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After countless hours spent in preparatory classes and memorizing vocabulary, students were greeted with a surprise on the SAT test administered by College Board this past June. Due to a misprint in both the proctor’s instructional booklet and students’ test booklets, proctors incorrectly timed the last two sections of the June SAT. College Board responded to this mistake by eliminating sections eight and nine from the scores. However, this meant that scores from earlier sections had a greater impact on the composite SAT grade. The College Board also offered these students a free retake for October of the same year.
Usually, sections eight and nine are each twenty minutes long. The proctor’s booklet instructed to give the students twenty minutes for both sections, even though the test booklet said to give twenty-five minutes each. As a result, proctors provided students with varying times.
Senior Triparna Banik felt the removal of the two sections “was really unfair” because it was her first time taking it. She stated, “I don’t understand how they can compose a proper score while discounting two sections. It also amazes me how such a big corporation can mess up on a nationwide standardized test.”
Princeton Review SAT instructor Joshua Nelson noted that he believes ETS, the company that writes and administers the SAT, “does a fine job writing the tests.” He continued, “They’ve been writing and administering the SAT for decades, and they’ve made very few errors. I do not think this mishap undermines their integrity all that much.”
Senior Marcus Barbu weighed in on the incident, saying, “At first I was kind of nervous. I noticed the problem while I was taking the test…once they announced that they were simply taking those sections out, I felt a bit better.”
Senior Hannah Yoo added, “I didn’t really know what to feel about the mess up because my proctor just went by the normal timing of the test.”
In regards to College Board’s response, Marcus said, “I don’t really see a way of keeping everyone’s chances equal without just scrapping the test entirely and making everyone retake it, which would cause a lot of problems.”
Mr. Nelson concluded, “It’s an unfortunate situation, and I imagine that ETS will be especially careful going forward.”