kitchen table math, the sequel: Dartmouth testing profile for perfect scores

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dartmouth testing profile for perfect scores

Critical reading - 800
8.2% of applicants have 800 CR
32.0% accepted

Writing - 800
9.4% of applicants have 800 on Writing
30% accepted

Math - 800
16.2% have 800 on math
18.7% accepted

source: Dartmouth College Undergraduate Admissions

I wonder if there's a case of left-digit bias in these scores.


Debbie Stier said...

That is CRAZY.

Crimson Wife said...

Dartmouth received 22,105 applications last year. 16.2% of that number is 3,581. There were 2,179 offers of admission. Even if Dartmouth accepted ZERO students who scored below a perfect 800 on the math section (which isn't going to happen), there still wouldn't be enough slots for them all.

Depressing, isn't it?

Debbie Stier said...

They are a new breed. Super People

Anonymous said...

I know a kid who entered Dartmouth in 2001 and was so miserable his first semester that he almost transferred. The problem was that his name is totally, obviously Hispanic. His (obviously non-Hispanic) mother said he was visited immediately on arrival - she was helping him unpack his stuff - by the campus Hispanic group and was immediately flushed off their list; he was obviously extremely bright,well-educated, socially adept and was obviously not going to fit well with the pretty militarily-Hispanic group's agenda. The non-Hispanics assumed he was an affirmative action admit who would not have qualified by scores, grades etc., until they came to know him by the end of his first year. This is a kid who had mid-700s in both math and verbal as an 8th-grader, which he took as part of the admissions process for the magnet high schools. After 4 years at a top IB school, he might well have had 800 in both (he went to the math/sci MS and was accepted to the HS), but we moved before he graduated and I didn't hear his scores. The point is that there was a significant gap between the AA admits and others (I've read as much as 140 points). I'm sure athletes, musicians etc. also are cut some slack on scores.

ChemProf said...

Some of it is AA, but it is also more complicated than that. You can see SAT percentiles broken down by ethnicity here:

An 800 math SAT is 98th percentile for Asians. However, most Ivies don't want to become "too Asian" just as they don't want to become "too female." Part of this is stereotyping but some of it is just marketing -- a school that is too female has trouble attracting men AND women!

That said, I remember when Mudd started serious AA for women, after CalTech introduced scholarships for all admitted women. I was a junior and suddenly, I was getting attitude from frosh which I was not used to. They got over it, but that was partly because the retention rate for freshwomen was horrible, so the iffy admits didn't stick around and admissions didn't continue the experiment.

SATVerbalTutor. said...

Athletes are cut a lot of slack across the board, musicians and artists very little (unless they're performing at a level that can get them into Juilliard or Curtis). Otherwise, admissions officers don't distinguish that much between a 750 and an 800, especially if a candidate has a lot of other things going for them. A perfect score is nice, but it's not required. As I usually tell my students, your scores don't have to be perfect, they just have to be high enough. No one will ever throw out a kid with a 2250 who fits the bill in every other way, and plenty of 2400s get rejected from top schools. People who whine about getting rejected just because they had the scores are missing the point.

Catherine Johnson said...

Otherwise, admissions officers don't distinguish that much between a 750 and an 800

I don't think that's the case.

There's a 'left-digit' bias; I think the fact that Dartmouth has explicitly given figures for 800 alone is probably an example.

The left-digit bias explains why stores charge $9.99 instead of $10.

btw, our emotional reaction around here, when C. got his 800, is a perfect example. We were gobsmacked - gobsmacked and ecstatic (and not because we suddenly thought he could get into better schools -- we were planning on NYU, period).

There is something about that 8 that matters psychologically even though the difference in number of questions wrong is around 2, I think. (He'd gotten something like a 740 the first time he took the test; I think that was it.)

Crimson Wife said...

I think "left digit bias" comes more into play on the (relatively) lower end. A 690 vs. a 700 on a particular section may not be a statistically significant difference, but it could very well be the difference between acceptance or rejection.

My DH got a 690 on his GMAT and when he was waitlisted at Stanford's Grad. School of Business, he was told by the admissions office there that the only reason was his "low" GMAT. If he could manage to pull it up to somewhere in the low 700's, they'd admit him. He re-took the test and again didn't crack 700 so he never did get off Stanford's wait list.