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Change for the better?

EDITOR: Are the changes the College Board making to the SAT helpful or harmful? This standardized test is being reduced to the original 1,600-point evaluation scale with the subtraction of the mandatory essay portion. The test will also eliminate the need to know "obscure vocabulary words" as The Press Democrat's editorial said ("More changes put the SAT to the test," March 11). But why do we need to dumb down the test in order for people to raise their scores?

It seems to me as though we are changing the wrong variable here. Yes, there is debate over whether this is an accurate way to test knowledge, but it is the best solution yet. The problem is not the test but the students. One in every 5,000 students receives a perfect score, so what happens to these people once the test is made less difficult?

This great achievement will be watered down by those who otherwise would not receive such an accomplishment if the test was not altered. I hope that after the change is made, the number of people receiving the top scores doesn't change as well.

ELIZABETH PATERNOSTER

Santa Rosa


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