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ACT Irregularity Report - what next

krivankrivan Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
edited March 2012 in Parents Forum

My daughter took ACT today. She marked last 3 science questions half marked with the intention of going back. When the proctor called time, she completed those half filled bubbles it seems. He filed a irregularity report. She came home with tears and asked us what to do. Although I know, we/she need to face it, is there a way to let ACT know what happened? Is that the right thing to do?

Post edited by krivan on

Replies to: ACT Irregularity Report - what next

  • bigtreesbigtrees User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 1,191 Senior Member
    So she had an unfair advantage because she continued to fill out bubbles after time was called? Clearly, the results should be invalidated because she had an advantage (few seconds more time) than the other students.

    The ACT people will likely contact you and your D, and then you can state simply what happened.

    I wouldn't worry much more about it. They will either invalidate her results or not.
  • krivankrivan Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Got it. Thanks for your reply :-)
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,559 Senior Member
    Agree, there's nothing your D or you can do about it right now. Wait to see what comes back from the ACT organization. Chalk it off to a lesson learned (hopefully) by your D that pencils go down when the proctor calls time...period. If it were me, I'd probably schedule another test day this summer or first thing in the fall just in case they invalidate the score from this sitting. If they don't you can choose which score to send and anyway, many, many kids take it twice.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    There is no reason to believe that the score would not be invalidated; how does the ACT organization decide when breaking the rules is OK and when it is warranting of invalidation? She should, with regard to preparation, assume as much. Also, don't forget to have her try the SAT if she has not.
  • ellemenopeellemenope Registered User Posts: 11,380 Senior Member
    It's a lesson learned. Since you can take the ACT again in the fall, no lasting harm. You'll be out the cost of a test, so it is a cheap lesson.
  • younghossyounghoss Registered User Posts: 3,033 Senior Member
    I wouldn't suggest anyone rush to ACT to explain why student continued after student was told to stop.

    One small modification that I'd recommend to Ellenmope's suggestion(post 6):

    D "will be out the cost of a test, so it is a cheap lesson." Let student pay for test if it is invalidated.
  • ellemenopeellemenope Registered User Posts: 11,380 Senior Member
    I wouldn't suggest anyone rush to ACT to explain why student continued after student was told to stop.

    True--what could you say that would not sound lame. I suppose if someone had "half-marked" the answer sheet for a few questions and time had been called--the only thing to do would be to ask for someone to hand score the test?
  • momofsongbirdmomofsongbird Registered User Posts: 1,236 Senior Member
    Her score is almost certainly going to be invalidated. Go ahead and register her for the next test date.
  • xrCalico23xrCalico23 Registered User Posts: 4,673 Senior Member
    This was exactly what happened with my friend during an AP exam: she half-marked a few answers with the intention of going back, but failed to pay attention to the clock and ran of time as a result. She tried bubbling those half-filled answers; the proctor filed an irregularity report even though it was only two seconds over the time limit :(.

    I guess think of it this way: at least for the ACT, you can take it over again in the fall and the test doesn't cost almost $80. For future reference, your daughter could have handed in the test with the bubbles half-filled then ask for hand-scoring. After the disastrous AP, my friend called the CollegeBoard and learned, after waiting on the phone for over half an hour, that they sometimes do count all the half-bubbled answers if you pay for hand-scoring.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,559 Senior Member
    I don't "get" the concept of half bubbling especially with the ACT where "guessing" can be more valuable than on the SAT....but oh well.
  • krivankrivan Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Thank you all for your replies. Surely she learnt a valuable lesson today. I explained most of the things you all said to her. She is a bit upset to know that her scores will be invalidated but slowly coming out of it. She already took SAT and has good scores on that. One of the 6 year medical school wants the ACT score and that's why she took it. BTW, she already signed up for another one in the fall.

  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    I didn't know that any "mainstream" schools required the ACT.
  • ellemenopeellemenope Registered User Posts: 11,380 Senior Member
    A person might half bubble a response because he or she didn't want to take the time just then to color completely within the lines of the bubble--it might break the momentum or something. I knew one kid who had bad small motor hand problems. It was hard for him to bubble quickly and neatly.

    There are some things in life that are like an Old Testament God--follow the rules exactly and no leeway. Another example would be getting a postmark of 12:01 am April 16th for your tax return!
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,559 Senior Member
    Silverturle, lots of changes with college/unis using ACT. I've noticed much wider use since my first one was shopping for schools in 2006. One of my S2's colleges uilized the ACT as a placement test. S1 pretty much HAD to take the SATs. S2 had more choice which test to send and could have perhaps avoided it altogether. If you've been through the process a few years ago, it's good to keep an eye open for those subtle differences. The grounds are always shifting in the college scene.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 8,515 Senior Member
    Just adding that the proctor really has to file a report, or else, if another student observes the infraction and reports it, not only is the proctor in hot water but everyone's scores could be invalidated. So he/she is protecting other students by reporting your daughter.

    We had a totally different problem. Our daughter has a chronic illness that has very painful flares. She started an AP exam, and then could not take the pain, after an hour or so. The proctor allowed her to walk the hallway, and even offered that she could come back after the weekend to finish.

    My daughter, herself, felt this was improper, and went back in to finish the exam then and there.

    We did not realize that her leaving to walk the hallways was not allowed (she had accommodations with the College Board, but each of her allowed breaks was limited in time). When you think about it, she could have cheated. (She didn't.)

    So, my daughter and I began to worry that her score, and the other kids' scores, would be jeopardized if any other student complained.

    We called the College Board ourselves to tell them about her leaving the exam room, and she was investigated, then cleared. The other kids' scores were not jeopardized.

    Surprisingly, the proctor, who happened to be the head of guidance, suffered no consequences for being so loose with the rules. As I remember, once he found out that we were calling the College Board, he filed an irregularity report to protect himself, which shifted the investigative focus from himself to our daughter.

    Our daughter was upset at being treated like a cheater, by the College Board, since it was she who was actually rather ethical in raising the issue, but then easily proved her innocence and felt good about how it had been handled.
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