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Retaking the SAT

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  • Jacob L. Vigdor
  • Charles T. Clotfelter

Abstract

Using data on applicants to three selective universities, we analyze a college applicant’s decision to retake the SAT. We model this decision as an optimal search problem, and use the model to assess the impact of college admissions policies on retaking behavior. The most common test score ranking policy, which utilizes only the highest of all submitted scores, provides large incentives to retake the test. This places certain applicants at a disadvantage: those with high test-taking costs, those attaching low values to college admission, and those with ‘‘pessimistic’’ prior beliefs regarding their own ability.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/XXXVIII/1/1
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 38 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:38:y:2003:i:1:p1-33

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Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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Cited by:
  1. Clark, Melissa & Rothstein, Jesse & Schanzenbach, Diane Whitmore, 2009. "Selection bias in college admissions test scores," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 295-307, June.
  2. Sarena F. Goodman, 2013. "Learning from the test: raising selective college enrollment by providing information," Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 2013-69, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Takao Kato & Chad Sparber, 2010. "Quotas and Quality: The Effect of H-1B Visa Restrictions on the Pool of Prospective Undergraduate Students from Abroad," CReAM Discussion Paper Series, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London 1010, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  4. Gordon C. Winston & Catharine B. Hill, 2005. "Access to the Most Selective Private Colleges by High-Ability, Low-Income Students: Are They Out There?," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education, Department of Economics, Williams College DP-69, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  5. Ehrenberg, R.G.Ronald G., 2004. "Econometric studies of higher education," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 19-37.
  6. Christopher Avery, 2010. "The Effects of College Counseling on High-Achieving, Low-Income Students," NBER Working Papers 16359, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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