Back in 2016 I wrote:

A study by Meredith C. Frey and Douglas K. Detterman found a 0.48 correlation between the re-centered SAT and the Raven Progressive Matrices in a sample of 104 university undergrads, but after correcting for range restriction, they estimate the correlation to be 0.72 in a less restricted sample of college students.  I don’t buy it, but I’m not interested in how well the re-centred SAT would correlate with the Raven among college students, but among ALL American young adults. (including the majority who never took the SAT).

Using the Frey and Detterman data, I decided to look at the Raven scores of those who scored 1400-1600 on the re-centred SAT, because 1500 on the new SAT (reading + math) corresponds to an IQ of 143 (U.S. white norms), which is 46 points above the U.S. mean of 97. Now if the new SAT correlated 0.72 or higher among ALL American adults, we’d expect their Raven scores to only regress to no less than 72% as far above the U.S. mean, so 0.72(46) + 97 = IQ 130.

I personally looked at the scatter plot carefully and did my best to write down the RAPM IQs of every single participant with an SAT score from 1400-1600. This was an admittedly subjective and imprecise exercise given how small the graph is, but I counted 38 top SAT performers and these were their approximate RAPM IQs: 95, 102, 105, 108, 108, 110, 110, 113, 113, 113, 113, 113, 117, 117, 117, 117, 117, 120, 120, 120, 122, 122, 128, 128, 128, 128, 134, 134, 134, 134, 134, 134, 134, 134, 134, 134, 134, 134


The median IQ is 120, and it does not need to be converted to white norms because the Raven was normed in lily white Iowa circa 1993, but as commenter Tenn noted, I should have perhaps corrected for the Flynn effect since the norms were ten years old at the time of the study.  Correcting for the Flynn effect reduces the median to 118 (U.S. white norms) which is 21 points above the U.S. mean of 97.

For people who are 46 IQ points above the U.S. mean on the new SAT to regress to only 21 points above the U.S. mean, suggests the new SAT correlates 21/46 = 0.46 with the Raven in the general U.S. population.

I maintain that the SAT only correlates 0.46 with the Raven in the general U.S. population, however it now seems that this mediocre correlation may be more the fault of the Raven than the SAT.

In a 2017 study by Dimitri van der Lindena, Curtis S. Dunkelb, Guy Madison, the Raven was found to have a g loading of 0.609 in 900 American healthy young adults.


As Arthur Jensen has noted, the correlation between two tests is a product of their factor loading, so assuming the SAT and Raven have only the g factor in common, the estimated 0.46 correlation between the SAT and Raven, (if all American young adults took the SAT), implies the SAT has a g loading of 0.46 divided by the Raven’s 0.609 g loading.

Thus the SAT may have a high g loading of 0.76!