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Most junior-high-school students who take the Scholastic Aptitude Test do so "to see what it is like,'' a survey by the College Board has found.

Although the tests are used to select participants for some 30 "talent search'' programs for young students offered by colleges nationwide, only 10 percent of the young test-takers enroll in such programs, the survey found.

The findings are based on responses from a sample of 2,672 of the 62,876 junior-high-school students who took the S.A.T. in January 1984.

The young test-takers were less representative of the school population than the college-bound seniors who constituted the majority of students taking the college-admissions test, the study found.

Ninety percent of the younger students were white, it found, and 93 percent said they expected to graduate from college. By comparison, 78 percent of the seniors who took the test in 1987 were white, and 73 percent said they planned to obtain a bachelor's degree.

The results are included in a report, "Young S.A.T. Takers: Two Surveys,'' which also includes findings from a separate study of 44,224 junior-high-school students who took the test in 1980-81.

Copies of the report can be ordered for $6 each from College Board Publications, Box 886, New York, N.Y. 10101-0886.

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