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The SAT
SAT
(/ˌɛsˌeɪˈtiː/ ess-ay-TEE) is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. Introduced in 1926, its name and scoring have changed several times; originally called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, it was later called the Scholastic Assessment Test, then the SAT
SAT
I: Reasoning Test, then the SAT Reasoning Test, and now, simply the SAT. The SAT
SAT
is owned, developed, and published by the College
College
Board, a private, non-profit organization in the United States. It is administered on behalf of the College Board
College Board
by the Educational Testing Service,[3] which until recently developed the SAT
SAT
as well.[4] The test is intended to assess students' readiness for college. The SAT was originally designed to not be aligned with high school curricula,[5] but several adjustments were made for the version of the SAT
SAT
introduced in 2016, and College Board
College Board
president, David Coleman, has said that he also wanted to make the test reflect more closely what students learned in high school.[6] On March 5, 2014, the College Board
College Board
announced that a redesigned version of the SAT
SAT
would be administered for the first time in 2016.[7] The current SAT, introduced in 2016, takes three hours to finish, plus 50 minutes for the SAT
SAT
with essay, and as of 2017[update] costs US$45 (US$57 with the optional essay), excluding late fees, with additional processing fees if the SAT
SAT
is taken outside the United States.[8] Scores on the SAT
SAT
range from 400 to 1600, combining test results from two 800-point sections: mathematics, and critical reading and writing. Taking the SAT, or its competitor, the ACT, is required for freshman entry to many, but not all, colleges and universities in the United States.[9] Starting with the 2015–16 school year, the College Board
College Board
also announced it would team up with Khan Academy, a free, online education site to provide SAT
SAT
prep, free of charge.[10]

Contents

1 Function 2 Structure

2.1 Reading Test 2.2 Writing
Writing
and Language Test 2.3 Mathematics

2.3.1 Calculator
Calculator
use

2.4 Style of questions

3 Logistics 4 Raw scores, scaled scores, and percentiles 5 SAT-ACT score comparisons 6 History

6.1 1901 essay exams 6.2 1926 test 6.3 1928 and 1929 tests 6.4 1930 test and 1936 changes 6.5 1941 and 1942 score scales 6.6 1946 test and associated changes 6.7 1960s and 1970s score declines 6.8 1994 changes 6.9 1995 recentering (raising mean score back to 500) 6.10 1995 re-centering controversy 6.11 2002 changes – Score Choice 6.12 2005 changes, including a new 2400-point score 6.13 Scoring problems of October 2005 tests 6.14 2008 changes 6.15 2012 changes 6.16 2016 changes, including the return to a 1600-point score

7 Name changes 8 Math–verbal achievement gap 9 Reuse of old SAT
SAT
exams 10 Perception

10.1 Association with culture 10.2 Association with family income 10.3 Association with gender 10.4 Association with race and ethnicity 10.5 Dropping SAT 10.6 IQ studies 10.7 Preparation 10.8 Use by high-IQ societies 10.9 Writing
Writing
section

11 See also 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External links

Function[edit]

Education in the United States

By state and in insular areas By subject area History of Issues: Finance – Law – Literacy – Reform Levels: Pre-kindergarten
Pre-kindergarten
– Primary – Secondary – Higher Organizations

Education portal United States
United States
portal

v t e

The SAT
SAT
is typically taken by high school juniors and seniors.[11] The College Board
College Board
states that the SAT
SAT
measures literacy, numeracy and writing skills that are needed for academic success in college. They state that the SAT
SAT
assesses how well the test takers analyze and solve problems—skills they learned in school that they will need in college. However, the test is administered under a tight time limit (speeded) to help produce a range of scores.[12] The College Board
College Board
also states that use of the SAT
SAT
in combination with high school grade point average (GPA) provides a better indicator of success in college than high school grades alone, as measured by college freshman GPA. Various studies conducted over the lifetime of the SAT
SAT
show a statistically significant increase in correlation of high school grades and college freshman grades when the SAT
SAT
is factored in.[13] A large independent validity study on the SAT's ability to predict college freshman GPA was performed by the University of California. The results of this study found how well various predictor variables could explain the variance in college freshman GPA. It found that independently high school GPA could explain 15.4% of the variance in college freshman GPA, SAT
SAT
I (the SAT Math and Verbal sections) could explain 13.3% of the variance in college freshman GPA, and SAT
SAT
II (also known as the SAT
SAT
subject tests; in the UC's case specifically Writing, Mathematics
Mathematics
IC or IIC, plus a third subject test of the student's choice) could explain 16% of the variance in college freshman GPA. When high school GPA and the SAT
SAT
I were combined, they explained 20.8% of the variance in college freshman GPA. When high school GPA and the SAT
SAT
II were combined, they explained 22.2% of the variance in college freshman GPA. When SAT
SAT
I was added to the combination of high school GPA and SAT
SAT
II, it added a .1 percentage point increase in explaining the variance in college freshman GPA for a total of 22.3%.[14] There are substantial differences in funding, curricula, grading, and difficulty among U.S. secondary schools due to U.S. federalism, local control, and the prevalence of private, distance, and home schooled students. SAT
SAT
(and ACT) scores are intended to supplement the secondary school record and help admission officers put local data—such as course work, grades, and class rank—in a national perspective.[15] However, independent research has shown that high school GPA is better than the SAT
SAT
at predicting college grades regardless of high school type or quality.[16]

This map of the United States
United States
shows the states in which (blue color) more seniors in the class of 2006 took the SAT
SAT
than the ACT, and the states in which (red color) more seniors took the ACT than the SAT.

This map of the United States
United States
shows the states in which (blue color) more seniors in the class of 2017 took the SAT
SAT
than the ACT, and the states in which (red color) more seniors took the ACT than the SAT.

