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ACT College Admissions Test Scores by Race: Asians Pulling Away
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Asians continue to pull away from the field in college admissions tests, while American Indian well-being appears to be collapsing in recent years.

Otherwise, nothing much ever changes in racial average test scores.

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  1. Flip says:

    Asian is East and South Asians lumped together?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  2. FO337 says:

    ACT College Admissions Test Scores by Race

    Going out on a limb here, I’m gonna say….that’s racist?

    Am I right? Do I win anything?

  3. Anon[260] • Disclaimer says:


    Asian guys take jobs from white guys who take Asian girls from Asian guys?

  4. George says:

    “Asians Pulling Away” See what happens when you discriminate against people smarter than you.

  5. Three hypothesis

    Asians, Something has changed on the ACT that has made it easier to prep for.
    New interest in the better midwestern colleges that use the ACT because the coastal schools have gotten “too asian”

    Native Americans, Guidance councilors have been successful at aiming the brighter NAs to the SAT and scholarships on the coast. Leaving the less bright to take the ACT and try for the 2nd tier state colleges.

    • Replies: @Fred Boynton
  6. Dog bites man.

    I’m sure that the MSM will be all over this.

    But, seriously, there is a good nature vs. nurture aspect to this. Since around 2000, Asians have been pulling away from all groups. Whites kind of tried to keep up in the early 2000s but ran out of gas. Since around 2014, it’s been a bloodbath. What’s going on?

    I doubt that Asians have become that much smarter in that time. Why has every other group lagged by so much?

    Regardless, I’m sure that Harvard and other Ivies will dismiss this.

    Regardless, regardless, I wish that I didn’t have to care. I want to live in a country of my own people. Whether other groups do well or poorly in their own lands would be interesting but not important to me. That’s my dream, silly as it is.

  7. Jack D says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Not only that, but Asian lumps together Jungle Asians with Civilized Asians. I’ll bet that the Hmong aren’t making much progress but the kids from Shanghai are going gangbusters.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    , @anonymous
  8. Ibound1 says:

    Only one thing to do: import more tongans, el salvadorans, and somalis to offset those high Asian scores and bring down the average.

  9. ACT consists in 4 tests, 3 0f which are not math. Also, if I recall, there is a smaller gap between Asian men and women. Those two factors may be how women’s scores have inched slightly ahead. Also, the ceiling is not that high, so the guys who can achieve higher just end up with the rest of the guys with perfect scores and the really dumb guys bring down the men’s average.

    How do men do vs. women on just the math section?

    We should expect Asians to do better because they are drawn almost exclusively from the top 10% in their countries. Numerically there are more Asians in the top 10% in their countries than there are total residents of the USA.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  10. George says:

    Is it possible Asians includes foreign students? Foreign students planning on studying in the US would be less casual about test prep and possibly just smarter, but not really representative.

  11. Anon[334] • Disclaimer says:

    Has there been any change in the composition of the subset of the Asian category that takes the ACT? For example, a shift to more northeast Asians from southeast Asians, or a change in the region or caste of southeast Asians in that age group because of immigration trends in the past?

    If not, what is the explanation? Test prep has never been shown to be of much benefit in controlled studies. EducationRealist thinks there is massive undetected cheating by Asians, but that seems paranoid. But without some explanation, don’t these results bring into question the “ACT/SAT as proxy IQ test” theory?

  12. @Jack D

    You think the Chinese punch above their weight, wait until you see the data about people from a certain place in western Asia – those guys are a minute fraction of the populace, whereas if you administer a standardized test to a billion Chinese, well, Hell’s Bells, by don’t of their sheer numbers….

  13. Anonymous[346] • Disclaimer says:

    Not only that, but Asian lumps together Jungle Asians with Civilized Asians. I’ll bet that the Hmong aren’t making much progress but the kids from Shanghai are going gangbusters.

    I’m guessing the kids from Bergen County, Fairfax County, and L.A. County whose parents come from Seoul and Daegu.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  14. Anonymous[320] • Disclaimer says:

    Love this!

    Irrefutable proof that test scores are a crude tool for identifying talent.

    Mass immigration of Asiatics is a total disaster.

    • Replies: @bomag
    , @CalDre
  15. Nathan says:

    The ACT is the most “achievement” oriented college admission test- it requires knowledge of trig functions, for example. It shouldn’t be used to promote the idea that Asians deserve admission to any given elite college.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  16. Asians continue to pull away from the field in college admissions tests, while American Indian well-being appears to be collapsing in recent years.

    Dots 1, feathers 0.

    Otherwise, nothing much ever changes in racial average test scores.

    Well, the colors on the graph are much closer to actual dermatology than usual. Or, in whites’ case, hematology.

  17. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    It could be that the same socioeconomic factors behind the “White Death” are also holding back White ACT scores.

    • Replies: @FO337
  18. That tension is particularly evident in the eight prestigious Ivy League schools: Federal data shows that their freshman classes grew slightly from 2004 to 2014 — 5 percent — while the number of incoming foreign students rose 46 percent. At the same time, applications to the schools shot up 88 percent.

    The Asian test score rise coincides with the economic booms in China and India. While graduate schools in science and engineering have had a high percentage of foreign students for quite some time, it is only in the last two decades that we have seen an influx of foreign born undergraduates. The better students in China will disproportionally apply to American universities.

    The impact is most pronounced at elite schools, but I know that many local community colleges that were once refuges for high school students with C averages to get their act together and then transfer to high quality state universities are also now recruiting students from China.

    I find this policy quite egregious. Universities that receive billions in subsidies from taxpayers, but then prefer to insource students who not American. Just further evidence that American elites and institutions have little interest in serving the interests of Americans.

