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College Board is cancelling people's paid and confirmed registrations for March SAT...

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Replies to: College Board is cancelling people's paid and confirmed registrations for March SAT...

  • mom2twogirlsmom2twogirls 2250 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Is all the bolded type face supposed to be yelling?

    I don't care about if tutors don't get to sign up to take the test because it's not intended for them. No matter how much bold typing anyone does, it won't change my mind.

    If an employer can't figure out a better way of differentiating employees, then they don't seem like a great employer anyway.

    Mensa is a big enough organization that it can come up with its own testing if it wants.

    I'm doubtful I will use tutors for my kids when they are taking the test as I don't use tutors in general for them anyway.
    If the stance stays consistent then all tutors will be in the same boat. I hope it does stay consistent.

    As far as if for some reason my kids test was cancelled at the last minute, well it happens to kids regularly because of weather so I can't see why I would be shocked. There aren't major preparations that need to be cancelled for most test takers. Aside from over seas where apparently there are large numbers of tutors that teach based on recent SATs because they know they will be recycled. I'm sure they are very upset about this happening as their clients won't have the advantage of studying the questions they will be seeing on their next exam.
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  • jgoggsjgoggs 208 replies22 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @mom2twogirls, I used bold to highlight my main points, as I realize my posts were a bit verbose. I apologize if it came across as yelling or if I seemed to arguing with you in particular. As I just said in a post above addressed to someone else, my problem is with the College Board and not with anyone on this thread. Since I feel strongly about this issue, however, I have felt compelled to address any posts that I perceive as minimizing College Board's wrongdoing in this case. Again, I apologize if it somehow seemed personal.

    All of your points here are correct, in the sense that employers could find other ways of distinguishing between employees, organizations can come up with their own tests, and so on.

    The fact remains that what we are dealing with here is a pretty frightening screw-up--a major testing organization failing to honor its own terms/agreements/sales not because of something unavoidable like a snowstorm but simply by choice. Regardless of whether people have sympathy for tutors or other adults affected, I would think they could still agree that this is a very negative precedent for college admissions testing.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You can't qualify for Mensa with the current SAT, they only accept it from before a certain yesr. Because back then no one got tutored and most people only took it once. Now it is gamed, with wealthier students more likely to win. So one of your reasons is non-existent. Excuse us for not being sympathetic to the tutoring industry, especially not from foreign countries where SAT cheating is rampant.
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  • 3scoutsmom3scoutsmom 5524 replies337 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Whats to stop a high school kid that is taking the new SAT to start tutoring after he takes the test? CB publicly releases practice tests that tutors use, are they going to stop that too?
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  • mom2twogirlsmom2twogirls 2250 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I don't think they are failing to honor their terms. I think generally people fail to read the terms and understand that this kind of thing may happen.
    I'd guess few test takers read the guides/terms/conditions.
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  • 2018eastorwest2018eastorwest 301 replies32 threadsRegistered User Member
    The reason why I think that the CB may prevent non-students from taking the SAT at all in the future is b/c of their language in the email that you posted from them: This change was implemented to ensure that everyone taking the test is doing so for its intended purpose: to apply to and attend a college or university undergraduate program, or to apply for scholarships, financial aid, or other programs that require a college admission test.
    I am not sure why they would care if the test is being taken for its intended purpose in March, but not in May and from there forward.
    I suspect that there might be further dissection of the registrations before May - but that they are just taking care of March right now.
    I could be wrong.
    Maybe ,instead, its just about the fear for criticism right now.
    Only the CB knows for sure!
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  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 3967 replies55 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    These comments make no sense. The college board did not prevent non-students from taking tests in the future, nor did they elude to that. They are preventing them from taking it this sitting- with only a few days notice. This is unconscionable as there is no rule, at all, that says adults can't take the test. Hopefully CB will get horrible press on this.

    There is nothing on the test app that asks you your intended purpose of the test. Its none of their business. They are trying to hide something.
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  • jgoggsjgoggs 208 replies22 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    You can't qualify for Mensa with the current SAT, they only accept it from before a certain yesr. Because back then no one got tutored and most people only took it once. Now it is gamed, with wealthier students more likely to win. So one of your reasons is non-existent. Excuse us for not being sympathetic to the tutoring industry, especially not from foreign countries where SAT cheating is rampant.

    One of my reasons is non-existent? No, it sounds as if one particular detail I mentioned is incomplete or out of date. The broader point was that there are reasons besides applying to college that people older and younger than high-school age take the SAT. That point certainly stands, and you can confirm it for yourself simply by Googling phrases like "What are SAT scores used for?"

