Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Mind boggled in regards to how S.A.T correlates with intelligence

  1. Aug 15, 2013 #1
    Mind boggled in regards to how S.A.T correlates with "intelligence"

    I apologize for posting this here but i was hoping for an intelligent discussion regarding the SAT.

    Doesn't the SAT just prove how knowledgeable you are? Because I've solved quite a number of problems, but have also failed some and i have to say it's more based on experience to previous problems (easy and or hard) than anything else, kind of like math competitions, how does that correlate to intelligence?

    Not to mention that (although i may be mistaken) the math portion of the SAT is apparently 70 minutes, with a total of 54 questions total. So 70/54 averages roughly 1 minute and 30 seconds for each question, how is that any reasonable time for anyone who hasn't had similar questions ingrained in their head a couple dozen times?

    And of course a test like this is gonna slightly correlate with intelligence, smarter people are more likely to be:
    A) Better at math and reading and B) More inclined to wanting to be good and get good scores (for the various reasons we all know and do :cool:)

    But like anything I enjoy a good civilized discussion, so don't be intimidated by this wall of text and post your thoughts. :)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 15, 2013 #2

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Who says the SAT is designed to correlate with intelligence? It's designed to correlate with success in college.
     
  4. Aug 15, 2013 #3

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    I agree with Vanadium. I want to see first who in their right mind have made the argument that links SAT with "intelligence" (as if the latter can actually be measured, and don't start with me with the nonsensical IQ test).

    Otherwise, arguing about it will be a discussion based on unestablished, and possibly faulty, premise, similar to asking "when did you stop beating your wife?".

    Zz.
     
  5. Aug 15, 2013 #4

    phyzguy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    It's even called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, i.e. it's intended to measure your ability to do well in school.
     
  6. Aug 15, 2013 #5
    The SAT has nothing to do with intelligence, I'm a firm believer that you can't measure intelligence by using standardized tests. In high school, myself and many of my friends were in the top 20% of our class, most of us got fairly average scores on our first try (1400-1900 total); it took me three tries to get my 2160.

    One kid in our class, got a 2000+ score on his first try. He wasn't dumb for sure, but he certainly wasnt the most intelligent. These tests don't grade intelligence (I would argue they don't indicate success in college either, as the previously mentioned kid failed out of his university) but if you want a good score, preparing for them is the best way to do well (as you might've guessed lol).
     
  7. Aug 15, 2013 #6

    D H

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    The original developers of the SAT, for one. They thought that "intelligence" or "innate aptitude" was exactly what their Scholastic Aptitude Test measured. Hence the original acronym. Criticism showed that it didn't measure "intelligence", whatever that is, so eventually the College Board renamed their test to the Scholastic Assessment Test. It didn't measure that, either, so eventually Board renamed it to SAT. SAT doesn't stand for anything anymore.

    From the critics perspective, it's a rather lousy test. Just as intelligence tests measure ability to take intelligence tests (and not much else), the SAT measures ability to take the SAT (and not much else). Some of the harshest critics come from test prep companies such as Princeton Review. They make lots of money off the test because the test is lousy and is easily gamed.
     
  8. Aug 15, 2013 #7
    You would be surprised by the vast majority that say it does measure intelligence to some extent, which just puzzles me as to why.

    Because algebra 2 and elementary trigonometry are clearly innate abilities that every human possesses :rolleyes:
     
  9. Aug 15, 2013 #8

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    Did they really state that officially? I'd like to see it. I haven't come across any of that, and I've dealt extensively with SAT and ACT folks many years ago.

    "Vast majority" can say a lot of things about a lot of stuff. It doesn't make it so. Unless there are people of authority, or some official study that made this link, then you are asking us to deal with nothing more than rumors and empty talk. Is this what you'd like to deal with, and what you are using as your starting premise?

    Zz.
     
  10. Aug 15, 2013 #9

    WannabeNewton

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Lol if the SAT measures intelligence, then everyone with the ability to pay for Princeton Review or Kaplan lessons should be a genius. Give me a break, the SAT is a joke.
     
  11. Aug 15, 2013 #10

    SteamKing

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The joke is better told this way:

    Q: Yes or no, have you stopped beating your wife?
    A: ?
     
  12. Aug 15, 2013 #11
    "In 1933, James Bryant Conant, on becoming president of Harvard, decided to start a new scholarship program for academically gifted boys who did not come from the Eastern boarding schools that were the regular suppliers of Harvard's students. He gave Henry Chauncey, an assistant dean at Harvard, the task of finding a test to evaluate candidates for these scholarships. Chauncey met Carl Brigham, and came back to Conant with the recommendation that he use the SAT. Conant liked the test because he thought it measured pure intelligence, regardless of the quality of the taker's high school education.""

    From " A brief history of the SAT" http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/sats/where/history.html

    By vast majority i meant the several dozen people on any given topic in any given forum regarding SAT and intelligence having correlations, you would come to believe a good portion of people to believe this trite. (I hope i didn't offend you, and if i did i apologize.)
     
  13. Aug 15, 2013 #12

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    Er... Wait. You have to go back to..... 1933 to dig this up and use as a representative of "the vast majority"? Shall I cite you several other accepted forms of behavior and opinion that existed way back then (segregation) that are now looked upon as being utterly ridiculous?

    Where is this vast majority NOW?

    Zz.
     
  14. Aug 15, 2013 #13

    D H

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    That's exactly what the SAT is, Zz: a nonsensical IQ test. The SAT correlates only slightly with first year performance. It does however correlate very well with IQ tests. The SAT started out as an IQ test (a blatantly racist one) in 1926, it was rewritten to be a "better" IQ test in 1944, and it essential remains an IQ test today -- and it's just as nonsensical as is any other IQ test.
     
  15. Aug 15, 2013 #14

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    I don't see it, and I certainly don't see it being looked upon that way today, unlike the ubiquitous IQ test and all those MENSA tests. Do you know of any recent official statements that indicate that sentiments?

    I have friends who worked at ACT. I know that is not SAT, but they never consider the test as an intelligence test.

    Zz.
     
  16. Aug 15, 2013 #15

    D H

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Neither the College Board nor ACT, Inc. will admit, officially or otherwise, that their tests are IQ tests. IQ tests are worthless, and they know it. All you have to do is look at what those tests correlate best with. With first year performance in college, the official claim? Only mildly. With worthless IQ tests? Here the correlation is quite nice.
     
  17. Aug 15, 2013 #16

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    So then,who is still making such claims? That is my original question, and the starting premise of this thread.

    Zz.
     
  18. Aug 15, 2013 #17
    I did barely average on the SATs, was one of the top kids in my calc class in college, graduated within top 20% in college. Also had the fifth highest final exam average in my highschool (still only graduated with Bs though).

    I know one kid who got like 2000 and currently lives in his parents basement playing video games all day.


    Its a joke
     
  19. Aug 15, 2013 #18

    WannabeNewton

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Well to be fair, a 2000 isn't a high score on the SAT.
     
  20. Aug 15, 2013 #19
    I'm not saying I'm making those claims, I'm saying the general public still believes in this "myth", if you browse the internet; or look around for a bit in certain forums, academic or not you will find certain people still saying this, which is obviously untrue.

    The reason i created this thread was to assess the more educated opinion in regards to this question that is still prevalent in the mindset of many college students, of the type "He scored better than me, that must mean he's smarter!"
     
  21. Aug 15, 2013 #20

    WannabeNewton

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I don't know of any kids my age who use the SAT to gauge intelligence. Clearly there are much better indicators.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Mind boggled in regards to how S.A.T correlates with intelligence
  1. Extremly mind boggling (Replies: 13)

Loading...