Historically, the SAT
SAT
was more widely used by students living in coastal states and the ACT was more widely used by students in the Midwest and South; in recent years, however, an increasing number of students on the East and West coasts have been taking the ACT.[17][18] Since 2007, all four-year colleges and universities in the United States that require a test as part of an application for admission will accept either the SAT
SAT
or ACT, and over 950 four-year colleges and universities do not require any standardized test scores at all for admission.[19][20] Structure[edit] The SAT
SAT
has four sections: Reading, Writing
Writing
and Language, Math (no calculator), and Math (calculator allowed). The test taker may optionally write an essay which, in that case, is the fifth test section. The total time for the scored portion of the SAT
SAT
is three hours (or three hours and fifty minutes if the optional essay section is taken). Some test takers who are not taking the essay may also have a fifth section which is used, at least in part, for the pretesting of questions that may appear on future administrations of the SAT. (These questions are not included in the computation of the SAT
SAT
score.) Two section scores result from taking the SAT: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math. Section scores are reported on a scale of 200 to 800, and each section score is a multiple of ten. A total score for the SAT
SAT
is calculated by adding the two section scores, resulting in total scores that range from 400 to 1600. There is no penalty for guessing on the SAT: scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly. In addition to the two section scores, three "test" scores on a scale of 10 to 40 are reported, one for each of Reading, Writing
Writing
and Language, and Math. The essay, if taken, is scored separately from the two section scores.[21] Reading Test[edit] The Reading Test of the SAT
SAT
is made up of one section with 52 questions and a time limit of 65 minutes.[21] All questions are multiple-choice and based on reading passages. Tables, graphs, and charts may accompany some passages, but no math is required to correctly answer the corresponding questions. There are five passages (up to two of which may be a pair of smaller passages) on the Reading Test and 10-11 questions per passage or passage pair. SAT
SAT
Reading passages draw from three main fields: history, social studies, and science. Each SAT
SAT
Reading Test always includes: one passage from U.S. or world literature; one passage from either a U.S. founding document or a related text; one passage about economics, psychology, sociology, or another social science; and, two science passages. Answers to all of the questions are based only on the content stated in or implied by the passage or passage pair.[22] Writing
Writing
and Language Test[edit] The Writing
Writing
and Language Test of the SAT
SAT
is made up of one section with 44 multiple-choice questions and a time limit of 35 minutes.[21] As with the Reading Test, all questions are based on reading passages which may be accompanied by tables, graphs, and charts. The test taker will be asked to read the passages, find mistakes or weaknesses in writing, and to provide corrections or improvements. Reading passages on this test range in content from topic arguments to nonfiction narratives in a variety of subjects. The skills being evaluated include: increasing the clarity of argument; improving word choice; improving analysis of topics in social studies and science; changing sentence or word structure to increase organizational quality and impact of writing; and, fixing or improving sentence structure, word usage, and punctuation.[23] Mathematics[edit]

An example of an SAT
SAT
"grid-in" math question and the correctly gridded answer.

The mathematics portion of the SAT
SAT
is divided into two sections: Math Test – Calculator
Calculator
and Math Test – No Calculator. In total, the SAT math test is 80 minutes long and includes 58 questions: 45 multiple choice questions and 13 grid-in questions.[24] The multiple choice questions have four possible answers; the grid-in questions are free response and require the test taker to provide an answer.

The Math Test – No Calculator
Calculator
section has 20 questions (15 multiple choice and 5 grid-in) and lasts 25 minutes. The Math Test – Calculator
Calculator
section has 38 questions (30 multiple choice and 8 grid-in) and lasts 55 minutes.

Several scores are provided to the test taker for the math test. A subscore (on a scale of 1 to 15) is reported for each of three categories of math content: "Heart of Algebra" (linear equations, systems of linear equations, and linear functions), "Problem Solving and Data Analysis" (statistics, modeling, and problem-solving skills), and "Passport to Advanced Math" (non-linear expressions, radicals, exponentials and other topics that form the basis of more advanced math). A test score for the math test is reported on a scale of 10 to 40, and a section score (equal to the test score multiplied by 20) is reported on a scale of 200 to 800. [25][26][27] Calculator
Calculator
use[edit] All scientific and most graphing calculators, including Computer Algebra
Algebra
System (CAS) calculators, are permitted on the SAT
SAT
Math – Calculator
Calculator
section only. All four-function calculators are allowed as well; however, these devices are not recommended. All mobile phone and smartphone calculators, calculators with typewriter-like (QWERTY) keyboards, laptops and other portable computers, and calculators capable of accessing the Internet are not permitted.[28] Research was conducted by the College Board
College Board
to study the effect of calculator use on SAT
SAT
I: Reasoning Test math scores. The study found that performance on the math section was associated with the extent of calculator use: those using calculators on about one third to one half of the items averaged higher scores than those using calculators more or less frequently. However, the effect was "more likely to have been the result of able students using calculators differently than less able students rather than calculator use per se."[29] There is some evidence that the frequent use of a calculator in school outside of the testing situation has a positive effect on test performance compared to those who do not use calculators in school.[30] Style of questions[edit] Most of the questions on the SAT, except for the optional essay and the grid-in math responses, are multiple choice; all multiple-choice questions have four answer choices, one of which is correct. Thirteen of the questions on the math portion of the SAT
SAT
(about 22% of all the math questions) are not multiple choice.[31] They instead require the test taker to bubble in a number in a four-column grid. All questions on each section of the SAT
SAT
are weighted equally. For each correct answer, one raw point is added.[32] No points are deducted for incorrect answers. The final score is derived from the raw score; the precise conversion chart varies between test administrations.

Section Average Score[1] Time (Minutes) Content

Mathematics 527 80 Number
Number
and operations; algebra and functions; geometry; statistics, probability, and data analysis

Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 533 100 Vocabulary, Critical reading, sentence-level reading, Grammar, usage, and diction.

