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College Board Rescores 15,500 Tests

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The College Board announced last week that it has retabulated the results of 15,500 SAT subject exams which were scored incorrectly last fall.

The New York City-based organization, which sponsors the SAT and Advanced Placement exams, will soon send colleges revised score reports for all students who took the November 1997 SAT II: Subject Tests in mathematics, level IIC, and in Japanese reading and listening.

The errors occurred when testing officials tried to equate this year's test scores with those of previous years to ensure that, for example, a score of 500 out of 800 possible points on a 1997 version of a test means the same as a 500-point score on a 1996 examination. Officials discovered the errors during a statistical review of the test results.

The College Board has asked the Princeton, N.J.-based Educational Testing Service, which administers the exams, to institute quality controls to ensure that similar scoring errors don't happen again.

The scores of some low-performing students dropped by as much as 100 points, but the average score dipped roughly 15 to 20 points, said Janice Gams, the associate director of public affairs for the College Board.

The mathematics exam accounted for 14,900 of the scores that were changed. The Japanese exam accounted for the remaining 600.

Representatives from various colleges and universities have assured the College Board that the test-score changes will likely not affect admissions decisions.

The colleges that require the subject-area exams tend to be more selective, Ms. Gams said. Their applicant pools thus would be more likely to include high-scoring students, whose test scores were not greatly affected by the revisions, she said.

--JESSICA L. SANDHAM

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