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ERIC Number: EJ919013
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7732
Racial Differences in Test Preparation Strategies: A Commentary on "Shadow Education, American Style: Test Preparation, the SAT and College Enrollment"
Alon, Sigal
Social Forces, v89 n2 p463-474 Dec 2010
Claudia Buchmann, Dennis Condron and Vincent Roscigno's study, titled "Shadow Education, American Style: Test Preparation, the SAT and College Enrollment," demonstrates that vigorous use of expensive test preparation tools, such as private classes and tutors, significantly boosts scores on standardized exams such as the SAT or ACT. This preparation, in turn, promotes access to more selective institutions. Because access to preparation varies according to social class, it turned out to be a key lever in the social transmission of privilege. One of the noteworthy findings in the BCR study is the racial and ethnic differences in the use of test preparation: blacks and Hispanics are more likely than whites from comparable backgrounds to utilize test preparation. The black-white gap is especially pronounced in the use of high school courses, private courses and private tutors. The Hispanic-white gap is more modest, and is limited to the use of private tutors. In this commentary, the author wishes to delve into the black-white variation in test preparation strategies in order to better understand its patterns and considers its relation to the edge black applicants receive in admissions at selective colleges and universities with affirmative action policies. The author's main objective is to outline a theoretical framework that will shed light on the racial and ethnic disparity in test preparation. In the interest of parsimony, the author focuses on the pronounced black-white differences, yet the data indicates that the patterns for Hispanics and Asians are similar to those for blacks and whites, respectively, which strengthens the generalizability and relevance of the proposed framework. (Contains 1 table, 2 figures and 10 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: SAT (College Admission Test)