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Effect of Family Income on Students’ Performance in SAT Tests


Introduction

Family income is the main method used to measure a country’s financial success. Most countries measure the family income in the country. Household income is different from family income. Household income consists of two types of income earners who bring their resources together. In addition, household income considers all family members in a family. On the other hand, family income considers two or more people who are related by either blood, marriage and adoption. Family income affects various things in a country. For instance, family income affects the prosperity of a country and its citizens. People who have enough family income find it easy to succeed than people who do not have enough family income. Additionally, family income affects the students Student's S.A.T. Scores in different ways. This paper determines how family income affects the student’s scores. It provides a methodology to determine the impact of family income on student performance.


Discussion

Effect of family income on students SAT performance and justification

Family income affects the performance of students in SAT in different ways.For instance; children from poor families have not been able to achieve their academic dreams due to financial constraints. On the other hand, children from rich families have been able to perform well in their SAT examinations as they do not have financial challenges. This has been evidenced by a series of studies carried out to determine the impact of family income on students SAT score. For example, Joyce carried out a study to determine the impact of family income on disadvantaged gifted learners in Midwest.


The findings from the study showed that low income hinders gifted students from performing well. Gifted students from poor families find it dificuty to exploit their potential as they are not able to participate in special programs. Most students from rich families are able to participate in special programs outside the district of resident and this enhances the students’ ability. The students find it easy to perform well in their SAT. Moreover, students from poor families are not able to enhance their ability and this affects their overall performance including their S.AT score (VanTassel-baska &Willis, 2007).

Most researchers argue that there is a close relationship between students SAT score and family income. The researchers argue that students from rich families are able to perform well than students from poor families. This was confirmed in a study carried out by Catherine. Catherine carried out the research to determine how family income is linked to SAT score. The researchers used students from different institutions. Two thirds of the students taking the test reported their family income while sitting for the SAT examination. After that the researcher grouped the students SAT scores according to the family income. The results from the study confirmed that students that came from poor families scored low marks in the study. On the other hand, students who came from poor families scored good marks (VanTassel-baska &Willis, 2007).


For example, students whose family income was $20,000 scored 434. While students whose income was$40,000 and $60,000 scored 488 and 503 in critical thinking. The students were also grouped according to family income when taking mathematics. The results proved that students whose family income was $20,000 scored 457 in mathematics. Further, students whose income ranged between $60,000 and $80,000 scored 512. In addition, students whose income ranged between $160,000 and $200,000 scored 554 in their math tests. The results proved that the SAT score increased with the increase in family income. Hence, students from poor families found it hard to score good marks compared to students from rich families (Rampell, 2009).


The researcher also determined the impact of family income on students writing activities. The outcome of the study showed that students whose family income ranged between $20,000 and $40,000 scored 453 and students whose income ranged between $100,000 and $120,000   scored 516. The researcher noted that as family income increased, the performance of the students improved (Rampell, 2009).


Though there are other factors that affect the performance of the student in SAT scores like gender and race, family income influences students score greatly. This is evidenced by studies carried out by researchers like Gregory and Sharon. The researchers carried out a study to determine the effect of family income, gender and race on students’ performance in SAT scores (Rampell, 2009).

 

The students SAT score can range between 600 and 2400.600 is considered the lowest end while 2400 is the upper limit. Each of the SAT section is worth 200 points or 800 points. For instance, critical reading, writing and mathematics can be worth 200 pints to 800 points. Students are supposed to perform well in their SAT so as to be able to get a chance in best schools in the country. For example, the students are supposed to get almost 21 points and above. However, most students are not able to get such points due to financial challenges. The studies listed above have shown that the students’ performance in SAT depends on the family socioeconomic status. Students from socioeconomic advantaged families performed well in their SAT families compared to children from poor families. This is because they were able to score almost 700 points in three sections. Hence, most of students from disadvantaged families score poor marks in SAT and this hinders them from getting chances in better institutions. This is according to Julian Fernald (Fernald, 2009).


Julian carried out a study in the University of California to determine how socioeconomic status affected the admission of students in the university. The researcher noted that students SAT performance was influenced by socioeconomic factors. The researcher used first year students admitted to the institution in the study. The students were admitted on the basis of their SAT scores. The researcher dismissed the use of SAT scores to admit students as it affected students. The researcher argued that using SAT scores to admit students denied students from poor family backgrounds an opportunity to join good institutions. Most institutions like university of California used SAT results to admit students to the institution. The institution uses SAT 1 examination to admit students. The researcher claimed that the institution should use SAT II instead of SAT1 to admit students in the institution. This is because SATII results were more accurate than SATI results as they are not affected by socioeconomic factors (Fernald, 2009).


 

Other researchers have disapproved the claim that family income affects SAT scores. The researchers claim that students’ performance is influenced by other factors but not necessary family income. The researchers claim that the students’ performance in SAT examinations is influenced by genetic factors. There is a strong correlation between genetic factors and student performance. Children inherit different genes from their parents. The genetic materials inherited affect their behavior in various ways. For instances, the genetic material can hinder students from performing well. Also, the genetic material can enhance students’ performance in examination. Thus, the poor performance in SAT examination can be as a result of genetic factors, but not socioeconomic factors. In addition, the researchers argue that personality of a student can affect students’ performance. Students having good personality can find it easy to perform well in their examination compared to students who have bad personality. The researchers claim that there is no correlation between the performance of adopted children in SAT test and the income of the adopted parents. Hence, the student’s performance is affected by genetic factors and personality (Fernald, 2009).


