomics of a given town or city? Does College Board not think students are capable of describing who they are and where they come from in their many admissions essays? The ’Adversity Score’ is supposed to measure adversity in “neighborhoods, families and schools,” as Belkin reports for The Wall Street Journal. Really? The College Board can measure the adversity in a family? It’s outrageous they’d suggest they can…the chutzpah!

College Board is No Arbiter of Socioeconomic Adversity

Decades after tutoring for the SAT became a thriving industry, The College Board still insisted that their prized SAT was a fair exam that required no prep to succeed, that all students could do well irrespective of their ability to pay for great tutoring. Of course, we all know that was a whole lot of malarkey. Heck, we didn’t need hindsight; we all knew it at the time. So now we’re expecting this very organization — The College Board — to quantify the socioeconomic adversity students face? Well, the so-called arbiter of that adversity is a biased one.

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