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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: SAT superfluous?

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The SAT is designed to allow colleges to rank applicants ("Activists declare war on SAT," Commentary, Wednesday). If the test were loaded up with items that measured what teachers effectively taught, scores would be bunched together. This would make such comparisons extremely difficult.

To deliver on its promise to admissions officers, the SAT contains many items that largely assess the socioeconomic backgrounds of test takers because this strategy has been proven over the years to engineer the necessary score spread.

The College Board reported that the high school grade point average is as predictive of first-year college GPA as the SAT itself. And U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges 2012" guide found that more than eight dozen colleges with test-optional policies are among the best in the nation.

WALT GARDNER

Education Week's "Reality Check" blog

Los Angeles

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