    Hard to see how this is sustainable in the long term.

    As for Native American scores, my guess is that the dreaded White Death is disproportionally affecting Native Americans, those who look like Elizabeth Warren and otherwise.

    • Replies: @FO337
    , @Rosie
    , @bomag
  19. Kaz says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    The current generation of Asians hitting college age are likely among the largest Asian generation actually born in America so good technical results on science/math + english. That’s my guess at least..

    ACT adoption has generally increased as well, Asians were probably slower to adopt.

  20. That’s interesting, Asian births continue to decline. Will that mean in 20 years a thousand Asian kids will score 1000000 on the ACT?

  21. Anonymous[897] • Disclaimer says:

    On the latest PISA tests (2015), Whites actually did as well, if not better, than US Asians. How is this explained? Isn’t ACT also fairly g-loaded or can you ‘practice to the test’ a lot more than PISA and thus the Asian prep advantage comes to mind?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  22. Jack D says:
    @Joe Schmoe

    This is not saying much unless you know what the mean and distribution is back home. In some states they have programs where the top 10% from any high school can get into the flagship state U. This sounds great on paper until you realize that in some ghetto schools the average SAT is 400 and the top 10% is no more than 500.

  23. boomstick says:

    It’s interesting that “Asians” (without details) seems to have increased so much since circa 2005. Did this happen with increased young immigrants? From where in China, the parents working for whom in the US? Is that DNA or behavior? Or is it elite Indians? Avoiding DNA seems hard to do for such large movements.

    • Replies: @Anon
  24. Jack D says:

    Yes, those too. The point is that “Asian” is not uniform by any means, that there are some Asian groups (Hmong, Laotians, Cambodians, etc.) who are nothing to write home about and who I doubt are making any great progress and so if the overall Asian average is trending rapidly upward, there must be some other Asian groups that are going up even faster, crazy fast. We saw this in the 1st couple of decades of the 20th century in the US where the Ashkenazi Jews absolutely skyrocketed from being virtual non-participants in Western education to being dominant, a sort of supernova of brilliance which I think we are seeing again with the Asians. The difference this time being that the reservoir of Jews back in Europe was never that big, even before Hitler but there are hundreds of millions of civilized Asians waiting in the wings.

  25. @Anonymous

    The PISA tests underwent a big change from pencil and paper in 2012 to computer in 2015, so I don’t know what to think about American whites suddenly outscoring American Asians in 2015.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    , @Anon
  26. Pacific Islanders also appear to going downhill. What’s the story there? Just small sample sizes? Changing immigration sources?

  27. Jack D says:

    Right, it’s not as if you need to know trigonometry to be a scientist. In fact, it’s unfair to require ANY knowledge in order to get into college. Requiring students to know stuff before they get to college is racist and in no way indicative of how they will perform once they get there. And it’s doubly racist to tell people what subject matter is on a test and expect them to study the subject matter before they take it so they can do well on it. Test prep is racist too. These Asians think that they can fool us and SEEM to be intelligent just by spending hundreds of hours after school learning trig and other subject matter backwards and forwards, but they can’t fool us with their diligence and work ethic! Oh, hell no!

    • Replies: @Nathan
    , @Nathan
  28. 22pp22 says:

    I accept HBD, and I accept that Asians have a higher IQ than we do, but that graph is fishy. How much opportunity is there for dishonesty on these tests?

    • Replies: @Yan Shen
    , @Anon
    , @Anonymous
  29. Yan Shen says:

    Well Steve Sailer has been complaining for years now that consistently increasing Asian American scores on tests like the SAT or ACT is basically due to Asian Americans having figured out how to game the system through extensive test prep, in large part due to the strict guidance of Tiger Mothers or something along those lines. However I’ve never found this hypothesis to be particularly compelling. Leaving aside the fact that the ACT is probably more of an achievement test than the SAT, everything I’ve seen suggests that historically the SAT has been fairly g-loaded and not significantly amenable to extensive prep.

    Back in 2003, Frey and Detterman observed a correlation of about 0.82 between SAT scores and g based on analysis of historical data.[15] Furthermore, studies have generally tended to cast doubt on the efficacy of commercial test prep in terms of significantly boosting SAT scores on average.

    For instance, after accounting for potential self-selection biases by randomly assigning students to control and treatment groups, “the effect of commercial test preparation has appeared relatively small. A comprehensive 1999 study by Don Powers and Don Rock published in the Journal of Educational Measurement estimated a coaching effect on the math section somewhere between 13 and 18 points, and an effect on the verbal section between 6 and 12 points. Powers and Rock concluded that the combined effect of coaching on the SAT I is between 21 and 34 points. Similarly, extensive metanalyses conducted by Betsy Jane Becker in 1990 and by Nan Laird in 1983 found that the typical effect of commercial preparatory courses on the SAT was in the range of 9-25 points on the verbal section, and 15-25 points on the math section.”[16] The Bell Curve also cited earlier data in showing that there were rapidly diminishing returns to extensive prep for both the SAT-M and SAT-V, although similar to the later studies the math section did appear to be more amenable to improvement than the verbal.[17]

    Basically it seems like there are rapidly diminishing returns to prep for the SAT with the caveat that the math section is somewhat more amenable than the verbal to extensive study.

    I suspect the primary driver for increasing Asian American test scores is primarily due to selective immigration post 2000. This is just a hunch so I can’t claim for certain that’s the reason why. However if you look at the Pew numbers that I cited in my article, the Asian American population exploded from 11.9 million in 2000 to around 20.5 million by 2015. Almost half of that 73% increase came from two of the highest performing Asian American sub-groups, Chinese and Indian Americans. And based on results of the California Achievement Test from 2003-2008, even groups like Vietnamese or Filipino Americans appear to be significantly more self selected relative to the native population IQ numbers that Lynn reports for those countries.

