It's tough to describe how much I loathe the standardized test industry in the US. I disagree with those who argue it a necessary evil for colleges too overwhelmed with applicants to make a more nuanced evaluation. So it was with some amusement that I read yesterday that their systems had failed this year's batch of college seniors. Now, the story gets thicker:
With college counselors and admissions officials scrambling to take a second look at student scores in the final weeks before they mail out acceptances and rejections, Chiara Coletti, the College Board's vice president for public affairs, said that 16 students out of the 495,000 who took the October exam had scores that should have been more than 200 points higher.Apparently the fact that an error had occurred was reported to colleges earlier in the week, specifically "that nearly 1 percent of the students who took the SAT reasoning test in October, or about 4,000, had received erroneous scores". Obviously this presents some serious difficulties for all involved. Now let's wait for the lawsuits to really start flying.
My one hope is that this will result in a reduction (or elimination) of the standardized tests as a evaluation tool - having had a conversation with someone on one selection commitee of an unnamed university who told me they 'lined they up by their score', I would not be displeased to see a little reality enter the picture.
Thankfully there are some schools, or at least departments, that approach standardized tests a little more reasonably. In my search for a graduate school, I found only one among my choices required the GRE. When I asked why it was being used, I was told that it was essentially to help when an applicant is borderline on other factors. For the vast majority of students, it would have no effect.on Fri Mar 10 13:34:45 2006
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