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SAT Error Causes Confusion, Raises Questions About Fairness of Scores

SAT Error Causes Confusion, Raises Questions About Fairness of Scores

A printing error caused confusion between proctors and students sitting in for last Saturday's SAT testing, leading students to believe they had more time in certain sections than they actually did.

Apparently, students were given test books that stated they had 25 minutes to complete a specific section but proctors' manuals stated the official time was only 20 minutes, causing confusion and even panic in students struggling to finish the section five minutes earlier than planned.

"Frantic proctors began calling the College Board on Saturday during the test to try to get guidance, and after the test, students and parents began posting complaints about the error on social media and other Web sites," The Washington Post said.

The College Board released a statement in which they acknowledged the mistake and deemed it "critical" to determine how to resolve the error and ensure fair scores are delivered.

"Some on Reddit worried that others benefited by an extra five minutes, while others were concerned that the potential mistake might lead the College Board, which administers the SAT, to cancel all scores. Even without errors like this in the administration of the test, the confusion some students had could have had a negative impact on their performance and thus affect the exam’s validity," the Post said.

Bob Schaeffer, public education director of the nonprofit National Center for Fair and Open Testing or FairTest, is not happy with the College Board's response thus far.

"Rather than its typical circle-the-wagons and say nothing non-response, the test-makers need to explain immediately how this error occurred and what they are going to do to insure score integrity," he said in an e-mail to the Post.

The College Board plans to continuously provide updates on its site for how it is going about resolving the issue. 

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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