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SAT Reasoning Test vs. Stanford Achievement Test

by Alyssa Sellors

Standardized tests can be useful for assessing student knowledge and skills. Data from standardized tests can be used for placement or remediation. The SAT Reasoning Test and the Stanford Achievement Test both are used to assess students and provide valuable data to schools. While the SAT Reasoning Test is required by almost all colleges and universities for admission, the Stanford Achievement Test is more often used to assess younger students to prepare them for post-graduate plans.

Stanford Achievement Test

The Stanford Achievement Test is a multiple-choice exam that measures student progress toward an academic standard. Students in kindergarten through grade 12 can take this test, and each test is separated by grade level and subject area. This test allows teachers to identify and therefore help students who are at risk of failing, and it allows parents to understand in what areas their students could need some extra help. The Stanford Achievement Test acts as a reliable and valid tool for schools when measuring data to use for objective measurement of student achievement, which is especially important for the No Child Left Behind Act guidelines.

The SAT Reasoning Test

The SAT is used by colleges and universities to assess potential applicants on their knowledge base of subjects and skills learned in high school. The SAT addresses these skills in three areas; critical reading, mathematics and writing . The SAT is multiple choice but also features three kinds of questions that include student-produced responses and essay questions. Students should take the SAT if they are considering applying to college. All colleges accept the SAT as an objective measurement of students' college readiness.

Differences and Similarities

Whereas the Stanford Achievement Test is used within grades k-12, the SAT Reasoning Test is used to assess students in preparation for college admissions. The scores of the SAT are not used by teachers or parents to assess weak areas in a student's performance, but rather to assess their subject matter learned in high school. Both the SAT Reasoning Test and the Stanford Achievement Test are standardized exams that assess a student's knowledge and skills in a particular number of subject areas. While the purpose for each test is different, the tests are similar in structure and scoring. Both tests also provide students with comprehensive performance feedback to assess weaknesses and strengths of the student's skills and knowledge base.

How Each Test is Used

The Stanford Achievement Test is not a mandatory exam for college entry, like the SAT, but it does allow for remediation and placement, especially for home-schooled students. Objective standardized achievement tests work to assess students' knowledge of a subject as well as their problem-solving skills. Both of these tests are set up in a way that requires students to demonstrate understanding and ability, and although both tests are used for different purposes, each test provides important data for parents, students and school administration.

About the Author

Alyssa Sellors has been in the field of education for five years, teaching English and journalism at the high school level. In addition to teaching, she has also advised the school newspaper and currently advises the yearbook. As a yearbook adviser, she speaks at national conventions hosted by Journalism Educator’s Association and the National Scholastic Press Association.

Photo Credits

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