Lawsuits Mount Over SAT Test Timing Typo

     TRENTON, N.J. (CN) – A typo in the June 6 SAT test has brought three nationwide class actions against the Educational Testing Service and The College Board, which had to throw out results from the test section.
     The typo told students they had 25 minutes for one test section, though they should have had only 20 minutes.
     Some proctors caught the error and gave the students only 20 minutes, but some gave them 25.
     The section at issue, 8 or 9, was either reading or math, depending on the version of the test.
     More than 2 million students take the SAT each year, and registration fees can exceed $100, according to the latest federal complaint. Similar class actions have been filed in Jacksonville, Fla., and in Long Island.
     The June 22 lawsuit in New Jersey does not say how many students took the test on June 6.
     “Examinees … rely on the constancy and reliability of the SAT score as a solid, unquestioned indicator of relative ability,” the lawsuit states. “Instead, the June 6th test examinees’ scores will be ‘the SAT with the asterisk.'”
     After the printing snafu, The College Board sent parents a notice stating that scores from sections 8 or 9 of the June 6 test would not be rescored. Tests taken on June 7 were unaffected, according to The College Board.
     Lead plaintiff Jennie Whalen says the mistake will make it harder for her and other class members to get into the colleges of their choice.
     A spokesman for The College Board wrote in an email: “We remain confident in the reliability of scores from the June 6 administration of the SAT,” without clarifying precisely what that meant. College Board spokesman Zach Goldberg said the board has received a preliminary petition from an attorney representing one student, but that he could not comment on pending litigation.
     The College Board said on its website that the June 6 tests are valid even with the missing sections. “The SAT is designed to collect enough information to provide valid and reliable scores even with an additional unscored section within a test,” the statement says. “From fire drills and power outages to mistiming and disruptive behavior, school-based test administrations can be fragile, so our assessments are not.”
     The College Board said affected students can retake the test for free in October, but parents say the damage has already been done.
     Many high school students take preparatory classes for the SAT from The Princeton Review or Kaplan, which can cost $1,700 or more. Nearly all major U.S. colleges accept the SAT.
     The plaintiffs in the New Jersey case are represented by Bradley King, with Ahdoot & Wolfson of West Hollywood, Calif., who did not immediately return a request for comment.

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