Logistics[edit] The SAT
SAT
is offered seven times a year in the United States: in August, October, November, December, March, May, and June. The test is typically offered on the first Saturday of the month for the October, November, December, May, and June administrations.[33] In other countries, the SAT
SAT
is offered four times a year: in October, December, March, and May.[34] The test was taken by 1,715,481 high school graduates in the class of 2017.[1] Candidates wishing to take the test may register online at the College Board's website, by mail, or by telephone, at least three weeks before the test date. The SAT
SAT
costs $45 ($57 with the optional essay), plus additional fees if testing outside the United States) as of 2017[update].[8] The College Board
College Board
makes fee waivers available for low income students. Additional fees apply for late registration, standby testing, registration changes, scores by telephone, and extra score reports (beyond the four provided for free). Candidates whose religious beliefs prevent them from taking the test on a Saturday may request to take the test on the following day, except for the October test date in which the Sunday test date is eight days after the main test offering. Such requests must be made at the time of registration and are subject to denial. Students with verifiable disabilities, including physical and learning disabilities, are eligible to take the SAT
SAT
with accommodations. The standard time increase for students requiring additional time due to learning disabilities or physical handicaps is time + 50%; time + 100% is also offered. Raw scores, scaled scores, and percentiles[edit] Students receive their online score reports approximately three weeks after test administration (six weeks for mailed, paper scores), with each section graded on a scale of 200–800 and two sub scores for the writing section: the essay score and the multiple choice sub score. In addition to their score, students receive their percentile (the percentage of other test takers with lower scores). The raw score, or the number of points gained from correct answers and lost from incorrect answers is also included.[35] Students may also receive, for an additional fee, the Question and Answer Service, which provides the student's answer, the correct answer to each question, and online resources explaining each question. The corresponding percentile of each scaled score varies from test to test—for example, in 2003, a scaled score of 800 in both sections of the SAT
SAT
Reasoning Test corresponded to a percentile of 99.9, while a scaled score of 800 in the SAT
SAT
Physics
Physics
Test corresponded to the 94th percentile. The differences in what scores mean with regard to percentiles are due to the content of the exam and the caliber of students choosing to take each exam. Subject Tests are subject to intensive study (often in the form of an AP, which is relatively more difficult), and only those who know they will perform well tend to take these tests, creating a skewed distribution of scores. The percentiles that various SAT
SAT
scores for college-bound seniors correspond to are summarized in the following chart:[36][37]

Percentile Score, 1600 Scale (official, 2006) Score, 2400 Scale (official, 2006)

99.93/99.98* 1600 2400

99.5 ≥1540 ≥2280

99 ≥1480 ≥2200

98 ≥1450 ≥2140

97 ≥1420 ≥2100

93 ≥1340 ≥1990

88 ≥1280 ≥1900

81 ≥1220 ≥1800

72 ≥1150 ≥1700

61 ≥1090 ≥1600

48 ≥1010 ≥1500

36 ≥950 ≥1400

24 ≥870 ≥1300

15 ≥810 ≥1200

8 ≥730 ≥1090

4 ≥650 ≥990

2 ≥590 ≥890

* The percentile of the perfect score was 99.98 on the 2400 scale and 99.93 on the 1600 scale.

The older SAT
SAT
(before 1995) had a very high ceiling. In any given year, only seven of the million test-takers scored above 1580. A score above 1580 was equivalent to the 99.9995 percentile.[38] In 2015 the average score for the Class of 2015 was 1490 out of a maximum 2400. That was down 7 points from the previous class’s mark and was the lowest composite score of the past decade.[39] SAT-ACT score comparisons[edit] The College Board
College Board
and ACT, Inc. conducted a joint study of students who took both the SAT
SAT
and the ACT between September 2004 (for the ACT) or March 2005 (for the SAT) and June 2006. Tables were provided to concord scores for students taking the SAT
SAT
after January 2005 and before March 2016. [40][41] In May, 2016, the College Board
College Board
released concordance tables to concord scores on the SAT
SAT
used from March 2005 through January 2016 to the SAT used since March 2016, as well as tables to concord scores on the SAT used since March 2016 to the ACT.[42] History[edit]

Mean SAT
SAT
Scores by year[43]

Year of exam Reading /Verbal Score Math Score

1972 530 509

1973 523 506

1974 521 505

1975 512 498

1976 509 497

1977 507 496

1978 507 494

1979 505 493

1980 502 492

1981 502 492

1982 504 493

1983 503 494

1984 504 497

1985 509 500

1986 509 500

1987 507 501

1988 505 501

1989 504 502

1990 500 501

1991 499 500

1992 500 501

1993 500 503

1994 499 504

1995 504 506

1996 505 508

1997 505 511

1998 505 512

1999 505 511

2000 505 514

2001 506 514

2002 504 516

2003 507 519

2004 508 518

2005 508 520

2006 503 518

2007 502 515

2008 502 515

2009 501 515

2010 501 516

2011 497 514

2012 496 514

2013 496 514

2014 497 513

2015 495 511

2016 494 508

2017 533 527

Historical average SAT
SAT
scores of college-bound seniors.

