The controversial SAT Exam

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Every year, thousands of high schoolers nationwide take the SAT, a test for college admission. This year, however, the standardized exam has garnered specific criticism due to harsh curves and potential cheating on the June and August tests, respectively.

College Board scored the June test on a harsher negative curve than normal, which sparked debate on online platforms such as Twitter and Reddit on whether the test should be rescored. While students and parents argued the exam was unfairly scored, College Board justified their scoring process on the basis of equating a “statistical process … [which] makes sure that a test taken on one date is equivalent to a score from another date.”

“Because it was easy, the curve was harsh,” said senior Sohail Sookram, who took the June SAT. “I got two math questions wrong and it dropped down to a 750. 50 points for two questions wrong? That’s ridiculous.”  

Guidance counselor Jeremy Wang explained that he is aware of the June SAT’s unusually harsh curve. He assured students, “If you and I know, then I’m sure the colleges will know as well. So I would not be overly concerned about that curve.”

Many also criticized the August SAT due to rumors that College Board reused the October 2017 SAT exam. While College Board has reused questions from previous exams in the past, this was the first time that sections from an international test were used in the U.S..

As a result, people felt that certain students could have had an unfair advantage and many students all over the nation signed petitions to invalidate the August scores.

Junior Rohan Iyer, who took the August SAT, asserted, “[An] undeserved score could be the difference between a deserving person and an undeserving person getting a seat in a college. [I do not] think that the scores should be invalidated but [the College Board] should just prevent this from happening in the future.”

In light of these controversial situations, some students have opted to take the ACT instead. In fact, junior Shane Werther, who took both the August 2018 SAT and the September 2018 ACT,  recalled that the ACT “went smoother than the SAT so I can see why people would want to change to the ACT.”