April 5, 2006

Univ. Admissions Handles College Board Misgrading

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Approximately 175 Cornell applicants were affected by the recently revealed scoring errors on the October 2005 administration of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, according to Jason Locke, director of undergraduate admissions.

The College Board, which administers the SAT, announced on March 23 that 27,000 of the 495,000 exams administered in October were not scored properly due to the effects of excess humidity on the answer sheets. Amongst those, 4,441 students received lower scores than they had earned. Efforts were being made to contact the affected students and the colleges they applied to.

“We deeply regret the anxiety and inconvenience that this problem undoubtedly has caused,” the announcement said. “The College Board will put whatever resources we need into resolving this type of situation. Our goal is that students and their families never have to experience such inconvenience again and colleges never have to be caught in such a trying situation during the hectic admissions season.”

According to the Washington Post, the College Board only reported scores lowered by the scanning error, not those improperly raised. The Associated Press reports that at least 600 students may have received inflated scores.

Locke said that although the admissions office re-reviewed each affected applications, no decisions were changed on the basis of the revised scores.

“I am not convinced that all the information is available to us regarding the problems with scoring,” he said, adding that the University is expecting a more thorough explanation of what happened to cause the errors and of what kind of oversight the College Board plans to implement as a consequence.

In the Class of 2009, 67 percent of students had SAT verbal scores of above 650, while 33 percent had scores below 650. 82 percent had math scores above 650 while 18 percent had scores below that mark.

Cornell began mailing its regular admissions decisions to applicants for the Class 2010 on March 30, according to Doris Davis, associate provost for admissions and enrollment.

Archived article by Chris Barnes
Sun Staff Writer