Error in May SAT Scoring - How to Catch College Board’s Future Mistakes

The College Board’s SAT test requires absolute perfection from students on test day. One silly mistake can be a 10 or 20 point difference for a student’s score. As a result, students spend months on end sweating over practice tests and reviewing their mistakes to make sure that they avoid every error possible on test day.

Imagine the irony when those students find out that the College Board made an error in scoring on the most recent May SAT. It’s crazy that an organization expecting perfection from its test takers would make a simple mistake in their own answer sheet.

The error was in question 35 on Section 4, the Math with calculator portion. There was more than 1 possible correct answer, but the College Board’s scoring sheet only allowed for one answer, leaving many students with scores lower than they should be. As soon as the College Board was notified, students who had their scores adjusted were notified personally. It’s estimated that correcting this one question increased students’ scores by 20 points or more, a difference big enough to affect college admissions.

What’s important to note about this incident is that the error was not found by the College Board but by a private tutor who reviewed each question on his student’s test to ensure that there were no mistakes. If this tutor hadn’t caught the mistake, the College Board most definitely wouldn’t have either. One tutor’s diligence raised thousands of students’ scores for this test, potentially affecting countless college admission outcomes.

Here at 7EDU, we recommend ordering SAT Answer Verification Services from the College Board after every test. If possible, choose the Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) option which is currently only available in October, March, and May. This will provide you with a copy of the actual test you took with a guide that includes your recorded answers and the correct answers. Then, we recommend you sit down with one of our teachers to go over every question, not only to check for scoring mistakes but also to learn from your mistakes for any future tests. While this may seem like a painstaking process, it’s the only way to hold the College Board accountable. Reviewing your test carefully with an expert could save you those precious points that could make a huge difference in your college admission outcomes.

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