Students say SAT score calculations led to lower results second time around

Posted July 17, 2018 9:30 p.m. EDT
Updated July 17, 2018 10:27 p.m. EDT

Across the country, students are opening their much anticipated SAT scores, only to be shocked and confused by the results.

Tens of thousands of parents and college hopefuls say the June test results were calculated in such a way that lowered scores, even if test takers had more correct answers than on previous tests.

Alyssa Davis walked out of the SAT testing site in June feeling optimistic.

“I’d prepared so much and I’d used all the strategies that I had done through the course and things like that. So, when I did those, I felt like I’d done a lot better than both [previous] times I’d taken it,” she said.

They say third time’s a charm, but when Davis’ scores arrived, they weren’t what she expected.

“To only improve 50 points just really discouraged me and I only improved 10 points from the first time I took it,” she said.

Something didn’t seem right.

Davis had answered more questions correctly on her third test than on her second test, but her improvement was minuscule. A few clicks on the internet revealed graduating and rising seniors across the nation felt the same, that more questions answered correctly yielded little to no improvement.

“In the math, I missed 10 fewer on this June one compared to my May, and I only increased 40 points,” Davis said.

On Twitter, a petition started to request The College Board rescore the June tests.

The Board, which administers the SAT, say’s there a good explanation for the scores. It’s called equating and it’s a method The College Board says ensures a score for a test taken on one date is equivalent to a score for a test taken on another date.

The organization released a statement that reads:

“We understand your questions about your June SAT scores. We want to assure you that your scores are accurate. While we plan for consistency across administrations, on occasion there are some tests that can be easier or more difficult than usual. That is why we use a statistical process called ‘equating.’ Equating makes sure that a score for a test taken on one date is equivalent to a score from another date. So, for example, a single incorrect answer on one administration could equal two or three incorrect answers on a more difficult version. The equating process ensures fairness for all students.”

“I knew other people were missing out on scholarships and even acceptance letters into different colleges and stuff and I just knew that would be discouraging to them as well,” Davis said.

College students have taken to Reddit with the issue, and that petition has garnered nearly 20,000 signatures.