Test Scores, Educational Opportunities, and Individual Choice

52 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2004

See all articles by Steven F. Venti

Steven F. Venti

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

David A. Wise

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: July 1981

Abstract

A model combining student preferences for college with university admissions decisions is estimated to provide information on the role of test scores in the determination of post-secondary educational opportunities. In contrast to implications of much of the recent criticism of tests and their use, we find that scholastic aptitude test scores are more strongly related to student application and choice of college "quality" than to college admissions decisions. In addition, although there is a substantial correlation between test scores and high school performance, we find that both post-secondary school preferences and ultimate opportunities are related as much to performance in high school as to test scores themselves. Although SAT scores certainly exclude some persons from schools, our findings indicate that they do not represent a dominating constraint on the college opportunities of high school graduates.

Suggested Citation

Venti, Steven F. and Wise, David A., Test Scores, Educational Opportunities, and Individual Choice (July 1981). NBER Working Paper No. w0710. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=349103

Steven F. Venti (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

6106 Rockefeller Center
Hanover, NH 03755
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603-646-2526 (Phone)
603-646-2122 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

David A. Wise

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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