Article: Sacket, P. R., Kuncel, N. R., Beatty, A. S., Rigdon, J. L., Shen, W., & Kiger, T. B. (2012). The role of socioeconomic status in SAT-grade relationships and in college admissions decisions. Psychological Science, 23(9), 1000-1007. doi:10.1177/0956797612438732
- What is the title of the article? Briefly describe (100 words) the nature or purpose of the research.
“The Role of Socioeconomic Status in SAT-Grade Relationships and in College Admissions Decisions” (Page No. 1000)
The purpose of this research is to investigate the role of socioeconomic status (SES) in the relationships among college admissions test scores, secondary school grades, and consequent academic performance of the students (Page 1000). The study tries to answer two questions. Firstly, it tries to find the impact of socioeconomic status in the relationship between SAT scores and students’ academic performance. Secondly, it tries to find out how admission systems impact the distribution of college enrollees with respect to their socioeconomic status (Page 1001).
- Is it a quantitative, qualitative, or mix method research (site page and evidence).
This study is quantitative in nature because it relies on numerical data of test scores, Grade Point Averages, socioeconomic status natural logs, and other statistical calculations like R-square values, Standard Deviations etc (Page 1001). Another reason, this study is categorized as quantitative is that this study carries out a deductive process to find answers to questions based on statistical calculations (Table 1- Page 1003, Table 2 – Page 1003, Table 3 – Page 1004 , Table 4 – Page 1005, Table 5 – Page 1005). Studies which are based on deductive processes to accept or reject hypothesis or research questions, based on statistical analysis of numerical data are quantitative. So by this definition, this is a quantitative study.
- What are the variables (independent, dependent)? Were there other secondary independent or dependent variables or confounding variables? (site page or evidence)
Dependent Variables used were “Freshman GPA”, Self-reported high school GPA”, “College Reported High School GPA”, “College SES distribution”
Independent Variables used in the study were, “SAT Test Scores”, “Father’s education”, mother’s education”, and “family income”, “College Admission Systems”
In my view, “SAT Test Score” can be considered as Confounding Variable, because in one place it interacts with dependent variables (like “freshman GPA”, “Self-reported high school GPS”) and in another place, it interacts with independent variables (SES variables). When a variable interacts with both dependent and independent variables, it is considered as a confounding variable.
(Page 1001 – 1002) -10
- Briefly describe the research method or research design. (include sample selections, demographic, instrument, procedure; site page or evidence)
SAT test scores, secondary school grades, college grades and socioeconomic status measures of a sample size of 143, 606 students from 110 colleges and universities were analyzed and compared with the similar data and results of students 41 schools by University of California to find the correlations. Sampling plan was used to ensure geographically diverse selection of schools (including private, public, large, small etc). The total sample of schools included 63 public and 47 private schools. The sample did not provide any information about age or gender of the selected students’ sample. SAT test scores data was collected from College Board records. Data on socioeconomic status (SES) were obtained from students at the time of taking SAT test.
Freshman GPA was obtained from colleges and universities under study. Questionnaire based data from students taking SAT also provided their Self-reported High School GPA while, 49 colleges are also provided College Reported GPA data.
(Page 1000 – 1002)
- Were there hypothesis (es) stated or research questions? (site page or evidence)
There were two research questions explicitly stated by the researchers:
- “The first is whether the incremental validity of the SAT in predicting subsequent academic performance above and beyond the level of predictive accuracy obtained using high school GPA is substantially reduced once SES is controlled (Page 1001).”
- “The second question concerns the effects of admissions systems on the SES distribution of college enrollees (Page 1001).”
There were no hypotheses nor direct research questions????? -5
- What was the level of confidence for the hypothesis (es) testing? (site evidence).
- What were the results of the study? (site evidence)
To state briefly, the statistical analysis of the data showed that secondary school performance is slightly better predictor of academic performance compared to admission test scores. There was found a shared variance between high school GPA and SAT scores. The combined regression coefficient was always smaller than the individual regression coefficients for High School GPA and SAT scores. Using SAT and High School GPA combine produce more meaningful predictive power than when used individually. Finally, addition of SES variables to the model had least impact on predictive power of SAT admission test scores (Page 1002 – 1003).
The study found that high school GPA and SES variables have least impact on the power of SAT scores in predicting college grades. Relationship between SAT scores and freshman GPA is not much reduced by controlling SES variables. Moreover, the results show that SES distribution of college enrolled students is not related to admissions systems (Page 1006).
- What recommendations did the researcher offer?
The authors did not offer any recommendations in their article. Hence NOT APPLICABLE
- What limitations did the researcher state?