College Entrance Examinations

Objective Selection or Gatekeeping for the Economically Privileged
  • Winton H. Manning
  • Rex Jackson
Part of the Perspectives on Individual Differences book series (PIDF)


Although arguments concerning the usefulness of tests in education are not new (Cronbach, 1975), the last few years have seen two changes that should be noted. First, there has been a significant escalation in the intensity of the criticism directed at tests, so that a large proportion of those concerned with education—teachers, legislators, administrators, parents, and students—are disturbed, if not bewildered, by the vehemence and persistence of the attacks on tests. Second, the testing controversy has been increasingly centered on the public journalistic domains of newspapers, television, and popular magazines, rather than within the traditional scientific framework of educational research and professional literature. This has led inevitably to a reduction in the quality and the intellectual depth of the debates, as the most extreme critics are largely unfamiliar not only with the empirical research on testing but with the methodology of social science generally. Furthermore, the public has little understanding of and less patience for technical and scientific argument and is easily misled by superficial stereotypes, at least in the short run.


Test Score Social Mobility Minority Student Black Student College Entrance Examination 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Winton H. Manning
    • 1
  • Rex Jackson
    • 2
  1. 1.Educational Testing ServicePrincetonUSA
  2. 2.Applied Educational ResearchPrincetonUSA

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