College Board to offer new test

Oct. 23, 2008 at 3:14 PM

NEW YORK, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Critics say a new College Board test for eighth graders will accelerate stress over college admissions and increasingly affect younger children.

"Who needs yet another pre-college standardized exam when there is already a pre-SAT and the SAT test itself?" Robert Schaeffer, spokesman for FairTest, a nonpartisan group that supports making standardized tests optional for college and university admissions, asked of The New York Times.

The College Board argues the new test it unveiled Wednesday will help prepare eighth graders for tough high school courses and college, the Times reported Thursday.

Called ReadiStep, the test has nothing to do with college admissions, said Lee Jones, a College Board vice president. "It's a diagnostic tool to provide information about students' strengths and weaknesses," he said.

The College Board, which owns the SAT and PSAT, said ReadiStep will cost less than $10 per student, can be completed within two hours and is divided into three multiple-choice sections of critical reading, writing skills and mathematics.

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