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SAT to Add Controversial ‘Adversity Score’ for Test Takers

The standardized test will move away from a completely merit-based system.

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The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) plans to move away from merit-based scoring and add a metric called the “adversity score,” taking into account the socioeconomic background of the test-taker.

“There are a number of amazing students who may have scored less [on the SAT] but have accomplished more,” David Coleman, College Board head, told The Wall Street Journal. “We can’t sit on our hands and ignore the disparities of wealth reflected in the SAT.”

The score will reportedly be based on factors like wealth, crime rate, family life, and school system from which the student hails, and will be assessed within a range between one and 100. Any score above fifty would indicate hardship on the part of the test-taker.

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“The College Board, the non-profit organization that oversees the SAT, has already conducted a test run of the adversity score program at 50 schools, according to the Journal,” according to NBC. “The program will officially roll it out to 150 additional schools by the end of the year, with plans to add more in 2020.”

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Recently, the merit-based system of college acceptance has been called into question. Harvard College is in the midst of a lawsuit claiming that it has discriminated against Asian students who should have been accepted based on test scores, but were denied based on race.

Big League Politics reported:

Court documents unsealed Friday show that Harvard College consistently ranks Asian applicants lower on several personality traits than it does students of different ethnicities in its admissions process.

“Harvard’s admissions officials assign Asian Americans the lowest score of any racial group on the personal rating—a subjective assessment of such traits as whether the student has a ‘positive personality’ and ‘others like to be around him or her,’ has ‘character traits’ such as ‘likability … helpfulness, courage, [and] kindness,’ is an ‘attractive person to be with,’ is ‘widely respected,’ is a ‘good person,’ and has good ‘human qualities,’ say the court documents.

The Ivy League giant has been sued by Students for Fair Admissions, an activist group that is fighting the negative externalities of Affirmative Action, which is supposed to protect minorities against discrimination.

“It turns out that the suspicions of Asian-American alumni, students and applicants were right all along,” Student’s for Fair Admissions attorneys said in the court documents. “Harvard today engages in the same kind of discrimination and stereotyping that it used to justify quotas on Jewish applicants in the 1920s and 1930s.”


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