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Problems with College Board this weekend

mapmap Registered User Posts: 322 Member
edited October 2007 in Parents Forum
My son is a Sunday test taker for the SATs and is scheduled to take the Japanese with Listening test (which is only administered once a year) this Sunday. He's taken all his previous tests at a school less than a mile from our home in RI. However, when I went to sign him up for this one, the computer only gave two schools in western MA as options for test sites. I figured there must be something peculiar to taking *this* test, and our family resigned ourselves to making the best of the situation by getting a motel room to allow our son to be on time for the test and planning on touring a college nearby.

This morning I received a call from the teacher who administers the test at the school in MA, questioning whether an error had occurred. My son is the *only* student signed up for a Sunday test at that school. At her suggestion, I called the school near us and they confirmed they had the materials for the Japanese test and would be able to administer it to my son.

I called and spoke with someone at College Board, and was told (a) it's past the deadline for making any official test site changes and (b) their policy prohibits "walk ins" for Listening tests. The person did say, however, that test sites can pretty much do what they want with walk ins if they have the necessary materials on hand. She said College Board will treat the exam the same wherever it is sent in from, but she would not directly answer my question about the "safety" of proceeding with my son taking the test at the nearby school.

We really don't want to drive an extra 4 hrs. round trip nor spend an extra $100+ or so on food and lodging if we don't have to. On the other hand, this is the last/only opportunity for my son to take this test. I trust the person at the nearby school who said they can administer the test to my son, but I don't trust the College Board. Can anyone who's faced a similar situation with College Board reassure me?
Post edited by map on

Replies to: Problems with College Board this weekend

  • Puzzled88Puzzled88 Registered User Posts: 1,120 Senior Member
    Can you at least get someone at the College Board to write an email saying they will treat the exam they same way wherever it is sent in from? That way you'll have a written record. If they refuse, then clearly you are right not to trust them.
  • citygirlsmomcitygirlsmom - Posts: 13,158 Senior Member
    I don't understnad the problem....you are signed up to take the test at the faraway-school, and its a pain, but it is confirmed?

    what are you trying to change, and what don't you trust about the CB?

    Is your son the only one taking the test at that school, any kind of SAT, that Sunday and is that usual?

    Are you wanting to take the test closer?
  • NorthEastMom2NorthEastMom2 Registered User Posts: 387 Member
    I also had a problem with the collegeboard assigning my child to a far away school. It took hours (over several days) on the phone to clear it up. It was not a matter of switching schools, since I had signed up correctly to begin with. Fortunately I had the original ticket and screen print out which showed conformation on the local school.

    This does not sound like the same problem as you - but it is similar - sometimes the online registration does not work well. There are several databases which can get out of sync, and we were okay in one, but not the other.

    I would take it at the local school, but also continue calling College Board, until you find someone more helpfull. Call directly to the Princeton main CB offices, so you are not getting the outsourced help desk. You may have to call several offices, but they can fix it. If the proctors already see a problem, collegeboard should deal with it. Also, who needs the stress of driving several hours to take the test.
  • rainmamarainmama Registered User Posts: 603 Member
    For the June SAT, my son was assigned a test site an hour away; there were probably 50-60 sites closer to us. College board told me that he could either go standby at a closer school (yeah, right!) or talk to the person in charge of testing at our preferred location. Once I found out who that was, she was very easy to deal with. She ultimately decided she couldn't add another desk to the test site, but she was clearly the one with the authority to make that decision. So if your local person is actually the one authorized to make the decision, it seems like a safe bet to go ahead and take it locally. Good luck!
  • mapmap Registered User Posts: 322 Member
    Thanks for your responses, everyone. Both coordinators (the one at the school nearby and the one at the school 2 hrs. away to which my son has been assigned) have been very nice and are willing to administer the exam. The woman at the school in MA is going to call her New England College Board contact tomorrow to advocate on behalf of my son and another student who also was assigned to her school rather than one in RI (the other student is testing on Sat.) because of the College Board computer glitch. They both agree that it would be pretty iffy to do anything that deviates from College Board official policy, despite the fact that the policy doesn't make any sense in this particular case. So if the MA person's advocacy doesn't work, I guess we'll play it safe and suck up the expense, time, and stress engendered by making the trip to the MA test site.
  • citygirlsmomcitygirlsmom - Posts: 13,158 Senior Member
    well, what we have learned is that if the computer sign up makes no sense to call right away

    sorry your mess has been a lesson for others
  • bethievtbethievt Registered User Posts: 6,759 Senior Member
    What a mess--but I'd agree if you can't get an absolutely sure thing nearby, just take the trip and try to make it fun. Go to an interesting restaurant--get funny tapes or CDs at your library to listen to in the car--we like David Sedaris or any This American Life or a Jeeves and Wooster book.
  • mapmap Registered User Posts: 322 Member
    The advocacy worked! The person at the school in MA made her case to the NE College Board rep., who in turn met with her supervisor. The CB people made a point of saying what a big deal it was for them to make an exception to their policy, but the rep. agreed we had a persuasive case. And voila! My son received an email from College Board making the change in test site official, so my son can now test at the site 5 mins. from our home instead of the one 2 hrs. away.
  • rainmamarainmama Registered User Posts: 603 Member
    Yipee - sanity prevails! Enjoy your weekend.
This discussion has been closed.