Many college entrance exams in the early 1900s were specific to each school and required candidates to travel to the school to take the tests. The College
College
Board, a consortium of colleges in the northeastern United States, was formed in 1900 to establish a nationally administered, uniform set of essay tests based on the curricula of the boarding schools that typically provided graduates to the colleges of the Ivy League
Ivy League
and Seven Sisters, among others.[44][45] In the same time period, Lewis Terman
Lewis Terman
and others began to promote the use of tests such as Alfred Binet's in American schools. Terman in particular thought that such tests could identify an innate "intelligence quotient" (IQ) in a person. The results of an IQ test could then be used to find an elite group of students who would be given the chance to finish high school and go on to college.[44] By the mid-1920s, the increasing use of IQ tests, such as the Army Alpha test administered to recruits in World War I, led the College Board
College Board
to commission the development of the SAT. The commission, headed by Carl Brigham, argued that the test predicted success in higher education by identifying candidates primarily on the basis of intellectual promise rather than on specific accomplishment in high school subjects.[45] In 1934, James Conant and Henry Chauncey used the SAT
SAT
as a means to identify recipients for scholarships to Harvard University. Specifically, Conant wanted to find students, other than those from the traditional northeastern private schools, that could do well at Harvard. The success of the scholarship program and the advent of World War II
World War II
led to the end of the College Board
College Board
essay exams and to the SAT
SAT
being used as the only admissions test for College
College
Board member colleges.[44] The SAT
SAT
rose in prominence after World War II
World War II
due to several factors. Machine-based scoring of multiple-choice tests taken by pencil had made it possible to rapidly process the exams.[46] The G.I. Bill produced an influx of millions of veterans into higher education.[46][47] The formation of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) also played a significant role in the expansion of the SAT beyond the roughly fifty colleges that made up the College Board
College Board
at the time.[48] The ETS was formed in 1947 by the College
College
Board, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the American Council on Education, to consolidate respectively the operations of the SAT, the GRE, and the achievement tests developed by Ben Wood for use with Conant's scholarship exams.[46] The new organization was to be philosophically grounded in the concepts of open-minded, scientific research in testing with no doctrine to sell and with an eye toward public service.[49] The ETS was chartered after the death of Brigham, who had opposed the creation of such an entity. Brigham felt that the interests of a consolidated testing agency would be more aligned with sales or marketing than with research into the science of testing.[46] It has been argued that the interest of the ETS in expanding the SAT in order to support its operations aligned with the desire of public college and university faculties to have smaller, diversified, and more academic student bodies as a means to increase research activities.[44] In 1951, about 80,000 SATs were taken; in 1961, about 800,000; and by 1971, about 1.5 million SATs were being taken each year.[50] A timeline of notable events in the history of the SAT
SAT
follows. 1901 essay exams[edit] On June 17, 1901, the first exams of the College Board
College Board
were administered to 973 students across 67 locations in the United States, and two in Europe. Although those taking the test came from a variety of backgrounds, approximately one third were from New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania. The majority of those taking the test were from private schools, academies, or endowed schools. About 60% of those taking the test applied to Columbia University. The test contained sections on English, French, German, Latin, Greek, history, mathematics, chemistry, and physics. The test was not multiple choice, but instead was evaluated based on essay responses as "excellent", "good", "doubtful", "poor" or "very poor".[51] 1926 test[edit] The first administration of the SAT
SAT
occurred on June 23, 1926, when it was known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test.[52][53] This test, prepared by a committee headed by Princeton psychologist Carl Campbell Brigham, had sections of definitions, arithmetic, classification, artificial language, antonyms, number series, analogies, logical inference, and paragraph reading. It was administered to over 8,000 students at over 300 test centers. Men composed 60% of the test-takers. Slightly over a quarter of males and females applied to Yale University
Yale University
and Smith College.[53] The test was paced rather quickly, test-takers being given only a little over 90 minutes to answer 315 questions.[52] The raw score of each participating student was converted to a score scale with a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 100. This scale was effectively equivalent to a 200 to 800 scale, although students could score more than 800 and less than 200.[46] 1928 and 1929 tests[edit] In 1928, the number of sections on the SAT
SAT
was reduced to seven, and the time limit was increased to slightly under two hours. In 1929, the number of sections was again reduced, this time to six. These changes were designed in part to give test-takers more time per question. For these two years, all of the sections tested verbal ability: math was eliminated entirely from the SAT.[52] 1930 test and 1936 changes[edit] In 1930 the SAT
SAT
was first split into the verbal and math sections, a structure that would continue through 2004. The verbal section of the 1930 test covered a more narrow range of content than its predecessors, examining only antonyms, double definitions (somewhat similar to sentence completions), and paragraph reading. In 1936, analogies were re-added. Between 1936 and 1946, students had between 80 and 115 minutes to answer 250 verbal questions (over a third of which were on antonyms). The mathematics test introduced in 1930 contained 100 free response questions to be answered in 80 minutes, and focused primarily on speed. From 1936 to 1941, like the 1928 and 1929 tests, the mathematics section was eliminated entirely. When the mathematics portion of the test was re-added in 1942, it consisted of multiple choice questions.[52] 1941 and 1942 score scales[edit] Until 1941, the scores on all SATs had been scaled to a mean of 500 with a standard deviation of 100. Although one test-taker could be compared to another for a given test date, comparisons from one year to another could not be made. For example, a score of 500 achieved on an SAT
SAT
taken in one year could reflect a different ability level than a score of 500 achieved in another year. By 1940, it had become clear that setting the mean SAT
SAT
score to 500 every year was unfair to those students who happened to take the SAT
SAT
with a group of higher average ability.[54] In order to make cross-year score comparisons possible, in April 1941 the SAT
SAT
verbal section was scaled to a mean of 500, and a standard deviation of 100, and the June 1941 SAT
SAT
verbal section was equated (linked) to the April 1941 test. All SAT
SAT
verbal sections after 1941 were equated to previous tests so that the same scores on different SATs would be comparable. Similarly, in June 1942 the SAT
SAT
math section was equated to the April 1942 math section, which itself was linked to the 1942 SAT
SAT
verbal section, and all SAT
SAT
math sections after 1942 would be equated to previous tests. From this point forward, SAT
SAT
mean scores could change over time, depending on the average ability of the group taking the test compared to the roughly 10,600 students taking the SAT
SAT
in April 1941. The 1941 and 1942 score scales would remain in use until 1995. [54] [55] 1946 test and associated changes[edit] Paragraph reading was eliminated from the verbal portion of the SAT
SAT
in 1946, and replaced with reading comprehension, and "double definition" questions were replaced with sentence completions. Between 1946 and 1957 students were given 90 to 100 minutes to complete 107 to 170 verbal questions. Starting in 1958 time limits became more stable, and for 17 years, until 1975, students had 75 minutes to answer 90 questions. In 1959 questions on data sufficiency were introduced to the mathematics section, and then replaced with quantitative comparisons in 1974. In 1974 both verbal and math sections were reduced from 75 minutes to 60 minutes each, with changes in test composition compensating for the decreased time.[52] 1960s and 1970s score declines[edit] From 1926 to 1941, scores on the SAT
SAT
were scaled to make 500 the mean score on each section. In 1941 and 1942, SAT
SAT
scores were standardized via test equating, and as a consequence, average verbal and math scores could vary from that time forward.[54] In 1952, mean verbal and math scores were 476 and 494, respectively, and scores were generally stable in the 1950s and early 1960s. However, starting in the mid-1960s and continuing until the early 1980s, SAT
SAT
scores declined: the average verbal score dropped by about 50 points, and the average math score fell by about 30 points. By the late 1970s, only the upper third of test takers were doing as well as the upper half of those taking the SAT
SAT
in 1963. From 1961 to 1977, the number of SATs taken per year doubled, suggesting that the decline could be explained by demographic changes in the group of students taking the SAT. Commissioned by the College
College
Board, an independent study of the decline found that most (up to about 75%) of the test decline in the 1960s could be explained by compositional changes in the group of students taking the test; however, only about 25 percent of the 1970s decrease in test scores could similarly be explained.[50] Later analyses suggested that up to 40 percent of the 1970s decline in scores could be explained by demographic changes, leaving unknown at least some of the reasons for the decline.[56] 1994 changes[edit] In early 1994, substantial changes were made to the SAT.[57] Antonyms were removed from the verbal section in order to make rote memorization of vocabulary less useful. Also, the fraction of verbal questions devoted to passage-based reading material was increased from about 30% to about 50%, and the passages were chosen to be more like typical college-level reading material, compared to previous SAT reading passages. The changes for increased emphasis on analytical reading were made in response to a 1990 report issued by a commission established by the College
College
Board. The commission recommended that the SAT
SAT
should, among other things, "approximate more closely the skills used in college and high school work".[52] A mandatory essay had been considered as well for the new version of the SAT; however, criticism from minority groups as well as a concomitant increase in the cost of the test necessary to grade the essay led the College Board
College Board
to drop it from the planned changes.[58] Major changes were also made to the SAT
SAT
mathematics section at this time, due in part to the influence of suggestions made by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Test-takers were now permitted to use calculators on the math sections of the SAT. Also, for the first time since 1935, the SAT
SAT
would now include some math questions that were not multiple choice, instead requiring students to supply the answers. Additionally, some of these "student-produced response" questions could have more than one correct answer. The tested mathematics content on the SAT
SAT
was expanded to include concepts of slope of a line, probability, elementary statistics including median and mode, and counting problems.[52] 1995 recentering (raising mean score back to 500)[edit] By the early 1990s, average total SAT
SAT
scores were around 900 (typically, 425 on the verbal and 475 on the math). The average scores on the 1994 modification of the SAT
SAT
I were similar: 428 on the verbal and 482 on the math.[59] SAT
SAT
scores for admitted applicants to highly selective colleges in the United States
United States
were typically much higher. For example, the score ranges of the middle 50% of admitted applicants to Princeton University
Princeton University
in 1985 were 600 to 720 (verbal) and 660 to 750 (math).[60] Similarly, median scores on the modified 1994 SAT
SAT
for freshmen entering Yale University
Yale University
in the fall of 1995 were 670 (verbal) and 720 (math).[61] For the majority of SAT
SAT
takers, however, verbal and math scores were below 500: In 1992, half of the college-bound seniors taking the SAT
SAT
were scoring between 340 and 500 on the verbal section and between 380 and 560 on the math section, with corresponding median scores of 420 and 470, respectively.[62] The drop in SAT
SAT
verbal scores, in particular, meant that the usefulness of the SAT
SAT
score scale (200 to 800) had become degraded. At the top end of the verbal scale, significant gaps were occurring between raw scores and uncorrected scaled scores: a perfect raw score no longer corresponded to an 800, and a single omission out of 85 questions could lead to a drop of 30 or 40 points in the scaled score. Corrections to scores above 700 had been necessary to reduce the size of the gaps and to make a perfect raw score result in an 800. At the other end of the scale, about 1.5 percent of test takers would have scored below 200 on the verbal section if that had not been the reported minimum score. Although the math score averages were closer to the center of the scale (500) than the verbal scores, the distribution of math scores was no longer well approximated by a normal distribution. These problems, among others, suggested that the original score scale and its reference group of about 10,000 students taking the SAT
