One effective way to identify future mathematicians and scientists would be to give the SAT to middle school students, a study suggests.
For their study, researchers from Vanderbilt University, Appalachian State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire analyzed two decades of data on two groups: 13-year-olds who had scored high on the SAT college-entrance exam and graduate students enrolled in top-ranked math, engineering, and physical-science programs.
By the time they reached their early 30s, the study found, both groups, regardless of what professions they were in, had achieved comparable and “exceptional” levels of success, as measured by outcomes such as their salaries, whether they had earned doctoral degrees, or if they held patents.
The study was published in the March 2006 issue of Psychological Science.
A version of this article appeared in the March 22, 2006 edition of Education Week