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The Effects of Special Preparation on SAT-Verbal Scores SAT

Alderman, Donald L.; Powers, Donald E.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Aptitude Tests, Coaching, Instruction, SAT, Verbal Ability


This study examined the effectiveness of secondary school programs specifically designed to improve student performance on the SAT®-Verbal component. Students at eight schools were randomly assigned to either a treatment group which was given special preparation for the SAT-V or a control group with access to the same preparation delayed for the purposes of the study. The programs of special preparation were those already in place at the public and private secondary schools selected as participants. A special administration of the SAT served as the posttest. Special preparation resulted in an overall difference of eight points, on the SAT-V scale of 200-800 points, between the treatment and control groups. The difference corresponded to one additional item correct for students receiving special preparation and stemmed primarily from student performance on analogy and antonym test items.

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