SAT
in 1941 needed to be replaced.[54] Beginning with the test administered in April 1995, the SAT
SAT
score scale was recentered to return the average math and verbal scores close to 500. Although only 25 students had received perfect scores of 1600 in all of 1994, 137 students taking the April test scored a 1600.[63] The new scale used a reference group of about one million seniors in the class of 1990: the scale was designed so that the SAT scores of this cohort would have a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 110. Because the new scale would not be directly comparable to the old scale, scores awarded on April 1995 and later were officially reported with an "R" (for example, "560R") to reflect the change in scale, a practice that was continued until 2001.[54] Scores awarded before April 1995 may be compared to those on the recentered scale by using official College Board
College Board
tables. For example, verbal and math scores of 500 received before 1995 correspond to scores of 580 and 520, respectively, on the 1995 scale.[64] 1995 re-centering controversy[edit] Certain educational organizations viewed the SAT
SAT
re-centering initiative as an attempt to stave off international embarrassment in regards to continuously declining test scores, even among top students. As evidence, it was presented that the number of pupils who scored above 600 on the verbal portion of the test had fallen from a peak of 112,530 in 1972 to 73,080 in 1993, a 36% backslide, despite the fact that the total number of test-takers had risen over 500,000.[65] Other authors have argued that the evidence for a decline in student quality is mixed, citing that top scorers on the ACT have shown little change in the same period, and that the proportion of 17-year-olds scoring at the highest performance level on the NAEP long-term trend assessment has been roughly stable for decades.[66] 2002 changes – Score Choice[edit] Since 1993, using a policy referred to as "Score Choice", students taking the SAT-II subject exams were able to choose whether or not to report the resulting scores to a college to which the student was applying. In October 2002, the College Board
College Board
dropped the Score Choice option for SAT-II exams, matching the score policy for the traditional SAT
SAT
tests that required students to release all scores to colleges.[67] The College Board
College Board
said that, under the old score policy, many students who waited to release scores would forget to do so and miss admissions deadlines. It was also suggested that the old policy of allowing students the option of which scores to report favored students who could afford to retake the tests.[68] 2005 changes, including a new 2400-point score[edit] In 2005, the test was changed again, largely in response to criticism by the University of California
University of California
system.[69] In order to have the SAT more closely reflect high school curricula, certain types of questions were eliminated: analogies from the verbal section and quantitative comparison items from the math section.[52] A new writing section, with an essay, based on the former SAT
SAT
II Writing
Writing
Subject Test, was added,[70] in part to increase the chances of closing the opening gap between the highest and midrange scores. Other factors included the desire to test the writing ability of each student; hence the essay. The essay section added an additional maximum 800 points to the score, which increased the new maximum score to 2400.[71] The "New SAT" was first offered on March 12, 2005, after the last administration of the "old" SAT
SAT
in January 2005. The mathematics section was expanded to cover three years of high school mathematics. To emphasize the importance of reading, the verbal section's name was changed to the Critical Reading section.[52] Scoring problems of October 2005 tests[edit] In March 2006, it was announced that a small percentage of the SATs taken in October 2005 had been scored incorrectly due to the test papers' being moist and not scanning properly, and that some students had received erroneous scores.[72] The College Board
College Board
announced they would change the scores for the students who were given a lower score than they earned, but at this point many of those students had already applied to colleges using their original scores. The College
College
Board decided not to change the scores for the students who were given a higher score than they earned. A lawsuit was filed in 2006 on behalf of the 4,411 students who received an incorrect score on the SAT.[73] The class-action suit was settled in August 2007 when the College Board and Pearson Educational Measurement, the company that scored the SATs, announced they would pay $2.85 million into a settlement fund. Under the agreement each student could either elect to receive $275 or submit a claim for more money if he or she felt the damage was greater.[74] A similar scoring error occurred on a secondary school admission test in 2010–2011 when the ERB (Educational Records Bureau) announced after the admission process was over that an error had been made in the scoring of the tests of 2010 (17%) of the students who had taken the Independent School Entrance Examination for admission to private secondary schools for 2011. Commenting on the effect of the error on students' school applications in The New York Times, David Clune, President of the ERB stated "It is a lesson we all learn at some point—that life isn't fair."[75] 2008 changes[edit] As part of an effort to “reduce student stress and improve the test-day experience", in late 2008 the College Board
College Board
announced that the Score Choice option, recently dropped for SAT
SAT
subject exams, would be available for both the SAT subject tests
SAT subject tests
and the SAT
SAT
starting in March, 2009. At the time, some college admissions officials agreed that the new policy would help to alleviate student test anxiety, while others questioned whether the change was primarily an attempt to make the SAT
SAT
more competitive with the ACT, which had long had a comparable score choice policy.[76] Recognizing that some colleges would want to see the scores from all tests taken by a student, under this new policy, the College Board
College Board
would encourage but not force students to follow the requirements of each college to which scores would be sent.[77] A number of highly selective colleges and universities, including Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, and Stanford, rejected the Score Choice option at the time[78] and continue to require applicants to submit all scores.[79] Others, such as MIT
MIT
and Harvard, allow students to choose which scores they submit, and use only the highest score from each section when making admission decisions. Still others, such as Oregon State University
Oregon State University
and University of Iowa, allow students to choose which scores they submit, considering only the test date with the highest combined score when making admission decisions.[79] 2012 changes[edit] Beginning in 2012, test takers were required to submit a current, recognizable photo during registration. Students are required to present their photo admission ticket – or another acceptable form of photo ID – for admittance to their designated test center. Student scores and registration information, including the photo provided, are made available to the student’s high school. In the event of an investigation involving the validity of a student’s test scores, their photo may be made available to institutions to which they have sent scores. Any college that is granted access to a student’s photo is first required to certify that they are all admitted students.[80] 2016 changes, including the return to a 1600-point score[edit] On March 5, 2014, the College Board
College Board
announced its plan to redesign the SAT
SAT
in order to link the exam more closely to the work high school students encounter in the classroom.[7] The new exam was administered for the first time in March 2016.[81] Some of the major changes are: an emphasis on the use of evidence to support answers, a shift away from obscure vocabulary to words that students are more likely to encounter in college and career, a math section that is focused on fewer areas, a return to the 1600-point score scale, an optional essay, and the removal of penalty for wrong answers (rights-only scoring).[82] To combat the perceived advantage of costly test preparation courses, the College Board
College Board
announced a new partnership with Khan Academy
Khan Academy
to offer free online practice problems and instructional videos.[7] Name changes[edit] The SAT
SAT
has been renamed several times since its introduction in 1926. It was originally known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test.[83][52] In 1990, a commission set up by the College Board
College Board
to review the proposed changes to the SAT
SAT
program recommended that the meaning of the initialism SAT
SAT
be changed to "Scholastic Assessment Test" because a "test that integrates measures of achievement as well as developed ability can no longer be accurately described as a test of aptitude".[84][85] In 1993, the College Board
College Board
changed the name of the test to SAT
SAT
I: Reasoning Test; at the same time, the name of the Achievement Tests was changed to SAT
SAT
II: Subject Tests.[83] The Reasoning Test and Subject Tests were to be collectively known as the Scholastic Assessment Tests. According to the president of the College Board at the time, the name change was meant "to correct the impression among some people that the SAT
SAT
measures something that is innate and impervious to change regardless of effort or instruction."[86] The new SAT
SAT
debuted in March 1994, and was referred to as the Scholastic Assessment Test by major news organizations.[57][87] However, in 1997, the College Board
College Board
announced that the SAT
SAT
could not properly be called the Scholastic Assessment Test, and that the letters SAT
SAT
did not stand for anything.[88] In 2004, the Roman numeral in SAT
SAT
I: Reasoning Test was dropped, making SAT
SAT
Reasoning Test the new name of the SAT.[83] Math–verbal achievement gap[edit] Main article: Math–verbal achievement gap In 2002, Richard Rothstein (education scholar and columnist) wrote in The New York Times
The New York Times
that the U.S. math averages on the SAT
SAT
and ACT continued their decade-long rise over national verbal averages on the tests.[89] Reuse of old SAT
SAT
exams[edit] The College Board
College Board
has been accused of completely reusing old SAT papers previously given in the United States.[90] The recycling of questions from previous exams has been exploited to allow for cheating on exams and impugned the validity of some students' test scores, according to college officials. Test preparation
Test preparation
companies in Asia have been found to provide test questions to students within hours of a new SAT
SAT
exam's administration.[91][92] Perception[edit] Association with culture[edit] For decades many critics have accused designers of the verbal SAT
SAT
of cultural bias as an explanation for the disparity in scores between poorer and wealthier test-takers.[93] A famous (and long past) example of this bias in the SAT
SAT
I was the oarsman–regatta analogy question. The object of the question was to find the pair of terms that had the relationship most similar to the relationship between "runner" and "marathon". The correct answer was "oarsman" and "regatta". The choice of the correct answer was thought to have presupposed students' familiarity with rowing, a sport popular with the wealthy. However, according to Murray and Herrnstein, the black-white gap is smaller in culture-loaded questions like this one than in questions that appear to be culturally neutral.[94] Analogy
Analogy
questions have since been replaced by short reading passages. Association with family income[edit] A report from The New York Times
The New York Times
stated that family income can explain about 95% of the variance in SAT
SAT
scores.[95] In response, Lisa Wade, contributor at the website The Society Pages, commented that those with higher family income, “tend to have better teachers, more resource-rich educational environments, more educated parents who can help them with school and, sometimes, expensive SAT
SAT
tutoring.”[96] However, University of California
University of California
system research found that after controlling for family income and parental education, the already low ability of the SAT
SAT
to measure aptitude and college readiness fell sharply while the more substantial aptitude and college readiness measuring abilities of high school GPA and the SAT
SAT
II each remained undiminished (and even slightly increased). The University of California system required both the SAT
SAT
and the SAT
SAT
II from applicants to the UC system during the four years included in the study. They further found that, after controlling for family income and parental education, the so-called achievement tests known as the SAT
SAT
II measure aptitude and college readiness 10 times higher than the SAT.[97] As with racial bias, correlation with income could also be due to the social class of the makers of the test, although according to the authors of The Bell Curve, empirical research suggests that poorer students actually perform worse on questions the authors believed to be "neutral" compared to the ones they termed as "privileged."[98] Association with gender[edit]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (September 2015)

