NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Test Scores, Educational Opportunities, and Individual Choice

Steven F. Venti, David A. Wise

NBER Working Paper No. 710 (Also Reprint No. r0383)
Issued in June 1983
NBER Program(s):   LS

A model combining student preferences for college with university admissions decisions is estimated to provide information on the role of test scores in the determination of post-secondary educational opportunities. In contrast to implications of much of the recent criticism of tests and their use, we find that scholastic aptitude test scores are more strongly related to student application and choice of college "quality" than to college admissions decisions. In addition, although there is a substantial correlation between test scores and high school performance, we find that both post-secondary school preferences and ultimate opportunities are related as much to performance in high school as to test scores themselves. Although SAT scores certainly exclude some persons from schools, our findings indicate that they do not represent a dominating constraint on the college opportunities of high school graduates.

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Published: Venti, Steven F. and David A. Wise. "Test Scores, Educational Opportunities , and Individual Choice." Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 18 (1982), pp. 35-63.

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