Retaking the SAT
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.
Vigdor, JL; Clotfelter, CT
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