    Anecdotally the explosion in the Asian American population post 2000 and their steadily increasing standardized test scores seem to mirror the trend of Asian Americans also increasing substantially percentage wise at elite high schools around the country such as Monta Vista, Stuyvesant, or top schools in the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District in New Jersey for instance. Articles attempting to explain demographic changes at these schools usually highlight the recent influx of highly educated STEM oriented Asian immigrants as the primary factor.

    So taking all of these impressionistic data points in tandem, I’m much more inclined to believe that recent patterns of immigration are what’s primarily driving the increase in Asian American standardized test scores rather than dishonesty or Asians somehow having figured out the holy grail of how to game highly g-loaded tests…

  30. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    Tests than Testes.

    Asians totally failing in reproduction.

  31. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    Where do Eurasians fit into the picture?

    Do they identify as Asians? As whites? With close to 50% of Asian women having kids with non-Asians, doesn’t this get complicated?

    Could it be that only smarter Asians are having kids, and very few of them, which means they receive lots of attention and care?

    If Asian women are highly educated and only seek out highly educated Asian men, it means less successful Asian men won’t have kids. And then, the kids, often just one, of high-IQ Asian men and women will be smarter and will have received so much support from his/her parents.

  32. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    ACT is not as hard as SAT. Adequate preparation could help a lot.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  33. FO337 says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    A good point, which hadn’t occurred to me.
    My own family has nearly vanished.
    Our credentials now worthless.
    Is this a haiku? Hope so.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  34. FO337 says:
    @Clifford Brown

    Pity the Asian students who only get into second- or third-tier colleges. The pent-up rage that results sometimes makes them go all Seung-Hui Cho and such.

  35. Jack D says:

    This is a myth. There is a strong statistical correlation between the score you are likely to get one one test vs. the other. Certain individuals may score higher on one or the other but it averages out over a large population. Enough so that, thru the use of conversion tables most colleges (even elite Ivies) will take ACT scores in lieu of SAT or vice versa. If one test was “easier” then the conversion table would just be adjusted to equalize any given score.

    That being said, the tests have “personalities” – the ACT is more straightfoward in Midwestern fashion and on the SAT, they are constantly trying to trick you into filling in the wrong answer. They are surprisingly good at weeding out the stupid in this way, to the point where dumb people score WORSE than they would if they just filled in random answers.

  36. Anon[926] • Disclaimer says:
    @Yan Shen

    I had the weird experience of taking the SAT again at about age 40 overseas, with no prep, not even reading any sort of application booklet. I maxed out the verbal, but my math was a little below my high school days. During the test I felt that with extra time I could do perfect on math, but of course the SAT is partially a rest of speed. Unlike the English part, the math part had questions in groups where, once I did the first one, the rest came easily. So figuring out the pattern of each type of question wasted time. My conclusion was that for math, prep would help in familiarizing you with the question patterns, but that there would be diminishing returns after two or three prep sessions, and you’d be better off reading challenging books, after that.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  37. Jack D says:
    @Yan Shen

    Except that, for example, at Stuyvesant the Asians are the lowest income group – a lot of Stuy Asian parents are people who work in the kitchens of Chinese restaurants and not tech guys with degrees from IIT. This mirrors the Jewish immigrant experience where there was also tremendous upward mobility in 1 generation.

    • Replies: @Yan Shen
  38. Yan Shen says:
    @Jack D

    Yeah you’re right about that. I guess that temporarily slipped my mind. I remember reading before that Asian Americans had the highest rates of poverty among all ethnic groups in the NYC public school system or something along those lines.

    Ting Shi said his first two years in the United States were wretched. He slept in a bunk bed in the same room with his grandparents and a cousin in Chinatown, while his parents lived on East 89th Street, near a laundromat where they endured 12-hour shifts. He saw them only on Sundays.

    Even after they found an apartment together, his father often talked about taking the family back to China. So, following the advice of friends and relatives from Fuzhou, where he is from, Ting spent more than two years poring over dog-eared test prep books, attending summer and after-school classes, even going over math formulas on the walk home from school.

    The afternoon his acceptance letter to Stuyvesant High School arrived in the mail, he and his parents gathered at the laundromat, the smell of detergent and the whirl of the washing machines filling the air. “Everyone was excited,” Ting recalled.

    Ting’s father said he felt rejuvenated, and now dismissed the idea of returning: “I thought: the next generation will have a good future,” he said.

    But I think selective immigration explains the situation at many other elite high schools in places like California and elsewhere, no? I’m still inclined to believe that overall the US has experienced an influx of selective Chinese and Indian immigrants post 2000, but perhaps I’m wrong about that.

    • Replies: @Lot
    , @Jack D
  39. @Anon

    It’s a little bit like prepping for College Bowl, the quiz show I competed in in college. I never studied anything, except one time Prof. Martin suggested I study up on opera plots in case there were any opera questions. But then there weren’t any. And I don’t know how much I remembered. For example, I’m going to see POP’s production of La Traviata, one of Verdi’s most famous operas, but after all these years I have no clue what it’s about. Workers? (Or am I thinking of Il Trovatore?) Travails? I guess I’ll just have to show up and find out!

