College Board

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The College Board is an association in the United States that was formed in 1900 as the College Entrance Examination Board. It is composed of more than 5,900 schools, colleges, universities and other educational organizations. It develops and administers standardized tests and curricula used by K-12 and post-secondary education institutions to promote college-readiness and as part of the college admissions process. The College Board is headquartered in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City.[1] David Coleman has been the president of College Board since October 2012. He replaced Gaston Caperton, former Governor of West Virginia, who had held this position since 1999.[2][3]

In addition to managing assessments for which it charges fees, the College Board provides resources, tools and services to students, parents, colleges and universities in the areas of college planning, recruitment and admissions, financial aid, and retention.[4] Funded by grants from various foundations, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation only until 2009.[5] The College Board Schools operate autonomously within New York City public school buildings. A similar program named EXCELerator began a pilot program for the 2006–2007 school year at 11 schools in Washington, D.C.; Jacksonville/Duval County, Florida; and Chicago Public Schools.[6] Both of these school reform programs use the SpringBoard and CollegeEd materials as part of their programs.


The College Entrance Examination Board was founded at Columbia University on Dec. 22, 1899 by representatives of 12 universities and three high school preparatory academies. These were:

  • Columbia University
  • Colgate University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • New York University
  • Barnard College
  • Union College
  • Rutgers University
  • Vassar College
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Women's College of Baltimore (now Goucher College)
  • Princeton University
  • Cornell University
  • Newark Academy
  • Mixed High School, New York
  • Collegiate Institute, New York[7]

The organization's intent was to "adopt and publish a statement of the ground which should be covered and of the aims which should be sought by secondary school teaching in each of the following subjects (and in such others as may be desirable), and a plan of examination suitable as a test for admission to college: Botany, Chemistry, English, French, German, Greek, History, Latin, Mathematics, Physics, Zoology."[8]

CEEB Code[edit]

The College Board maintains a numbered registry of countries, college majors, colleges, scholarship programs, test centers, and high schools. In the United States, in addition to the College Board's internal use this registry is borrowed by other institutions as a means of unambiguous identification; thus, a student might give his or her guidance department not only a college's name and address, but also its CEEB code, to ensure that his or her transcript is sent correctly. There exists a similar set of ACT codes for colleges and scholarships, centers, and high schools, however these codes are less widely used outside ACT, Inc.

Tests and programs[edit]

SAT and SAT Subject Tests[edit]

The SAT Reasoning Test is a fee-based, standardized test for college admissions in the United States first administered in 1926.[9] The SAT is administered by the College Board in the United States and is developed, published, and scored by the Educational Testing Service. SAT Subject Tests are intended to measure student performance in specific areas, such as mathematics, science, and history. In the marketplace, the SAT competes with the ACT, another organization's standardized college admissions test.

The SAT is an aptitude test, meaning that it tests a person's ability to analyze and solve problems. It focuses on writing, reading, and mathematics. SAT scores range from 600 to 2,400, with each of the 3 sections being worth 200–800 points. This is a timed test that currently allots three hours and 45 minutes, and costs $50. Most students take the test during their junior or senior year of high school.


PSAT/NMSQT stands for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. It's a fee-based standardized test that provides first-hand practice for the SAT Reasoning Test. It also functions as a qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation scholarship programs.

Advanced Placement Program[edit]

The College Board's Advanced Placement Program is an extensive program that offers high school students the chance to participate in what the College Board describes as college level classes for a fee, reportedly broadening students' intellectual horizons and preparing them for college work. It also plays a large part in the college admissions process, showing students' intellectual capacity and genuine interest in learning. The program allows many students to gain college credit for high performance on the AP exams, much in the same manner as the CLEP. Granting credit, however, is at the discretion of the college. Critics of the Advanced Placement Program charge that courses and exams focus on breadth of content coverage instead of depth. There are 2,900 colleges that grant credit or advanced standing.

College Level Examination Program[edit]

College Level Examination Program provides students of any age with the opportunity to demonstrate college-level achievement through a program of exams in undergraduate college courses.


The College Board's Accuplacer test is a computer-based placement test that assesses reading, writing and math skills.[10] The Accuplacer test includes reading comprehension, sentence skills, arithmetic, elementary algebra, college-level mathematics and the writing test, Writeplacer. The Accuplacer also offers a suite of ESL tests.[11] The Accuplacer test is used primarily by more than 1,000 high schools and colleges[12] to determine a student's needed placement. Often community colleges have specific guidelines for students requiring the Accuplacer test. The Accuplacer Companion paper-and-pencil tests allows for students with disabilities to take the test through its braille, large print and audio tests. The biggest benefit of the Accuplacer and Accuplacer Companion tests are its ability to be scored immediately through an online scoring system and taken in remote locations. While there are normally no fees for taking the test, some institutions may charge a fee to retake the test. Note that if a testing institution is not local, an examinee may be required to arrange a proctor for the test. If so, a local library may be willing to serve as proctor as there are not many other options for individuals in this case. Most schools will only test their own admissions candidates.


Spring Board is a pre-Advanced Placement Program created by the College Board to prepare students who intend to take AP courses or college-level courses in their scholastic career. Based on Wiggins and McTighe's Understanding by Design model, the SpringBoard program attempts to map knowledge into scholastic skill sets in preparation for advanced placement testing and college success. Units of instruction are titrated to students within and across all school grades, providing a vertically articulated curriculum framework that scaffolds learning skills and subject test knowledge. Implicit in the course curriculum, the program embeds pre-AP and AP teaching and learning strategies across grade school levels and classwork.

The curriculum is applicable to grades 6 through 12. Teachers are provided with formative assessments, professional training, and a variety of teaching tools to track student progress. The instructional framework is integrated in the curriculum content and subject materials. SpringBoard also provides other Web 2.0 resources aimed at making the program more community oriented.