SAT Scores May Count ... in Your 40s

Companies asking job candidates for their scores, even into middle age

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 2, 2014 8:54 AM CST

(Newser) – Even if you have gray hair and can't really remember taking the SATs, your scores could still come back to haunt you. The Wall Street Journal finds that companies are asking job candidates for their scores even into middle age. College entrance exam scores, says a recruitment head at Boston Consulting Group, provide insight on a candidate's "basic building blocks of success." "When you're hiring people and they don't have a lot of work experience, you have to start with some set of data points," notes a marketing VP in Virginia. But the Journal reports that it isn't just job-market newbies being asked: Some companies on the hunt for senior sales and management employees are requesting them, "eliciting scores from job candidates in their 40s and 50s."

Some say that the tests are helpful when potential hires come from varied backgrounds—though the Journal notes racial inequality in both SAT and ACT scores. Bain & Co., McKinsey & Co., and Goldman Sachs are among employers who seek scores from those just out of college. Google used to look at test results, but internal studies revealed "very little correlation between SAT scores and job performance," says a spokesman; the company stopped using such metrics two years back. A dean at Carnegie Mellon University agrees. "It is a little confounding how a test somebody took when they were 17 predicts success in a competitive workplace when they're 22." If you want to see how your own score stacks up, the Journal has an interactive here. Meanwhile, a new study raises doubts as to whether the scores even predict college performance very well.

SAT scores may count well beyond college applications.
SAT scores may count well beyond college applications.   (Shutterstock)
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