The largest association with gender on the SAT
SAT
is found in the math section, where male students, on average, score higher than female students by approximately 30 points.[99] In 2013, the American College Testing Board released a report stating that boys outperformed girls on the mathematics section of the test.[100] Association with race and ethnicity[edit] African American, Hispanic, and Native American students, on average, perform an order of one standard deviation lower on the SAT
SAT
than white and Asian students.[101][102][103][104] Researchers believe that the difference in scores is closely related to the overall achievement gap in American society between students of different racial groups. This gap may be explainable in part by the fact that students of disadvantaged racial groups tend to go to schools that provide lower educational quality. This view is supported by evidence that the black-white gap is higher in cities and neighborhoods that are more racially segregated.[105] It has also been suggested that stereotype threat has a significant effect on lowering achievement of minority students. For example, African Americans perform worse on a test when they are told that the test measures "verbal reasoning ability", than when no mention of the test subject is made.[106] Other research cites poorer minority proficiency in key coursework relevant to the SAT
SAT
(English and math), as well as peer pressure against students who try to focus on their schoolwork ("acting white").[107] Cultural issues are also evident among black students in wealthier households, with high achieving parents. John Ogbu, a Nigerian-American professor of anthropology, found that instead of looking to their parents as role models, black youth chose other models like rappers and did not put forth the effort to be a good student. However, they felt that racism was wrong.[108] One set of studies has reported differential item functioning – namely, some test questions function differently based on the racial group of the test taker, reflecting some kind of systematic difference in a groups ability to understand certain test questions or to acquire the knowledge required to answer them. In 2003 Freedle published data showing that Black students have had a slight advantage on the verbal questions that are labeled as difficult on the SAT, whereas white and Asian students tended to have a slight advantage on questions labeled as easy. Freedle argued that these findings suggest that "easy" test items use vocabulary that is easier to understand for white middle class students than for minorities, who often use a different language in the home environment, whereas the difficult items use complex language learned only through lectures and textbooks, giving both student groups equal opportunities to acquiring it.[109][110] [111] The study was severely criticized by the ETS board, but the findings were replicated in a subsequent study by Santelices and Wilson in 2010.[112][113] There is no evidence that SAT
SAT
scores systematically underestimate future performance of minority students. However, the predictive validity of the SAT
SAT
has been shown to depend on the dominant ethnic and racial composition of the college.[114] Some studies have also shown that African American students under-perform in college relative to their white peers with the same SAT
SAT
scores; researchers have argued that this is likely because white students tend to benefit from social advantages outside of the educational environment (for example, high parental involvement in their education, inclusion in campus academic activities, positive bias from same-race teachers and peers) which result in better grades.[106] Christopher Jencks concludes that as a group African Americans have been harmed by the introduction of standardized entrance exams such as the SAT. This, according to him, is not because the tests themselves are flawed, but because of labeling bias and selection bias; the tests measure the skills that African Americans are less likely to develop in their socialization, rather than the skills they are more likely to develop. Furthermore, standardized entrance exams are often labeled as tests of general ability, rather than of certain aspects of ability. Thus, a situation is produced in which African American ability is consistently underestimated within the education and workplace environments, contributing in turn to selection bias against them which exacerbates underachievement.[106] Dropping SAT[edit] A growing number of colleges have joined the SAT
SAT
optional movement. These colleges do not require the SAT
SAT
for admission. One example of a college that did this is Drew University in New Jersey. After they adopted an optional SAT
SAT
policy, they had a 20% increase in applications. Dean of Admissions Mary Beth Carey says that "Our own research showed us that high school grade point average is by far the most important predictor of success in college." The college reported that they accepted their most diverse class ever as a result of the policy.[115] In a 2001 speech to the American Council on Education, Richard C. Atkinson, the president of the University of California, urged dropping the SAT
SAT
as a college admissions requirement:

