ACT Exam For Science And Reading Has No Predictive Power For College Student Outcomes

From Professor Eric Bettinger, Stanford University, to obtain the paper.
Colleges rely on the ACT exam in their admission decisions to increase their ability to differentiate between students likely to succeed and those that have a high risk of under-performing and dropping out. We show that two of the four sub tests of the ACT, English and Mathematics, are highly predictive of positive college outcomes while the other two subtests, Science and Reading, provide little or no additional predictive power. This result is robust across various samples, specifications, and outcome measures. We demonstrate that focusing solely on the English and Mathematics test scores greatly enhances the predictive validity of the ACT exam.

2 comments on “ACT Exam For Science And Reading Has No Predictive Power For College Student Outcomes”

  1. Could we have more information…ACT says you need a 24 in all four categories to be ready for college. You gave us next to zero information other than it is the English and Math sections that count…so what are the scores needed in those two categories to believe a student is college ready? I like the reading and science section as neither is easy and you have to not only comprehend what you read but understand how to extrapolate the best answer…

    More info, please…

  2. ACT 21 on English And Math is the most common standard for 4 year colleges to avoid remedial courses

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