  40. these numbers corroborate the same exact numbers that i am personally collecting from SAT results. i can’t seriously be the only person doing a project like this? yet i see ZERO discussion of this stuff, even among the smartest guys in the HBD crowd.

    my observations are all the same:

    1) test scores going DOWN, not UP.

    contrary to the utopians. and this is happening across all groups. the lone exception, ‘asians’, is probably not capturing what’s really going on, since every person from that area of the world gets stuffed into one category, and these people are fairly different.

    2) the rate of decline is not the same for all groups.

    european test scores have declined by an intelligence test equivalent of almost 1 point of performance over the last 5 or 6 years of SAT tests. test scores for other groups, have declined by more. ‘hispanics’ more, american indians next, and africans the most. african test scores have gone down an equivalent of almost 2 intelligence test points in only the last 5 or 6 years of SAT data.

    3) it’s not because more people are taking the tests, leading to the usual decrease in average performance – it’s the exact opposite. test participation is GOING DOWN. NOT UP. that means, the most likely explanation for why the average performance is declining, is not what’s going on, and can’t explain the decline in performance. test performance down, test participation ALSO DOWN.

    i had wondered if smarter kids were slowly leaving SAT and turning to ACT instead. NOW WE KNOW THEY’RE NOT. ACT performance AND participation is ALSO DOWN.

    4) the rate of decline is faster the more dysgenic a group is. small but real for europeans, more for ‘hispanics’, more for american indians, and the most for africans, who’s performance is dropping at an alarming rate, as stated before.

    50 years of increasing single mother kids, and an expanding welfare state, with these effects peaking acutely over the last 30 years, is now beginning to show it’s effects i suspect. dumb people are able to have more kids than middle class and upper middle class people can afford to now, and they are. 75% of africans are single mother kids now. they have the most dysgenic trend, and the test scores reflect the change.

    5) male-female performance differences are real, the difference varies by group, and the differences are changing.

    the difference is the largest among europeans, where males perform 3 points better than females. it is smaller among ‘asians’ and ‘hispanics’ and american indians, where males perform 2 points better than females. the difference is smallest among africans, where males perform only about 0.5 points better than females.

    to richard lynn’s analysis, this would seem to be more evidence that males perform better than females, even on pencil and paper tests designed to reduce the differences as much as possible. so their actual performance difference is probably a good amount higher than only 2 or 3 points, on tests not deliberately fudged to minimize the difference in ability.

    6) the difference in capability between europeans and africans is getting BIGGER now, not smaller. for decades this was the opposite, as very low class africans got access to better living conditions, which is probably what caused them to perform better on academic tests since 1970 or so, leading to the very tiresome (and slightly incorrect) observation about the 15 points difference or 1 standard deviation rule (it was always a little bigger than that, but rounded down for argument’s purposes).

    having said that, the difference on SAT tests has grown over the last 5 or 6 years. 5 or 6 years ago, the difference in performance was equivalent to about 17 points on a wechsler. today, the difference is now about 18 points. this is due to africans declining faster than everybody else, not due to europeans getting smarter, because, it appears they’re not.

    7) ‘asian’ math test performance continues to increase, leaving everybody else behind.

    here i say ‘asian’ because there are lots of people jammed in this category who are not east asians, but it’s east asians who matter. so the actual math performance of east asians might actually be HIGHER than the numbers even suggest, because lower performing groups from asia are also stuffed into this category.

    they currently have the lowest dysgenic trends, and also, nearly the highest immigration rate, about equal to people from latin america. so, in accordance with their existing genetic capability, in combination with their proclivity to be totally obsessed with this stuff, expect their performance here to stay high or go even slightly higher over the next few decades.

    • Replies: @Lot
    , @Desiderius
    , @res
    , @Jack D
  41. FO337 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Great Opera is principally about Great Music.

    The ‘stories’ are incidental at best. Many are even quite insipid.

    If you want to enjoy your opera-going experience, prime yourself by listening to the music a few times in advance. Just have it playing while you’re busy doing other things! Familiarity will enhance the event, and even permit you to judge the performance, should you be so inclined.

    • Replies: @scrivener3
  42. @FO337

    A good point, which hadn’t occurred to me.
    My own family has nearly vanished.
    Our credentials now worthless.
    Is this a haiku? Hope so.

    A good point… to me.
    My own family… vanished.
    Our credentials… less.

    Now it is.

    • Replies: @FO337
  43. FO337 says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I bow respectfully in your general direction Great Master!

  44. Lot says:
    @Yan Shen

    I’ve noticed NYC Chinese are poorer and more leftist than California Chinese.

    • Replies: @Jefferson
  45. danand says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Citizen of a Silly Country,

    Since around 2000, Asians have been pulling away from all groups

    In 2000 China’s GDP was ~$1.5T, today it’s ~$13T. Many more East Asians with half a brain or better have gotten the opportunity to study in the US.

  46. Lot says:
    @prime noticer

    I agree.

    “i can’t seriously be the only person doing a project like this? yet i see ZERO discussion of this stuff, even among the smartest guys in the HBD crowd.”

    There’s plenty of good academic literature on dysgenic trends. Here you go for a start:

  47. Jefferson says:

    “I’ve noticed NYC Chinese are poorer and more leftist than California Chinese.”

    Affluent Chinese Americans do not live in urban overcrowded Chinatowns where people are packed like sardines, they live in wide space suburban mcmansions.

    Chinatowns are for the Chinese American underclass.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  48. @FO337

    You might have a chuckle from this past comment. (#30)

    • LOL: FO337
  49. CalDre says:

    Couple questions: “Whites” doesn’t includes Hispanics? I realize there’s a separate Hispanics line but there are no definitions for these categories. Also I don’t know why anyone should trust this Twitter account. Where’s ACT’s publication of the data?

