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Math Ability/Performance:
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) Abstracts
T. Andreescu, J. A. Gallian, J. M. Kane, and J. E. Mertz,
Cross-cultural analysis of students with exceptional talent in
mathematical problem solving
“This article presents for the first time
a comprehensive compilation of data, including
cross-cultural comparisons, regarding young
people identified during the past twenty years
as possessing profound aptitude for mathematics
based upon their performances in extremely
difficult examinations in mathematical problem
solving. We show that many girls exist who possess
such extremely high aptitude for mathematics.
The frequency with which they are identified is
due, at least in part, to a variety of socio-cultural,
educational, or other environmental factors that
differ significantly among countries and ethnic
groups and can change over time. Girls were found
to be 12%-24% of the children identified as having
profound mathematical ability when raised under
some conditions; under others, they were 30-fold
or more underrepresented. Thus, we conclude
that girls with exceptional mathematical talent
exist; their identification and nurturing should be
substantially improved so this pool of exceptional
talent is not wasted.”
C. P. Benbow and J. Stanley, Sex differences in mathematical
ability: Fact or artifact?
Benbow and Stanley analyzed data from the the Johns Hopkins Study for
Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) to conclude “sex
differences in achievement in and attidude towards mathematics
result from superior male mathematical ability...[it] is probably
a combination of both endogeneous and exogeneous variables.”
This Benbow and Stanley article has both been widely cited
and just as widely criticized.
B. Bridgeman and C. Wendler, Gender differences in
predictors of college mathematics performance and in college mathematics
course grades
Includes: Means, standard deviations, and gender differences across all
courses. (table); Correlations of scholastic aptitude & descriptive
questionnaire scores. (table); Means, standard deviations, and gender
differences for algebra courses. (table)
M. B. Casey, R. Nuttall, E. Pezaris, and C. P. Benbow, The
influence of spatial ability on gender differences in mathematics college
entrance test scores across diverse samples
The relationship between mental rotation ability and gender differences in
Scholastic Aptitude Test - Math (SAT-M) across diverse samples was
investigated. Talented preadolescents, college students, and high- and
low-ability college-bound youths, totaling 760, were administered the
Vandenberg Mental Rotation Test. Gender comparisons showed male
outperforming female students in both mental rotation and SAT-M for all 3
high-ability groups but not for the low-ability group. For all female
samples, mental rotation predicted math aptitude even when SAT - Verbal
was entered first into the regression. For male samples, the relationship
varied as a function of sample. When mental rotation ability was
statistically adjusted for, the significant gender difference in SAT-M was
eliminated for the college sample and the high-ability college-bound
students. This suggests that spatial ability may be responsible in part
for mediating gender differences in math aptitude among these groups
COPYRIGHT American Psychological Association Inc. 1995
A. M. Gallagher and R. D. Lisi, Gender differences in
Scholastic Aptitude Test-Mathematics problem solving among high-ability
students
A study of the effect of gender on problem solving strategies of high
school students. Interviews were conducted with high school students with
SAT-M scores of 670 or higher. High SAT-M scores were correlated with
confidence, persistence, and other positive attitudes towards math,
whereas use of conventional problem solving strategies was correlated with
such negative attitudes as dislike and nonrelevance.
D. K. Leonard, J. Jiang, Gender Bias and the College Predictions of the SATs:A Cry of Despair
This study reviews and extends the considerable literature demonstrating that the various College Board examinations (most importantly the Scholastic Aptitude Tests) make a small underprediction of women's college grades relative to those of men in all fields except engineering. This finding persists even when corrections are made for differences in the fields that women and men study and for sample selection bias. Because of this under prediction, women most probably are underrepresented relative to their merit in freshman classes and scholarship competitions at selective public universities. The differences in predicted grades are small, but account for an underrepresentation of women by at least 5% of the freshman classes of the University of California atBerkeley (200 to 300 a year) in the late 1980s. Various solutions to this underprediction by the SATs and the dilemmas they pose for public universities such as Berkeley are explored.
L. D. Miller, C. E. Mitchell, and M. V. Ausdall, Evaluating
achievement in mathematics: exploring the gender biases of timed testing
The study investigates the effect of time limits on SAT-type practice
exams.
H. Wainer and L. S. Steiberg, Sex differences in
performance on the mathematics section of the Scholastic Aptitude Test: a
bidirectional validity study
A study of the mathematics section of the Scholastic Aptitude Test
(SAT-M) and performances of men and women in this section in connection
with their performance in a freshman math course is outlined. Results
show that the SAT-M disfavors women such that women generally perform less
well than men although their academic performances in college are similar.
The causes of this differential validity by sex are political and not
scientific and, as such, are similar to the issue of racial and
linguistic biases.