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An Illustrative Study of Foreign Candidates for College Board Examinations ESL SAT

Howell, John J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Board, Biographical Inventories, College Entrance Examinations, English as a Second Language (ESL), Foreign Students, Quebec (Montreal), Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Student Characteristics


A questionnaire to solicit background information concerning foreign candidates for College Entrance Examination Board tests was developed. From a trial administration in Montreal, Canada, data were analyzed for 56 male and 32 female foreign candidates. For 39 students, the native language was English, for twelve it was French, and for seventeen, other languages. Of the native English speakers, Scholastic Aptitude Test-Verbal (SAT-V) scores were not exceptional, but Scholastic Aptitude Test-Mathematics (SAT-M) scores were somewhat high. For this group, correlation between SAT-M and SAT-V was .46. There was a strong relationship between the English Composition Test (ECT) and the SAT-V, as there was between the Intermediate Mathematics Test (IMT) and the SAT-M. The native French speakers scored very low on the SAT-V and fairly high on the SAT-M. The low mean score on the ECT tended to confirm low mean SAT-V scores. The mean score on the IMT corresponded closely with the SAT-M score. However, the SAT- V and SAT-M group scores were practically uncorrelated. Of the students whose native language was not English or French, mean scores were somewhat higher on SAT-V and somewhat lower on SAT-M than the French speakers. Respondents indicated their experience with the English language. It was concluded that the questionnaire yielded useful information. Further revision and administration were recommended.

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