Is the New SAT’s New Concordance Table Fair and Accurate?

The gloves are off in the ongoing battle between testing giants ACT and the College Board. The release of concordance tables equating new SAT scores to old SAT and ACT scores has been met with much confusion and angst by students, parents, school administrators, and college counselors alike. The fact that the New SAT scores are artificially higher than those of the past, when compared to percentiles, caught many industry professionals and insiders, as well as parents and students, by surprise. The incredibly confusing concordance tools offered up by the College Board just added several pounds of air to the ever-expanding balloon of discontent. Many students, whose initial reaction upon seeing their scores was jubilance, soon turned less enthusiastic as they learned that the scores were inflated by as many as 100 points as compared to prior versions.

As word spread about the College Board’s new concordance tables, more and more questions arose. From what data were the concordance tables derived? What methodology was used?  According to Marlen Roorda, CEO of ACT, “it’s important to get at least a full year’s worth of data to compare.”  So, with only a single test’s data to go by, there is a strong probability that the concordances may lead to highly suspect comparisons.

For it’s part, ACT has rejected the concordance tables’ data that link new SAT scores to the ACT.

Speaking on behalf of ACT, Roorda says “…we’re not having it. And neither should you.”  She indicates that the College Board used a questionable measure called “equipercentile.” The College Board explains it this way: “If 75 percent of students achieve a score of X on Test A and 75 percent achieve a score of Y on Test B, then the scores X and Y are considered “‘concorded.’”

Well, we don’t know about that, especially when one considers that March 5 SAT test takers may or may not be representative or reflective of SAT test takers in general. With many questions remaining about concordance of old SAT to new and to the ACT, and with tectonic shifts occurring in every aspect of college admission, many of our soon-to-be 2017 high school graduates are starting to feel less like Guinea pigs and more like victims of a system in turmoil. One thing is for sure—Inflate Gate has expanded the burgeoning rift that exists between David’s Coleman’s newer, more transparent SAT, and the public it purports to serve.