SAT mishap shouldn’t affect Northeastern

By Taimi Arvidson

After months of investigation, the College Board announced last week that 4,411 students were given incorrect scores for the October 2005 SAT.

The board is making the new scores available to universities, and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions said the mishap will not affect admissions decisions for prospective Northeastern freshmen.

“There’s no impact on the decisions here at Northeastern,” said Kerry Salerno, senior associate director of admissions marketing and communications. “Our decisions weren’t made at the point when we were notified.”

College Board first launched its investigation of the October exam in January, after two requests for hand-rescored exams showed positive score changes. This was the first indication there might have been mistakes on the exam scoring, according to the College Board Web site.

College Board then asked Pearson Educational Measurement, the company that scores most of the exams, to conduct its own investigation. The company found that 4,000 students should have received higher SAT scores because of scanning problems due to humidity in combination with light or incomplete marking of answer sheets, according to the site.

The board also found that 600 students should have received lower scores, but College Board will not report these changed scores to universities, as it is not the board’s policy to punish students for technical errors.

In addition to this oversight, College Board announced on March 17 that it had neglected to rescan 1,600 answer sheets from the October exam. After rescanning those answer sheets, it found that 18 students from that group should have received higher scores.

On March 19, Pearson informed College Board that it had not fully scored 27,000 of the 495,000 original answer sheets from the exam. Following further investigation, Pearson found that 375 students should have received higher scores.

The score difference for the majority of students was less than 100 points over all three sections, according to the site. The students who will receive higher scores have been notified, and College Board refunded any fees the test takers had to pay for the October exam. The board will also notify colleges and high schools that have been affected.

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