College Board Under Fire for SAT Scoring Procedure

By Andrew Zirkle | United States

A recent scandal is affecting the College Board and one of their primary products, the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). In recent days, many students are criticizing the test’s scoring.

College Board gives the test 7 times a year and markets it as a college preparation test. They market it as an accurate measure of language and math skills.

The SAT Scoring System

The SAT has a fairly intricate scoring system. However, each student receives a score between 200 and 800 for both the language and math sections. Of course, to prevent cheating, every test is different. Due to the differences, which may slightly affect difficulty, the College Board has to “curve” the results up or down. This means that the same number of correct answers can give a slightly higher or lower score if the questions are a little easier or harder than average.

Naturally, such a subjective curving system may lead to some disapproval from students. In particular, the June 2018 SAT scoring procedures and curve are widely unpopular.

College Board Controversy

A strong wave of controversy met the June 2018 SAT scores, which College Board released Wednesday morning. The reason? The harsh scoring curve hurt a large number of test takers’ scores.

Hundreds of students bombarded the College Board’s Twitter, many brandishing the hashtag #rescoreJuneSAT in the hopes that the College Board would explain or offer to correct the harsh scoring policy on the test.

The lamenting continued on r/SAT, an online subreddit community dedicated to the test. Posts pointing out the scoring’s harsh nature flooded the group of over 19,000. Among these posts were calls for action against College Board. Students have also started informal petitions in an attempt to call attention to the harsh scoring policies.

Despite being active on social media today, the College Board has not yet responded to these attacks. This scandal, in addition to others, may hurt the test’s popularity. As of 2012, the test had fewer takers than the ACT, the other major college prep test.

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3 thoughts on “College Board Under Fire for SAT Scoring Procedure”

  1. SAT Tests should not be equated or curved! Since when are any standadized exams, ACT, SAT curved! College Board needs to correctly rescore the June exam. It greatly hurts the students for college admission and is a severe disadvantage! Scores were signigicantly lowered by this so called ‘equating’!!

  2. Great article! It should also be mentioned that the equating process, or curve, in this case is completely out of line with the actual difficulty of the test. Furthermore, the collegeboard curves the test *before* they administer it to students, meaning that they willingly and knowingly administered a test that put students at a severe disadvantage. This isn’t leveling the playing field, it’s doing the opposite. Their mission is to provide standardized and uniform tests, but this test was neither.

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