In or Out?: The Effect of PSAT Testing Practices on College-Going Behavior

Johnson, Kelsey M, Department of Economics, University of Virginia
Turner, Sarah, E0:CU-Leadshp, Fndns & Pol Studies, University of Virginia

This study will examine the effect of school-level PSAT test-taking policies on multiple college-related outcomes: the likelihood of students to take the SAT, which will serve as a proxy for the tendency of students in a particular high school to desire to go to college after graduation, the average number of applications per graduate sent to colleges from a particular school, and the average rate of college enrollment from a particular school. While there have been several studies that investigate "opt-out" college entrance exam policies at the level of the SAT and the ACT, there are no studies to-date about the effect of the PSAT, or pre-college entrance exam testing. By studying how varying PSAT testing practices across Virginia public high schools affect college-related outcomes, I will evaluate how the PSAT may encourage or discourage students to pursue the college track. Schools typically employ either an "opt-in" or "opt-out" PSAT policy: either students must actively seek PSAT test registration, or they are automatically signed up and will take the test if they show up to school on the test date, respectively.

An Excerpt from page (3).

BA (Bachelor of Arts)

"Submitted to the Distinguished Majors Program Department of Economics."

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