Students attend a SAT prep class at an Atlanta high school. (AJC File)

Does high school GPA better predict college success than ACT or SAT?

A new survey by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling survey raises questions about the use of the ACT and SAT in college admission decisions.

Among questions asked of the 400 higher ed institutions in the survey: How often do you validate the usefulness of these standardized entrance exams in predicting which students will experience academic success in college?

The survey found only 51 percent of the colleges conduct predictive validity studies to discover whether the tests tell them anything helpful. Yet, nearly 8 out of 10 colleges require either the ACT or SAT.

“Some admissions offices continue to require the ACT and SAT out of habit. Others believe the tests convey ‘prestige.’ As NACAC shows, many of these institutions lack current evidence that the scores accurately forecast academic outcomes,” said FairTest Public Education Director Bob Schaeffer in a statement.

So, what is the best gauge of whether a student will thrive at college? The variable that generally reflects the strongest correlation with college academic achievement is the high school GPA, according to the survey.

To read more about the debate over using entrance exams in admission decisions, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog.

» Explore The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's interactive guide to Georgia schools here

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