The validity of the ACT in predicting college success has come under scrutiny in a paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The study, led by Stanford University economist Eric P. Bettinger, suggests that two of the four subtests of the ACT, in English and mathematics, are highly predictive of positive college outcomes while the other two, in science and reading, provide little or no additional predictive power.
Officials at the ACT, based in Iowa City, Iowa, maintain the test is supported by decades of research.
The papers authors contend that the predictive validity of standardized tests is relevant to policy and social welfare since undermatching can place good students in support systems that will not help them graduate from college.
A version of this article appeared in the July 13, 2011 edition of Education Week as ACT Scores