    Also, is there any break-down of the percent of each “race” taking the test? Plus, is there a break-down of, say, only the top 1% of the scores and how that percent compares to all test-takers and to the general population of high school students?

    The very rough data as presented, even if accurate, is impossible to interpret meaningfully.

    • Agree: Travis
  50. OT.

    Claiming that immigrants bring diseases with them is obviously disgusting racism.

    “Researchers from University College London and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health dated samples of the most common strain of tuberculosis from around the world through history. They found the earliest examples of the strain, called Lineage 4, were found in Europe, and it later progressed to Asia, Africa and the Americas thanks to European explorers carrying it with them. The timings of the disease travelling match up with the expeditions of Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus.”

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  51. Rosie says:
    @Clifford Brown

    I find this policy quite egregious. Universities that receive billions in subsidies from taxpayers, but then prefer to insource students who not American.

    It is absolutely inexcusable.

  52. anonymous[409] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    The Jungle and Civilized could work out their differences for better or worse in Asia. Why should this conflict be playing out anywhere else?

  53. Anonymous[367] • Disclaimer says:

    I accept HBD, and I accept that Asians have a higher IQ than we do, but that graph is fishy. How much opportunity is there for dishonesty on these tests?

    “Asians” in general are not higher IQ than Whites.

    Han Chinese are apparently slightly higher in IQ than whites, but “Asians” includes a lot of groups. Asia is a big place.

    India, last I checked, was in Asia, and while the smartest Indians are really really smart, they are a tiny fraction of Indians. On average Indians are not too smart, because they have a lot of downright stupid Indians who shit in the fields.

    Han Chinese have higher average IQ but a narrower spread or bandwidth, meaning they have fewer really stupid and fewer really smart people by percentage. Plus, more importantly, Han Chinese just are not that creative. They haven’t invented much in recent centuries and there is little likelihood they will start now.

    Japanese are somewhere between Han Chinese and whites, meaning that they are not much likelier to invent truly new things but they are better at taking an existing idea, such as the oxygen torpedo, the peroxide torpedo, the Wankel rotary engine, or a depletion mode vacuum tube amplifier (using a very high mu tube in the manner of MOSFETs with a positive grid voltage, making it possible to use a Class C RF triode in Class A single ended audio service: see Shishido, Nobu) and making it work even when the Western originators have given up on the notion. A Japanese automaker just released a variable compression reciprocating engine for cars, an idea concocted in the 1960s and abandoned in the West.

    The Nikon camera empire was based on the simple idea of combining the superior Leica style horizontal traveling focal plane shutter with the Contax rangefinder and lens mount. Toyota’s legendary Land Cruiser featured an engine that was a copy of the Chevy inline 6. Nissan copied Mercedes Benz engines. They had no shame in copying what worked. Western companies insist on reinventing the wheel whenever possible.

  54. Nathan says:
    @Jack D

    You’re missing the point- the ACT is easier to coach, and the whole point of these tests is that you aren’t supposed to study for them.

  55. @YetAnotherAnon

    “When politicians link immigrants to disease, the science just doesn’t add up”

  56. Nathan says:
    @Jack D

    I mean, believe what you want, but when we talk about “test prep,” we’re basically talking about handing out answers on a massive, industrialized scale. In foreign countries.

    That’s what seldom gets mentioned. We’re not talking about the U.S. population alone. Sure, maybe Harvard would be 51% Asian, but how many of those would be American citizens?

  57. @FO337

    To make matters worse for him, his older sister got into Princeton. Something I’m sure his parents reminded him of constantly, which couldn’t have helped his mental state. And even at VTech, he ended up dropping out of computer science and ending up as a fifth-year English major (liberal arts degrees aren’t worth much in general, but liberal arts degrees from State STEM universities are worth even less).

    • Replies: @FO337
  58. Look…..the way bigger…..way larger issue is this:The 1888 Chinese Legal Immigrant Increase Act should never been repealed. For repealing the 1888 Chinese Legal Immigrant Increase Act has put the fate of Working Class Native Born White Americans in the hands of Ivy League educated Chinese “American” Federal Judges…..such as Judge Chen in California…..

  59. White boy who scored a 26. All-State in Texas basketball 1985…Where is my Princeton basketball scholarship and Harvard Law acceptance…Snowball chance in Hell…

  60. bomag says:

    test scores are a crude tool for identifying talent

    It works quite well when everything else is held constant.

    That’s the rub.

  61. Jack D says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Same plot as every other opera. The hero/heroine is in love, they experience brief happiness together but fate does not allow him/her to be with his/her beloved. In the last scene the hero/heroine is dying but he/she sings one last magnificent aria to his/her beloved and then expires.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  62. @Steve Sailer

    Harder to cheat now? Randomly ordered questions, touchscreen fingerprint scanner so (doubt that one)?

    Perhaps interesting also whether the test is now iteratively adapting, question by question, as many such computerised tests now do, based upon the examinee’s responses (another thing that would make cheating or even shining by grinding harder).

    • Replies: @Anon
  63. Anonymous[756] • Disclaimer says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    I doubt that Asians have become that much smarter in that time. Why has every other group lagged by so much?

    I posit that the composition of “Asian” ACT takers has changed. A higher fraction of high school age Asians in the US are South Asians nowadays. South Asians have several endogamous sub-groups with very high mean IQs – Tamil Brahmins are the most extreme example, but there are others.

  64. lavoisier says: • Website

    Looks like the folks who were unable or unwilling to categorize their ancestry are getting dumber.

    I guess if you don’t know what your ancestry is or are so politically correct that you buy into the fiction that there is no such thing as race you are likely to score low on any test that measures the ability to think.

