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Southeast : School to Change Its Entrance Exam

October 05, 1995

School officials have changed the entrance exam for prestigious Gretchen Whitney High School in Cerritos because of concerns in recent years that some students had seen test questions early.

Each January, multiple choice exams are administered to about 1,500 sixth-graders in the ABC Unified School District to determine their academic skill levels. The tests help determine which students are eligible to apply for the 165 slots open each year at Whitney High, a seventh- through 12th-grade school known nationally for its academic record.

But in recent years, some private schools in the area gained access to the test through the exam's manufacturing company and were prepping students, said Mary Sieu, district supervisor of special projects.

"I don't think [the company] knew we were using the test for such high stakes," Sieu said.

So the board of trustees voted recently to administer a new test, one that test company officials promise will not be distributed without the district's consent.

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