Relationship between a Student’s S.A.T. Scores and Family’s Income

Much has been written about the relationship between a student’s S.A.T. test scores and
their family’s income. Generally speaking, there is a strong positive correlation between
income and S.A.T. scores. What might this tell you? Is this evidence that having a high
family income causes one to have high S.A.T. scores? Is this evidence that high S.A.T.
scores are a cause of high income? Or, does this tell you something else? If something else,
what? In the course of your response, explain why correlation alone is rarely sufficient to
demonstrate cause
.

Relationship between a Student’s S.A.T. Scores and Family’s Income
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) has been an important measurement criteria used by
various colleges in the selection process, particularly to identify students who are likely to
perform well in their first year of study; to identify those who deserve scholarship awards; and to
derive academic pride (Wade, 2012). The correlation between the SAT and family incomes has
been debated, with researchers differing on the weight of such a relationship.
Firstly, it is hypothetically true that families that have high income may produce students
that perform better in SAT. This is because, probably, such students tend to have better tutors;
have better exposure to resource-rich environments; may have undergone expensive tutoring on
SAT techniques; and most likely have educated parents that can assist with their education and
coaching(Wade, 2012). This analysis provides evidence that family income is actually a
determinant in a student’s performance on SAT.
On the other hand, SAT scores may also be indicative of family income. For instance,
good colleges hassle for students with high SAT scores, implying that such students would be
able to undergo quality training, and probably end up getting good jobs, which will determine

STUDENT’S S.A.T. SCORES AND FAMILY’S INCOME 2
their earnings. There exists a very strong correlation between college degrees and prospective
wage compensation, which later affect the income of an individual, and in extension, the entire
family(Wade, 2012).
In any case, the correlation discussed above should give scholars a pause; it appears quite
biased towards the poor, but there are a lot other factors that contribute to good performance,
including student’s cognitive ability. Succinctly, this test measures one’s preparedness to join a
college, but it is debatable whether it measures a student’s potential, which is very paramount to
predicting future income.

Wade, L. (2012). The correlation between income and SAT scores.Sociological
images.

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