National Validity Study

In 2019, the first national operational SAT validity study for the redesigned assessment produced many notable findings supporting the value of the SAT. The study was among the largest ever conducted on SAT validity, with data from more than 223,000 students across 171 four-year colleges and universities.

Top Results

Results confirmed the value of the SAT:

  • SAT scores are strongly predictive of college performance—students with higher SAT scores are more likely to have higher grades in college.
  • SAT scores are predictive of student retention to their second year—students with higher SAT scores are more likely to return for their sophomore year.
  • SAT scores and high school grade point average (HSGPA) both relate to academic performance in college, but they tend to measure slightly different aspects of academic preparation. Using SAT scores in conjunction with HSGPA is the most powerful way to predict future academic performance:
    • On average, SAT scores add 15% more predictive power above grades alone for understanding how students will perform in college.
    • SAT scores help to further differentiate student performance in college within narrow HSGPA ranges.
  • Colleges can use SAT scores to identify students who may need academic support before and during college by monitoring predicted versus actual performance.