Anyone involved in education should be concerned about how overemphasis on the SAT
SAT
is distorting educational priorities and practices, how the test is perceived by many as unfair, and how it can have a devastating impact on the self-esteem and aspirations of young students. There is widespread agreement that overemphasis on the SAT harms American education.[116]

In response to threats by the University of California
University of California
to drop the SAT as an admission requirement, the College
College
Entrance Examination Board announced the restructuring of the SAT, to take effect in March 2005, as detailed above. In the 1960s and 1970s there was a movement to drop achievement scores. After a period of time, the countries, states and provinces that reintroduced them agreed that academic standards had dropped, students had studied less, and had taken their studying less seriously. They reintroduced the tests after studies and research concluded that the high-stakes tests produced benefits that outweighed the costs.[117] IQ studies[edit] Frey and Detterman (2003) investigated associations of SAT
SAT
scores with intelligence test scores. Using an estimate of general mental ability, or g, based on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, which can be best thought of as representing crystallized intelligence (learned abilities), they found SAT
SAT
scores to be highly correlated with g (r=.82 in their sample, .857 when adjusted for non-linearity) in their sample taken from a 1979 national probability survey. Additionally, they investigated the correlation between SAT
SAT
results, using the revised and recentered form of the test, and scores on the Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices, a test of fluid intelligence (reasoning), this time using a non-random sample. They found that the correlation of SAT
SAT
results with scores on the Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices was .483. They estimated that this latter correlation would have been about 0.72 were it not for the restriction of ability range in the sample. They also noted that there appeared to be a ceiling effect on the Raven’s scores which may have suppressed the correlation.[118] Beaujean and colleagues (2006) have reached similar conclusions to those reached by Frey and Detterman.[119] Preparation[edit] SAT
SAT
preparation is a highly lucrative field.[120] The field was pioneered by Stanley Kaplan, whose SAT
SAT
preparation course began in 1946 as a 64-hour course.[121] Many companies and organizations offer test preparation in the form of books, classes, online courses, and tutoring. The test preparation industry began almost simultaneously with the introduction of university entrance exams in the U.S. and flourished from the start.[122] The College Board
College Board
maintains that the SAT
SAT
is essentially uncoachable and research by the College Board
College Board
and the National Association of College
College
Admission Counseling suggests that tutoring courses result in an average increase of about 20 points on the math section and 10 points on the verbal section.[123] Other studies have shown significantly different results. A longitudinal study from Ohio State showed that taking private SAT
SAT
prep classes correlated with scores higher by ~60 points.[124] A study from Oxford showed that coaching courses boosted scores by an average of 56 points.[122] Montgomery and Lilly (2012) performed a systematic literature review of all published SAT
SAT
coaching research in search of high quality studies (defined as those with randomized controlled trials). They found that the randomized treatments resulted in V/M gains of +23/32 points for a total of +56; the high quality study that showed the highest score increase was Johnson (1984; San Francisco) which was based on a 30-hour prep course that showed an average increase of 178 points. The Johnson San Francisco study was also the only high quality study found on a prep course of 30 hours or more in length, although validity of this outlier study is uncertain due to the attrition of half the participants.[122] Use by high-IQ societies[edit] Certain high IQ societies, like Mensa, the Prometheus Society
Prometheus Society
and the Triple Nine Society, use scores from certain years as one of their admission tests. For instance, the Triple Nine Society
Triple Nine Society
accepts scores (verbal and math combined) of 1450 or greater on SAT
SAT
tests taken before April 1995, and scores of at least 1520 on tests taken between April 1995 and February 2005.[125] The SAT
SAT
is sometimes given to students younger than 13 by organizations such as the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth, Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, Duke TIP, and other organizations who use the results to select, study and mentor students of exceptional ability. Writing
Writing
section[edit] In 2005, MIT
MIT
Writing
Writing
Director Pavan Sreekireddy plotted essay length versus essay score on the new SAT
SAT
from released essays and found a high correlation between them. After studying over 50 graded essays, he found that longer essays consistently produced higher scores. In fact, he argues that by simply gauging the length of an essay without reading it, the given score of an essay could likely be determined correctly over 90% of the time. He also discovered that several of these essays were full of factual errors; the College Board
College Board
does not claim to grade for factual accuracy. Perelman, along with the National Council of Teachers of English also criticized the 25-minute writing section of the test for damaging standards of writing teaching in the classroom. They say that writing teachers training their students for the SAT
SAT
will not focus on revision, depth, accuracy, but will instead produce long, formulaic, and wordy pieces.[126] "You're getting teachers to train students to be bad writers", concluded Perelman.[127] See also[edit]

