Perhaps you’ve heard by now (or perhaps you knew first, because you took the thing yourself) that there was a printing issue with some test forms during the June 6 SAT administration. Some test booklets told students that they would have 25 minutes section 8 or 9, even though those are always 20-minute sections. Some proctors gave students 25 minutes; others gave them 20 minutes. This was a widespread issue: all students in the United States are affected.
College Board has issued a statement that they will be able to produce valid and reliable scores for all June 6 test takers, even without sections 8 and 9, so they’re just going to do that. If you took the June 6 SAT, your reading and math scores will be based only on your performance on the two 25-minute sections. Your writing score will still be based on your essay and both multiple choice writing sections.
I’m sure some people, whose energy flagged towards the end of the test, will be thrilled at this revelation. Others who might have felt they did their best on those sections will be upset. Nobody will ever know how they did on those sections. College Board will probably take some heat in the press.
I can’t help but pile on a little bit. In their statement, College Board says the following:
Q: How is it possible to not score a whole section and still have valid scores?
To accommodate the wide range of incidents that can impact a testing experience, the SAT is designed to collect enough information to provide valid and reliable scores even with an additional unscored section. From fire drills and power outages to mistiming and disruptive behavior, school-based test administrations can be fragile, so our assessments are not.
We have deliberately constructed both the Reading and the Math Tests to include three equal sections with roughly the same level of difficulty. If one of the three sections is jeopardized, the correlation among sections is sufficient to be able to deliver reliable scores.
That’s some pretty next-level spin, there. How they can boast that their test is so reliable because they “deliberately constructed both the Reading and the Math Tests to include three equal sections,” even as the new SAT will unceremoniously do away with that structure, is beyond me. Are we to believe that power outages will never occur again after March 2016? Are school-based test administrations suddenly going to become less “fragile” next year? Or should we conclude that the new SAT is inherently less robust than the current test?
Anyway, if you’ve been affected by this, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Did you think you nailed sections 8 and 9? Are you relieved because you think you bombed them?