The SAT (and ACT) More Important Than Ever Due to Grade Inflation

By SAT ACT Test Prep
Grade inflation has made the SAT more important than ever

We provide tutoring and test prep to students throughout Connecticut.  But given my specific practice, I have deep knowledge about Shoreline, Connecticut schools.

If your child attends one of the stronger schools in the area – Guilford High School, Daniel Hand High School, Old Saybrook High School, Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Valley Regional High School (Essex, Deep River, Chester), and East Lyme High School among others, then I have some good news and some bad news.  I’ll lead with the latter because I want to end on a high note.

Grade inflation has created a plethora of students that have an average above 90, on the 1-100 scale, or if letter grades are given, somewhere in the A- range or if on a 4.0 school, somewhere above 3.5.  Why is this a problem? Take a look at US News & World Report.  Colleges are graded upon the strength of their student body.  Class RANK – along with SAT scores – is the critical determinant.  And many schools do not tell their students their class rank until too late.  I was recently working with a student who had a 91 average.  The parents assumed he was in the top 25% of this class (that number is important for college admission).  He wasn’t.  He was somewhere around the 40%.  His parents – expecting that he had a shot at Boston College, Northeastern, Boston University and other large New England colleges -had to be told that unless his SATs were off the chart that he faced long odds at admission.

I started noticing grade inflation years ago. Some of the students I worked with had 95 averages but seemed like they would be B to B plus students.  That’s bad news for college admission since having a 90 average is no longer special.  Indeed, it is below average for competitive colleges.

The good news: in most cases, students who get the “real As” do very well on comparative tests. Hard to believe – I know – but the SATs and ACTs end up being more fair than grades in such cases.