  65. bomag says:
    @Clifford Brown

    As for Native American scores, my guess is that the dreaded White Death is disproportionally affecting Native Americans, those who look like Elizabeth Warren and otherwise.

    It’s that, plus there’s been a push to get a wider swath of Native kids to take the test and apply to college.

  66. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    “Since around 2000, Asians have been pulling away from all groups. … What’s going on?”

    I more or less concur with danand and Yan Shen: this is a result of affluence-driven immigration from East and South Asia. In particular there are a lot of Chinese youth sent over here to get American educations. Some stay. Some don’t.

    On the receiving side, a lot of colleges and prep schools have been recruiting Chinese students in order to shore up their finances, since foreign students typically pay full tuition, and the high Asian test scores flatter the schools’ league table rankings and offset some of the damage done by affirmative action.

    There may also have been an esoteric change in the way that US student visas are issued at the beginning of the 2000s, or maybe school administrators just started getting better at gaming them so they could bring in more yellow fuel.

  67. @Flutterguy

    Something has changed on the ACT that has made it easier to prep for.

    I don’t know about any changes to the ACT, but hasn’t it always been the case that the ACT was testing for how good of a high school you went to versus the SAT testing more for IQ (i.e. trying to identify ‘diamonds in the rough’).

    The Asian stereotype, at least here in Midwest, is going to a suburban high school with mostly whites rather than an urban or rural high school with other non-whites and if they do go to a non-white school, using things like I.B. programs to go to a different high school within the high school.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  68. Jack D says:
    @Yan Shen

    Ting’s story reveals that there could be some kind of selection effect going on – Asian laundry workers whose kids don’t make it onto the American Dream Express give up and go back to their villages, those who do stay, and so it seems like every Korean dry cleaner you meet has a daughter at MIT and a son at Berkeley.

    Back in the days of Ellis Island immigration, it was fairly rare for Jews to go back but apparently something like half of the Italians did. Many times people would immigrate with the express intention of going back someday when they had made enough money (and often they never did) while in other cases they never intended to go back originally but became disappointed with American life, like Ting’s father before his son got into Stuy.

    • Replies: @Jefferson
  69. res says:
    @prime noticer

    Good observations (but see Lot’s comment about academic literature on dysgenic trends, there is some discussion of that on James Thompson’s blog here). One issue with SAT comparisons is the change in the population taking the test over time (this was the rationale behind the 1995 recentering). I have a hypothesis that racial gaps on the SAT might be skewed by differences in population proportions taking the test. For example, Black apparent SAT performance might be depressed because college admissions are easier for lower scoring Blacks hence they are more likely to take the test.

    I think this is borne out by data showing ~13% of Blacks take the SAT (near population proportion):

    Group                                                                Number Percent
    American Indian/Alaska Native                  7,782      0%
    Asian                                                                 158,031   9%
    Black/African American                               225,860 13%
    Hispanic/Latino                                             408,067 24%
    Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander   4,131       0%
    White                                                                760,362  44%
    Two or More Races                                        57,049    3%
    No Response                                                   94,199     5%

    Comparing that to US population for ages 5-17 is interesting:

    Whites appear to be significantly underrepresented in SAT takers, but “no response” is a wild card.

  70. Jack D says:
    @prime noticer

    In other words, the US is going to become Brasil do Norte. You are going to have a large underclass consisting of blacks, browns and low class whites (and various combinations thereof), in which most childbirth occurs outside of marriage, ruled by a small elite overclass consisting of Asians, WASPs and Jews (and various combinations thereof) with intact family structures. The overclass will become increasingly Asian over time, especially in the 2nd tier professional level just below the top ruling class. The very top class will include lots of token minorities so that the low class majority doesn’t notice that their rulers/the people with all the money are a different race than they are.

    • Replies: @Jefferson
    , @George
  71. Jefferson says:
    @Jack D

    “In other words, the US is going to become Brasil do Norte. You are going to have a large underclass consisting of blacks, browns and low class whites (and various combinations thereof), in which most childbirth occurs outside of marriage,”

    Actually the out of wedlock birthrate in Brazil is 36% compared to over 40% in The U.S. so it’s actually higher in The U.S than in Brazil.

    I don’t know where you got this ridiculous idea that Brazil has African American level rate of single motherhood (70% to 80%) which they sure hell don’t. If it was that high Jair Bolsonaro would not be leading the presidential polls in Brazil.

  72. scrivener3 says: • Website

    Disagree. Listening to a recording of an opera is vastly different from attending a performance. Opera is the perfect (or best so far?) melding of music, drama, poetry and stagecraft.

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  73. George says:
    @Jack D

    “US is going to become Brasil do Norte” You mean Universópolis.

    La raza cósmica

    Published in 1925, La raza cósmica (The Cosmic Race) is an essay written by Mexican philosopher, secretary of education, and 1929 presidential candidate José Vasconcelos to express the ideology of a future “fifth race” in the Americas; an agglomeration of all the races in the world with no respect to color or number to erect a new civilization: Universópolis.

    The term has come, often in its shortened version la Raza,

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  74. @Jack D

    Mocking ‘Opera’, was a staple of the Yiddish stage comedians back in Lodz. Dzigan has a number of skits devoted to the genre. Glad to see you returning to your roots :-)

    • Replies: @Jack D
  75. @Steve Sailer

    Maybe things were more laid back at Rice.

    I was on my College Bowl team at Georgia Tech and we did lots of prep.

    We had practice for twice a week: T and Th from 7-9. We were responsible for writing 20 new questions each week. And we were each given 5 subject areas to specialize in.

