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SAT test makers uses ‘Adversity Score’ to take students’ hardships into account

Posted at 10:05 PM, May 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-20 23:35:39-04


The SAT is a crucial test for any high school student looking to pursue a college education.

Now the company behind the test, College Board, is making a change that could help students who come from a background filled with hardships. Approximately 15 socioeconomic factors will now contribute to what is known as an “adversity score.”

Moody High School counselor Brittany Brown told KRIS 6 News’ Ally Coscetti, “We start their freshman year and every year after that we try to capture them until they’re seniors.. and even then, we’re still pushing for them to take that test.”

The SAT is one of the most highly encouraged standardized tests for college-bound seniors to take. but now, students can expect a change to the SAT, as College Board is making moves towards adding an adversity score.

“It tells a story, especially for a school like Moody. where our economically-disadvantage rate is about 85 to 90% any given year,” said Dr. Sandra Clement, Principal at Moody High School.

The new scoring system works on a scale of 1 to 100. The College Board will look at different factors surrounding a student’s community and school. everything from conditions, income inequality, and opportunities available to that student to further their education. A score of 50 or higher means a student lives in an area surrounded by disadvantages.

Brown feels that this addition can help paint the whole picture of a student’s academic career.

“Again, it gives a whole picture of the student. not just this is their score – ‘let’s accept them, let’s not accept them.'” Brown told us,  “let’s look at the student and see what did they have to overcome? or what were they dealing with that their score was like this?”

The adversity score is not contributed directly towards the SAT score, but college admission administrators are given the information to help make an inform decision on a student.

“Well for me, I feel like it would help me with my case.” 2019 Moody Salutatorian Ramsey Tapia said, “it would capture my capabilities in terms of testing, based on my conditions and my environment.”

A pilot program has begun testing the adversity score at 50 campuses. So far, College Board is seeing positive results as some students who had a slightly-lower SAT score for a certain institution are being accepted because of their high adversity score.