According to an article in US Today, which cites two recent studies, the writing section of the SAT introduced in 2006 does a better job of prediction freshman performance than the older math and verbal sections of the exam.
"The College Board, which administers the SAT, studied test scores from 150,000 freshmen entering 110 colleges in 2006 and then looked at their GPAs at the end of their freshmen year, says Wayne Camara, vice president of research.
‘Our study suggests that the writing test is the best single predictor’ of freshman grades, he says. The study won’t be finalized until summer, he says."
The article also pointed to a UC study which looked at 2006 UC entering students, their writing scores, and their freshman grades and came to similar conclusions.
The UC study concludes, however, that high school GPA still remains the best predictor of college performance.
Look for more schools to require the writing portion of the SAT as part of their application requirements.