The research question will help determine whether family income affects the performance of students in SAT examination. The impact of family income on students SAT performance has become a debatable issue. People have different views about the topic. Some think family income has little impact on the performance of the student as stated above. Others think that family income affects students’ achievement in SAT examination. The research question is aimed at clarifying the issue by analyzing various literatures and studies that show the effect of family income and student’s performance as shown above. This will in turn help people understand the negative impact of family income on students and find measures to address socioeconomic issues in the society. For instance, the government will be able to provide financial aid to students from poor families so as to enable them to perform well. In addition, the research is important as it will help institutions change methods used to admit students to the institutions. The institutions will be able to adapt better methods instead of SAT tests as the disadvantaged children do not benefit from the tests and end up loosing chances in learning institutions (Fernald, 2009).


Methodology

Research questions

The researcher will use a wide range of questions that are based on the literature review section. First, the researcher will determine how the family income affects the students S.A.T scores. Family income affects the performance of students in different ways. For instance, adequate family income enables the students to perform well. This is because the student is always comfortable and finds it easy to read and comprehend the material.


On the other hand, low family income lowers the students’ performance as the student is not able to concentrate due to financial difficulties. This in turn affects the student achievement in S.AT. Additionally, the students from families that have enough income can also perform poorly   as the students performance is influenced by various factors apart from family income. Also, students from poor families can also perform well as the performance of the students is affected by other factors like handwork apart from family income. The research will try to establish the relationship between the family income and students S.AT score (Creswell, 2003). The research questions include

What is the impact of high family income on students’ performance in S.AT?

What is the effect of low family income on students’ performance in S.AT?


Research design

The researcher will use quantitative research design and qualitative research design. The research designs will enable the researcher get results that are accurate and up to date. The qualitative research design is used to answer various questions like how family income affects student’s performance in S.AT. The research design enables the researcher to collect non numerical data and answer the research questions accordingly. Moreover, the research design helps ensure the research findings are not subjective. This is because the researcher is not able to influence the results of the study. The quantitative research design will enable the researcher to use a large sample size in his study. For instance, the researcher will be able to use 100 participants. The research design will also enable the research to use statistical techniques to analyze data collected. The research will also be able to gather numerical data. The quantitative research design and qualitative research design will make it easy for the researcher to eliminate the shortcomings of each research design (Creswell, 2003).


 

Participants

The researcher will use 80 participants. That is 40 females and 40 males. The participants will be students from different learning institutions in the country. The researcher will use random selection method to select the participants. This will ensure the students’ population is well represented (Creswell, 2003).


 

Research instruments

There are different types of research instruments that the research can use to collect data from the participants. For instance, the researcher can use interviews and questionnaires to collect data from the participants. The researcher will interview the participants. The interview questions will be related to the research questions above. For instance, the researcher will ask the participants to explain how family income affects student’s achievement in SAT examination. Using interviews during research has a lot of benefits. First, it gives the researcher an opportunity to ask the participant to clarify his or her point. It also makes it easy for the researcher to collect data from participants who have difficulties in reading and writing. The researcher will also use questionnaires. The questionnaires will have a series of questions related to the research topic (Creswell, 2003).


 

Research procedure

The first step in carrying out the research is to get permission from the participants. The research should ensure the participants are aware of the research objectives. He should also get permission from the administration. After that the research should issue the participants with questionnaires. The participants will answer the research questions accordingly. In addition, the researcher will interview the participants. After collecting data from the participants, the researcher will be required to code the data accordingly. Coding data makes it easy for the research to analyze data gathered. Then analyze data collected using various statistical methods and software like SPSS. Lastly, the researcher will make the right conclusion .The conclusion should be inline with the results of the study (Creswell, 2003).


 

Conclusion

A wide range of studies have been carried out to determine the effect of family income on student’s performance in SAT examination. The findings from the studies have shown that family income influences the performance of students in different ways. For example, students from rich families perform better in SAT examination than students from poor families. This is because students from rich families are able to advance their capabilities unlike students from poor families. Though there are other factors that affect student’s performance, family income has a strong impact than other factors. Studying the relationship between family income and students SAT performance helps institutions imperove their admission methods. Most institutions use SAT performance which makes it hard for poor students to join quality institutions. It will also help the government in designing better strategies to overcome the gap and also provide financial help.


 

Reference

Creswell,J.W.(2003).Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches. SAGE

Fernald,J.(2009).Preliminary Findings on the Relationship between SAT Scores,

High School GPA, Socioeconomic Status, and UCSC Freshman GPA. Retrieved from http://senate.ucsc.edu/cafa/SATGPA.htm on 06/04/2011

Rampell,C.(2009).SAT Scores and Family Income. Retrieved from

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/27/sat-scores-and-family-income/ on 6/04/2011

 

VanTassel-baska,.,&Willis,G.(2007).A Three Year Study of The Effects of Low Income on SAT Scores Among the Academically Able. Gifted Child Quarterly .Vol 51, page 320-329


 

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