For students who took the June 6, 2015 administration of the SAT, know that two sections will not be scored. That’s right. Two sections are going in the trash. And why? Not because of cheating students but rather because of printing errors. That’s right. Printing errors in the instruction booklets for students who took the SAT within the United States. So, to our understanding, for the first time in the history of the SAT (it’s a long history!), two entire sections are going to waste. But the test will still be scored. College Board’s position, after all, is that they don’t need the results of these two sections to score the exam.
Valerie Strauss, the education reporter for “The Washington Post” who covers all things SAT-related (she has led the charge in the coverage of the SAT cheating scandals in Asia this year) writes, “Students, parents and others are questioning whether final test results, which normally include scores from 10 sections, can be the same with two sections discarded. The College Board says that the results can be the same because the test is designed to collect enough information, even if the entire test is not scored. Test prep experts say this situation has never happened with the SAT before in the United States.”
There are whispers of pending litigation against College Board for the printing error. And there are whispers that College Board will allow students to retake the exam in October…for free. But for many students and their parents, it’s not about the fee to take the test. Allowing students to take the exam for free doesn’t change the fact that these students prepped for a June administration of the test and College Board wasn’t able to offer them a typical SAT, one that’s graded as SAT exams have been graded in the past. So, as a proposed solution, why not offer the exam over the summer months to those students who wish to take it again? This way, they won’t have to wait until October to take it again. This way, all their prep will still be fresh in their brains. This way, they can hone in on which school they should apply Early to over the summer months instead of right before the November deadline.
We fully understand that College Board — and any testing agency for that matter — can make mistakes with exams. It happens. When you offer so many tests, there are bound to be mistakes. But proposing that these students who wish to retake the exam do so in October for free is not a good solution. Be more creative, College Board, and folks will be more sympathetic to your mistakes. Allow these students to retake the exam at an earlier time if they so wish. This exam would be just for them.
What do you think College Board should do about this mess? We’re curious to hear your thoughts on the subject so post a Comment below.