    Writing the questions really paid off. In the championship round of the 1984 Southeast invitational one of the questions began…

    “He was born February 22, 1932, the 2ooth annivers-”

    I buzzed in with the answer of Teddy Kennedy. I knew that because I had written the same question two months earlier

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  76. @Fred Boynton

    It’s always been more content focused. I got a perfect ACT (which was much rarer) because I was a voracious reader and went to an outstanding public high school (special sauce was hiring non-flaming gay male teachers) but topped out in the 1500s on the SATs because I always disagreed with the grammar police and/or got too creative on the analogies.

    As the content has become more SJW polluted my guess is various takers have started tuning out for various reasons (above all, SJW is mind-numbingly boring) and so scores are sliding. Blacks have always been less interested in the sort of content that shows up on the ACT (whitey’s on the moon) but SJWism is so deracinated/ing it’s got to be like Chinese to most blacks.

  77. @Milo Minderbinder


    I scored high enough on the screening test (’87) to make the team, but after two practices I realized y’all were on an entirely different level. Some of that knowledge was even useful I’d imagine.

  78. @scrivener3

    Opera is the perfect (or best so far?) melding of music, drama, poetry and stagecraft.

    Agreed. Go see an opera in person sometime, preferably the Met in NYC, and you will realize what the word spectacular means. You can also see live broadcasts in local theaters for about $25 if you can’t get to NYC. Check it out.

    • Replies: @scrivener3
  79. @Jefferson

    Affluent Chinese Americans do not live in urban overcrowded Chinatowns where people are packed like sardines, they live in wide space suburban mcmansions.

    That’s true for just about every immigrant group. The more successful Somalis have been colonizing Eden Prairie.

  80. @George

    La raza cósmica

    That would be a raça côsmica.

  81. @Yan Shen

    Leaving aside the fact that the ACT is probably more of an achievement test than the SAT,

    A large and rapid rise in ACT scores but not the SAT is strong evidence that Asians have started targeting the ACT for test prep, having reached the point of diminishing returns on all the other big tests. If it were higher IQ immigration, both tests would be affected, with bigger changes to scores on the more g-loaded SAT. It’s also possible that ACT has different reporting conventions from the College Board on whether foreign students taking the test outside USA count as “asian”.

    everything I’ve seen suggests that historically the SAT has been fairly g-loaded and not significantly amenable to extensive prep.

    Are you channeling InfoProc? Prep for years and all these tests become easy. The studies are about what happens from a few weeks of Stanley Kaplan classes, as though that has any relevance to Asian test coaching.

    • Replies: @keuril
    , @Jack D
  82. 1) my calculations of SAT to wechsler. 2016 SAT numbers.

    asia boy 116.2
    asia girl 114.5
    europe boy 111.3
    europe girl 108.4
    american indian boy 101.1
    american indian girl 98.9
    pacific island boy 95.1
    pacific island girl 93.8
    africa boy 93.0
    africa girl 93.1

    how indian are american indians today?

    african girls are now about equal to african boys, in pencil and paper test performance anyway.

    2) two specific groups, so the figures are more accurate. 2014 SAT numbers, the most recent i have.

    mexico boy 99.2
    mexico girl 96.2

    puerto rico boy 98.4
    puerto rico girl 96.2

    i assume these performances for mexico and puerto rico have declined by 0.5 points or so by 2018. until anybody sees actual data though that is only an educated guess.

  83. FO337 says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    Good info, most of which I did not know. Thanks.

  84. CalDre says:

    If you can invent a better mouse trap no doubt you’ll be rich and famous.

    You need something that can be uniformly applied across different educational backgrounds, genders, races, etc. And can’t take too long to complete. And should have minimal subjectivity in grading. And should test various cognitive capacities, not just pattern matching (i.e. IQ tests).

    Good luck!

  85. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The people who developed the computer tests claim that is impossible to cheat in them. It’s happened in the nursing paramedic X ray and other medical tech certification tests too,

    Whites didn’t suddenly soar

    Asians just declined due to the allegedly cheat proof tests. Taking fingerprints when the medics are still in school and then months or years later when they enter the test room is another explanation of why Asians declined on those medical certification tests.

    The little finger pad instantly detects that the Linda Lieu who shows up to take the test has a different fingerprint from the Linda Lieu whose fingerprints were taken when she enrolled in nursing school 4 years ago.

    As news about the new procedures spread, the professional test takers disappeared.

    They’ll find a way but for now there’s a lot fewer professional test takers taking the tests.

  86. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    The computer tests select easier or more difficult questions depending on previous answers to make sure blacks do well.

    After a certain number of wrong answers the easier questions pop up. If wrong answers continue easier questions pop up

    After a certain number of correct answers the questions get harder and harder the more answers are correct the harder the questions are.

  87. keuril says:
    @academic gossip

    The studies are about what happens from a few weeks of Stanley Kaplan classes, as though that has any relevance to Asian test coaching.

    Indeed. Such studies did not anticipate a testing-industrial complex in China that would develop databases of thousands of previous test questions and answers, along with a clientele willing and able to memorize them all. Once the 2400-scale SAT was retired in early 2016, the ACT was the only test amenable to this strategy.

  88. Jack D says:

    My parents had a Dzigan album (with Perlman, post Schumacher), sent by my uncle in Israel after the ’67 war, in which Dzigan mocked Nasser . “Oy, Allah, ich lig in adama” – a comedic song in which Nasser mourns his losses. ( “Oh, Allah, things have really gone to hell for me”, except that Nasser sings in a mixture of Yiddish, Arabic and Hebrew all in one sentence.) There was also an imaginary tapped phone conversation (in Yiddish) between Nasser and King Hussein of Jordan.

