Originally Posted by madeinuk
I remain unconvinced - I cannot believe that there are that many perfect/near perfect scorers to believe what the admissions depts are saying.

Assuming, for a moment, that these schools are prioritizing academics/high test scorers for admissions AND they really, really, really cannot separate the wheat from the chaff then why not insist that the tests have higher ceilings or have their own entrance exams like the Oxbridge colleges do?

The SAT people say that 5% of the students score above 1400. More than 2 million kids take the SAT in 2018. That would mean 100,000 kids above 1400. 2% score above 1500, so 40,000. above 1500.

Harvard, for instance, has a freshman class of ~2000. 40,000 kids above 1500. 2000 freshman seats.

That's before you think about the kids taking the ACT.

Further, it's before you start filling in the various majors. Because Harvard has to admit people for English majors, history majors, math majors, biology majors, etc. So, unless the highest scoring kids are evenly distributed across majors, they're going to end up having to take some lower scores to fill out the various programs.

There's no reason to create their own tests because the current tests provide them with the information they need. They get a pool of applicants with stellar test scores, they don't need a class full of the best test scores so long as their confident that the kids they do get are smart enough (for what it's worth, a 1340 puts a kid in the top 10%).

We, as adults, are score-centric because our kids score higher than other people's kids and a score specific criteria helps us. If our kids are in the 99% then naturally we want the schools to prioritize that over some other rubric where scores in the 93% are treated as the same as the 99%.

But long term, there's no real upside to the schools being that exclusive. While IQ is a very strong predictor of future success, it's not exclusively so (as we know, many extremely gifted kids are also classic underachievers). So, if you're looking for kids who will be successful as adults, you want high test scores, within reason, but you definitely want to look beyond that for your very limited number of admission seats. Why pass up some kid who has shown real life accomplishments for a kid who hasn't just because he's in the 92% and the other kid is in the 98%? One has demonstrated achievement, the other has only demonstrated potential.

Not an easy call to make, imo.