ACT (test), a college entrance exam, competitor to the SAT College
College
admissions in the United States List of admissions tests PSAT/NMSQT SAT
SAT
Subject Tests

References[edit]

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Board. Retrieved October 13, 2014.  ^ "New, Reading-Heavy SAT
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SAT
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FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions". College
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Entrance Examination Board. p. 9.  ^ Pitsch, Mark (November 7, 1990). "S.A.T. Revisions Will Be Included In Spring '94 Test". Education Week.  ^ Jordan, Mary (March 27, 1993). " SAT
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Further reading[edit]

Balf, Todd (March 6, 2014). "The Story Behind the SAT
SAT
Overhaul". The New York Times Magazine.  Lewin, Tamar (March 5, 2014). "A New SAT
SAT
Aims to Realign With Schoolwork". The New York Times.  "Key shifts of the SAT
SAT
redesign". The Washington Post. March 5, 2014.  Coyle, T. R. & Pillow, D. R. (2008). " SAT
SAT
and ACT predict college GPA after removing g". Intelligence. 36 (6): 719–729. doi:10.1016/Olintell.2008.05.001 (inactive 2017-07-19).  Coyle, T.; Snyder, A.; Pillow, D.; Kochunov, P. (2011). " SAT
SAT
predicts GPA better for high ability subjects: Implications for Spearman's Law of Diminishing Returns". Personality and Individual Differences. 50 (4): 470–474. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2010.11.009. PMC 3090148 . PMID 21562615.  Frey, M. C.; Detterman, D. K. (2003). "Scholastic Assessment or g? The Relationship Between the Scholastic Assessment Test and General Cognitive Ability" (PDF). Psychological Science. 15 (6): 373–378. doi:10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00687.x. PMID 15147489.  Gould, Stephen Jay (1996). The Mismeasure of Man (Rev/Expd ed.). W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-31425-1.  Hoffman, Banesh (1962). The Tyranny of Testing. Orig. pub. Collier. ISBN 0-486-43091-X.  (and others) Hubin, David R. (1988). The Scholastic Aptitude Test: Its Development and Introduction, 1900–1948. Ph.D. dissertation in American History at the University of Oregon.  Owen, David (1999). None of the Above: The Truth Behind the SATs (Revised ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-8476-9507-7.  Sacks, Peter (2001). Standardized Minds: The High Price of America's Testing Culture and What We Can Do to Change It. Perseus. ISBN 0-7382-0433-1.  Zwick, Rebecca (2002). Fair Game? The Use of Standardized Admissions Tests in Higher Education. Falmer. ISBN 0-415-92560-6.  Gladwell, Malcolm (December 17, 2001). "Examined Life: What Stanley H. Kaplan taught us about the S.A.T." The New Yorker. 

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