    In retrospect the 67 war was only 30 years from his Lodz days and now we are 50 years after 67 – where did the time go? Most of Dzigan’s material was ripped from the headlines topical stuff . I recall you mentioning that Dzigan joked about “Jewish lightning” back in Lodz too. How did you become such an expert on Dzigan’s material in his Lodz days?

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  89. @Jack D

    Oy Allah, Mechtiger Allah, Rateve deyn Knecht, Ich lig in Adama,
    Shtel inter ah Pleytzeh, M’hatchala.

    It’s something of a hobby. I inherited a collection of Dzigania from an elderly Lodzer relative who was collecting it for fifty years. He also coincidentally lived in Argentina when Dzigan/Schumacher were there, so he had a lot of rare skits. In Buenos Aires ,their routines were more nostalgic ,similar to prewar , not as political/Israeli. Actually some of their prewar recordings are available in various greatest hits collections too.

  90. Jefferson says:
    @Jack D

    “Back in the days of Ellis Island immigration, it was fairly rare for Jews to go back but apparently something like half of the Italians did.”

    That’s because back then Eastern Europe was even more dirt poor than Italy. And even today Eastern Europe still has a lower human development index than Italy.

  91. Jack D says:
    @academic gossip

    Prep for years and all these tests become easy.

    Just imagine that – if you study the subject matter really hard and become fluent in doing math you’ll get a high score on the math ACT/SAT. Boy, those Asians sure know how to cheat!

    Actually what you are saying has a grain of truth in it. If you are a reasonably intelligent person and you apply yourself diligently to the study of math, the material on the ACT/SAT is not really that hard. I haven’t used most of the math needed to do the SAT for 40 years and I can still answer the questions. But most American teenagers fail on one leg or the other of that – either they are sub-100 IQ NAMs and will never be able to master the material or else they are preoccupied with sports, sex, getting drunk on weekends, etc. (even if they are elite prep school boys like Bret Kavanaugh) and can’t be bothered to master the material. The idea of the SAT, supposedly, is that everyone who takes it is a well rounded all American boy/girl and that one day you skip football practice and take the SAT and this reflects how naturally smart you are and how much you have picked up in class when you weren’t too hung over. In that light, prepping for the test is “cheating”.

    • Replies: @academic gossip
  92. Jealous people!!!!!!!

    Any form of success comes from a well structured cultural roots,ethics,hard work and tight knit supportive family.

    Encoporate first these into your own system and see your future generations glow.

    Mind it that you are comparing/scrutinizing civilizations that are way more culturally ancient and advanced in their own unique way.

    These people….no matter which country gives them opportunity will sure help that country flourish in all possible ways. Be happy and lucky that they chose USA to get the job done.

  93. @Jack D

    I think everyone agrees that extra study leads to a combination of genuine long term skill improvement and temporary “fake” test score elevation, but the more the study is oriented toward the test the more the gains will lie in the second category. Maybe in a generation or two the philosopher-Asian descendants of the test-industrialists will not so much as think of studying for a mere examination. At the moment, though, I am inclined to believe that educationrealist really is realist.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  94. @academic gossip

    I’d like to see our culture put some research and thinking into what kind of test prep has better long term benefits for individuals and society. For example, perhaps colleges should be pushed to weigh AP tests more strongly in that if you prep for an AP test by studying History or Chemistry really hard, well, you’ll probably learn a little History or Chemistry.

  95. @Steve Sailer

    you’ll probably learn a little History

    Have you perused the History AP and/or AP prep lately?

    Let’s just say they’ve wandered far from the Pierian Spring.

  96. @Steve Sailer

    1. De-emphasize ability testing and focus on skills and knowledge

    2. Quick adaptive computer testing to make it less onerous for test takers

    3. Modularize subjects into small separately testable components, not an all-or-nothing test of a year’s material

    4. Allow unlimited re-testing without penalty

    5. Reduce the returns on IQ in society. The social cost isn’t worth the benefit and other stuff is more important.

    IQ testing (or proxies thereof) really should only be for very limited elective purposes such as impressing prospective mates who want smarts. For most applications a quick skills test would be enough. You can see this in the identity crisis the SAT has had over the past couple of decades. ETS can’t decide if it should be an ability test or a knowledge test. The ACT doesn’t try to test ability, does OK at it anyway, and eats the SAT market share.

    • Replies: @keuril
  97. keuril says:
    @academic gossip

    5. Reduce the returns on IQ in society

    The preceding four points all have to do with standardized tests, but now you’re talking returns “in society,” meaning presumably how much money people make as adults. Most people in our society have never had an IQ test, but their different IQs obviously have an impact on how much money they make, with or without testing. How do you propose to reduce the returns in society, apart from making college entrance exams less g-loaded and more skills-based? Raise taxes? (I do think higher taxes are coming, but hopefully not Harrison Bergeron.)

    • Replies: @academic gossip
  98. @keuril

    Outlaw academic degree (including high school diploma) requirements in hiring. Skill demonstration testing will grow as a result.

    Fund research institutes and libraries, not university education. Glass-Steagal like separation requirements are tricky to define here, but if done would be incredibly helpful. Banning public funding to institutions based on cognitive selection is one bright line that could be used.

    Treat selective university on-campus housing as a form of residential segregation.

    Tax IQ-heavy nonproductive sectors of the economy. Finance, oversized university endowments.

    Universities are at the center of many pernicious social processes, one of the bigger ones being cognitive sorting and segregation. Let the market, where IQ matters less, do that job to the extent it is natural or necessary. I see no reason government tax breaks should subsidize the work of the Harvard admissions office.

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