College & Workforce Readiness Opinion

Test Scores Versus Grades

By Richard Whitmire — February 17, 2010 1 min read
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Veteran Washington Post education reporter Jay Mathews leads an interesting online discussion about what should be the primary factor for college admission, grades vs. the SAT or ACT.

On the surface, colleges are pretty clear about that question. Good grades earned from taking challenging courses top the list of any college. Test scores, they say, rank second or even third. Personally, I’m skeptical that test scores rank that low, but we need to take them at their word.

For males, this is nothing but bad news. GPA is boys’ biggest weakness. That’s why many colleges end up dipping deeper into their applicant pool to admit male freshmen.

Should colleges reverse their position and emphasize test scores? Admitting boys with bad grades and high test scores doesn’t work out, reported one college which tried that experiment (described in my book). Problem is, the boys continue their slacker says in college.

The opinions expressed in Why Boys Fail are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.