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An Israeli model for putting the SAT to the test

To the editor: Karin Klein addresses the value of the SAT in predicting college success. ("A better SAT, or just a better bottom line for the College Board?" Opinion, March 4)

Typically, top colleges and universities admit only those with good-to-excellent SAT scores. In order to really measure the predictive value of the SAT test, those colleges would have to admit students with a wider range of scores. These students would be followed throughout their college years, and the colleges could then determine which aspects of the SAT were good predictors and which ones were not, and which aspects of success in college (dropout rates, grades in different subjects, difficulty of classes and so on) can be predicted by the test.

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When I was an undergraduate at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the department of psychology did just that. (In Israel you apply to a specific department, and acceptance is based on an entrance test.) For one year it accepted twice as many students, including those whose scores were not as good, and that enabled them to refine the entrance exam.

Maya Levinson, Los Angeles

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