Document Type

Honors Project - Open Access


Thank you to my readers Daniel Kaplan, and David Chioni Moore, and to my advisor Vittorio Addona.


This paper examines the predictive power of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) for Macalester students’ college success and academic choices. We use linear regression to study whether the SAT can predict students’ first year or four-year grades. Using Kullback-Leibler divergence and classification trees, we also examine the SAT’s predictive ability for other aspects of students’ academic experience, for example, major selection, or academic division of study. After controlling for major and course level, we find that the SAT does not explain a large proportion of the variability in Macalester students’ college success. However, the SAT does provide some useful information in predicting students’ major choice or academic division of study.



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