After a misprint was found earlier this month in the SAT test booklet relating to the amount of time given to complete two sections, the College Board has decided to not score the sections in question, and said they will waive the fee for those students who wish to retake the exam.
Test booklets for the exam gave participants 25 minutes to complete a section of the reading portion of the test. However, the script handed out to proctors offered only 20 minutes for the same section. Although some proctors did notice the error beforehand, others were notified by students of the error during the exam, causing confusion for students.
While the misprint only occurred in the one reading section of the exam, the College Board maintains that there could have been students in the same room completing the final section of the math portion at the same time, which could have caused them some confusion as well and distracting them from the task at hand. As a result, College Board has decided to not score either section of the exam, writes Motoko Rich for The New York Times.
College Board spokesman Zach Goldberg said that those students who let the board know of their experience taking the exam would be allowed to retake the test at no cost in October. The exam fee is regularly between $43 and $54.50.
He went on to say, “we remain confident in the reliability of scores from the June 6 administration of the SAT and don’t want to cause undue anxiety for students by making them believe they need to sit for the test again.”
Participating students were angry with the decision, sharing their concerns that the exam would not be graded fairly without the two sections. The SATs are used by many colleges across the country as part of their admissions decision-making process.
Students took to social media to release their frustrations.
“One question is going to be worth more points, so for a lot of people it’s not fair to throw this new curve and new grading at them when this test counts for so much and weighs so heavily on their future,” said Courtney Noll, 17, in an interview.
Testing experts also questioned whether the tests could be graded fairly without the two sections.
“It’s a well-known fact in test theory and analysis that fewer items lead to less reliable scores,” said Herbert J. Walberg, an emeritus professor of education and psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who gave the College Board credit for admitting its error.
However, the College Board feels the exam will still deliver fair grades, as it is “designed to collect enough information to provide valid and reliable scores even with an unscored section.”