Study: SAT a good measure of IQ

February 11, 2004
Brain & Behavior, Uncategorized

Each year thousands of high school students take the Scholastic Assessment Test, or SAT, hoping to gain admission to the college of their choice. Colleges and universities use SAT scores to help project a prospective student’s performance. But research shows there is more to the SAT, that it is really an intelligence test.From the American Psychological Society :SAT measures more than student performance, research shows it is also a reliable measure of IQ

Each year thousands of high school students take the Scholastic Assessment Test, or SAT, hoping to gain admission to the college of their choice. Colleges and universities use SAT scores to help project a prospective student’s performance. But research shows there is more to the SAT, that it is really an intelligence test.

Meredith C. Frey and Douglas K. Detterman, researchers at Case Western Reserve University, have shown that students’ SAT test scores correlate as highly as, and sometimes higher than, IQ tests correlate with each other. This is strong evidence that the SAT is a de facto intelligence test. Their findings will be published in the June issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the American Psychological Society.

While this finding may be surprising to many who take the test, it was no surprise to the researchers. The origins of the SAT can be traced back to intelligence tests that were originally given to screen entrants into the armed forces. Many who study intelligence had suspected that the SAT was an intelligence test though it seems no one had ever investigated the relationship.

The Case investigators studied the SAT for two reasons. First, they were looking for an easy way to obtain a measure of IQ for students who participate in their experiments on more basic cognitive processes. Giving an IQ test can take 30 to 90 minutes, and with a correlation between IQ and SAT scores, researchers now have a fairly accurate estimate of an individual’s IQ without the need to administer a lengthy test. Second, it is useful to know the relationship between the SAT and IQ so that SAT could be used as a measure of IQ in cases where patients’ IQs decline due to head injury or diseases like Alzheimer’s. It is often important to know what a person’s level of intellectual functioning was before the onset of the decline and many people have taken the SAT. According to the researchers, for those who have never taken an IQ test, the SAT could be used as a substitute.


Study: SAT a good measure of IQ

3 Responses to Study: SAT a good measure of IQ

  1. Anonymous May 15, 2010 at 7:58 pm #

    So, if someone scores very low on the SAT when they take it the first time, yet scores very high on the SAT after they retake it many more times, has the said person found a way to increase their very intelligence itself? Or have they simply better learned the skills and raw knowledge which the SAT requires them to demonstrate?

    I find the latter conclusion more reasonable than the former one.

    And, even from the viewpoint of one who believes that the SAT measures one’s intelligence, one would have to admit that the SAT measures only what it was designed to measure. And, in light of this, one would also have to admit that the mere fact that the said person was able to increasingly adapt intellectually to what the SAT requires of them intellectually demonstrates a level of intellectual ability which the SAT does not measure.

    That is my 2 cents. Thanks for reading.

  2. Anonymous January 1, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    Besides the writing section, the SAT does a pretty good job at testing logic (Related to IQ).

    Look closely.
    The math section doesn’t require you to memorize any formula. Instead, every formula that you need to know is right there in their reference table.
    Every question in the SAT requires you to think outside the box, which is why even people who passed BC Calculus can only pull off a pathetic 650 on the math sections of the exam.

    The reading section requires you to delve into the passage and come to a prediction based on the facts given to you in the reading.

    As for the problem with ESL students, they only constitute less than .5% of the takers. It’s funny how liberals are using ESL students to wipe Standardized Testing off society.

  3. Anonymous December 9, 2009 at 7:46 pm #

    SAT doesn’t measure intelligence at all. For an example, what if you are a non native speaker? You are then obviously at a disadvantage in the Critical Reading and Writing sections. However he will do well on the math section regardless, since math is a universal language. Therefore SATs does not measure how smart you are, at least not for immigrants and non-native speakers.

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