From Unsilenced Science, how scoring high on the SAT college admissions test has gotten much easier over time.
Update: He or she has remade the SAT Verbal graph to keep the axes constant over time. The percentage of test takers who scored 700 or higher on the Verbal / Critical Reading test has gone up from about 1% in the Old Days to 7% lately.
SAT verbal/reading distributions 1975-1985, 1996-2019 pic.twitter.com/RwzFRtK1ME
— Unsilenced Science (@UnsilencedSci) October 19, 2019
SAT math distributions 1975-1985, 1996-2019 pic.twitter.com/gU9YlK2ERh
— Unsilenced Science (@UnsilencedSci) October 18, 2019
The easier scoring of admissions tests makes it easier for elite universities to let in lots of legacies, jocks, and Jared Kushner-type donor’s rich kids without losing too much in the USNWR rankings.
My suggestion: Because it’s too much to expect people to put up with lowering these inflated scores, the best solution is to raise the maximum scores by a standard deviation, from 1600 to 1800 on the SAT and from 36 to 40 on the ACT. This would not be hard to do once the tests are switched from paper to on-screen and thus responsive to previous performance, like the GRE and AFQT/ASVAB are. On more modern tests, if you get a lot of questions right, the test starts asking you tougher questions.
From the UK: