This week, the College Board faces a big test: It must decide what to do with thousands of SAT exams affected by a printing error in the test's instructions. The mistake, discovered Saturday during the test, led to some students getting more time than others to take a certain section, causing proctors, teenagers and parents to worry about the validity of their scores and whether Saturday's SAT was fair.
Students usually have 20 minutes to complete sections 8 and 9 of the 10-section college admission exam. That allotment -- 20 minutes -- appeared in proctors' scripts and manuals for those sections Saturday. But students' test booklets told test takers they had 25 minutes, leading to confusion in hundreds of schools across the United States. Some proctors cut students off after 20, but others let them have the extra five minutes, the Washington Post reported.
"It honestly screwed me up because I got overwhelmed," a user posted on CollegeConfidential.com. Another chimed in: "That's probably going to be an issue now."
The College Board and Educational Testing Service contacted supervisors and administrators as soon as they learned about the error, according to a statement issued Sunday night. The groups said they understood the sensitive nature of the issue. "We are actively working with our partner ETS to determine next steps to ensure the fairness of the test and the validity of the scores we deliver," the statement continued. "We regret the confusion and concern this issue is causing for students and their families, and we will provide them and others with updated information as soon as possible."
After the test, message boards filled with parents and students concerned their exams could be invalidated over the mistake, Examiner.com reported. Scores are usually available 19 days after a test date but can be canceled due to cheating or other unfair conditions. Inattentive proctors, for example, led to 200 students' exams being thrown out in Brooklyn in 2012.
The College Board tweeted Monday that the score review process for the June exam should take about two weeks. Elsewhere on Twitter, outraged students complained as they waited for news about the mix-up. Read some of their messages below:
When they put on the news that they made a mistake with the essay on the SAT (not enough time) <<<<
— Random Bitch (@vdglover98) June 8, 2015
There was a timing error at the SAT at Ellington so now we could all possibly have our scores cancelled, great job College Board
— Eric Krementowski (@Eric_K0927) June 8, 2015
If they cancel my SAT score because of the mistake with the tests I will be pissed . I am not taking it again .. _
— alexandra (@alexandra___09) June 8, 2015
Can collegeboard just discount the messed up section for each student and score accordingly?????
— Sarah Hinshaw (@sarahhinshaw3) June 8, 2015
If they cAncel my SAT scores bec collegeboard made a mistake im gonna cry
— mpH (@mariasmonkeys) June 7, 2015
I love how my score on SAT will prob be cancelled due to an error on section 9 out of 10 in my test booklet. Waste of 5 hours man.
— Sam Cianchetti (@CianchettiSam) June 6, 2015