Controversy Surrounding The ADVERSITY SCORES

Tutela Controversy surrounding the ADVERSITY SCORES

Adversity Scores

Since a lot of people are having a hard time understanding the concept of Adversity Scores, let us simplify it for you.


  1. SAT Adversity Score, also known as ‘Student’s Disadvantage Level’, is a number that the College Board calculates from the information it receives on different aspects of an SAT taker’s socioeconomic conditions.
  2. It is calculated on a scale of 1 to 100, with 50 being the average. The score obtained indicates the student’s “overall disadvantage level” compared to that of the other applicants worldwide.
  3. The adversity score is calculated by considering 31 aspects of a student’s life. These aspects fall into the following four broad categories:
  4. Income and Family Structure
  5. Housing
  6. Educational Attainment
  7. High school and neighbourhood environment


  1. To avoid and eventually eradicate cheating scandals during ACT/SAT
  2. To remove the ‘test-optional’ and/or ‘test-flexible’ clause in order to make Standardized Testing a mandatory requirement for college admissions
  3. To ameliorate the score gap between students with different backgrounds
  4. To increase diversity in the admissions to some extent
  5. To make it easier for colleges to identify students who scored against the odds


  1. It is a waste of time and resources for the College Board in trawling through the information that colleges already have.
  2. College Board refuses to disclose how adversity scores are calculated, making it unacceptable to the public.
  3. It is likely to increase anxiety among test takers and college applicants.
  4. It will disproportionately affect domestic test takers while giving a leg-up to international students.
  5. It relies on undefined categories of data for calculation.
  6. There’s not a straight line connecting socioeconomic background to SAT performance.
  7. The fact that the College Board does not want students to know their adversity scores reflects their own discomfort with the concept.

This is the current update on the status of the Adversity Scores by the College Board. Keep visiting this page for further new updates related to the matter or fill out Tutela’s student assistance form or call us directly at +91–8826345541 for any queries.