    (By the way, the MENSA information is here: http://www.us.mensa.org/join/testscores/qualifyingscores/ You are correct that the organization does not accept scores from the current or previous versions of the SAT, but I'm not sure why you conclude that its change in policy has to do with the growth of test prep. Does the date of January 1994 have something to do with when the SAT began to be "gamed"? If so, can you elaborate, because I do not understand the supposed connection. Actually, if you do some research on Google, I think you'll find that the January 1994 was the last administration before the test was "recentered" later that year. I suspect the MENSA policy change has to do with that recentering rather than with any changes in "gaming" that took place in early 1994.)

    Finally, I really don't understand the hostility behind statements like "Excuse us for not being sympathetic to the tutoring industry, especially not from foreign countries where SAT cheating is rampant."

    To repeat:

    1. We are not talking about an "industry" but rather about large numbers of individual people, tutors and other adult test-takers, who registered and paid according to the terms provided by College Board, received confirmation, and then had their registrations peremptorily and unilaterally cancelled. In what other circumstances would you find it acceptable for one party to an agreement to back out or change the terms unilaterally at the last minute? If you book and pay for a hotel room months in advance in accordance with the terms set forth by the hotel and make larger vacation plans around staying in that hotel, would you find it acceptable if the hotel simply sent you an email five days before your arrival informing you that they had changed your reservation to another month?

    2. None of the high-profile cheating scandals of recent years--whether it was the student-run cheating ring on Long Island or the students compiling answers on College Confidential--has involved adult test-takers at testing centers, as far as I can recall. Neither you nor anyone else has explained what sort of cheating-related threat these adult test-takers are supposed to represent.

    3. If the concern were truly related to cheating, then why would the College Board not simply bar adult test takers altogether? What anti-cheating purpose is served by transferring them all from March to May?
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  • mommdcmommdc 11382 replies31 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Couldn't the tutors and teachers simply do a practice test? I thought they were available.
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  • mom2twogirlsmom2twogirls 2250 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @mommdc they have available practice tests released by the College Board.

    My understanding is that the tutors want more info than is publicly available, thus giving their clients an edge and making their services more profitable. Of course, discussing the specific questions on the non released tests is a violation of the terms they agree to when they register, so there is no advantage for tutors unless they are planning to violate the terms...
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  • 2018eastorwest2018eastorwest 301 replies32 threadsRegistered User Member
    Just want to note that there is no way to tell if compiling of answers on cc is done by students or tutors or others. You can't tell who a person is by his or her screen name and posts. Posters could be anyone.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Some people take the test for a living for others, especially in foreign countries. Could be an attempt to block that, too. Those people must be frantic to get a feeling for the new test.
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  • 2018eastorwest2018eastorwest 301 replies32 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited March 2016
    Here are the terms... They do state that they can cancel for pretty much any reason. They also say that no questions incl essay topics may be discussed at all under any curcumstances. So, as someone previously noted, any tutor who is discussing the test questions with clients is violating the terms.
    https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/sat/sat-terms-and-conditions-2015-16.pdf
    edited March 2016
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  • jgoggsjgoggs 208 replies22 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @2018eastorwest, I suspect you are right that College Board may prevent adults from taking the test again in the future. For the time being, however, what they have done is transfer paid and confirmed adult registrees from March to May. This action belies any claim that cheating is a serious issue--why is it better to have cheating take place in May than in March? If these adults are enabling cheating, why not ban them altogether?

    As I mentioned above, the more troubling--and, I would say, more plausible--explanation is that the College Board simply wants to avoid scrutiny for this new March test. Note that this test is not being released; that is, students will not be able to order a copy of it through the Question and Answer Service (QAS). If adults are not allowed to take it, then the only people doing quality checking will be teenage test-takers. How do you and others feel about that zero-transparency approach on a brand new test format?
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  • jgoggsjgoggs 208 replies22 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Some people take the test for a living for others, especially in foreign countries. Could be an attempt to block that, too. Those people must be frantic to get a feeling for the new test.

    At @intparent -- FYI, the March test date is available in the U.S. only. This cancellation/forced-rescheduling of paid and confirmed test-takers therefore has nothing to do with test-taking in other countries. (You've also offered no evidence for your claim that "some people take the test for a living for others, especially in foreign countries," but that's really a separate issue.)

    You are correct, however, that many people are frantic to get a feel for the new test. Perhaps you are not aware, but College Board had initially promised to publish eight practice tests (in conjunction with Khan Academy). Only quite recently did it renege on that promise and announce that it would not be releasing any tests beyond the original four.
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  • jgoggsjgoggs 208 replies22 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    There are now more responses on this thread than I can realistically reply to individually, but many seem to be saying essentially the same thing:

    "I don't care about tutors having their paid and confirmed registrations cancelled a few days in advance because ... cheating."

    Not one person has yet to explain (1) what adult test-takers have to do with cheating or (2) how moving adult test-takers from March to May is meant to address cheating.

    Really, this argument makes no sense--if adult test-takers are causing cheating (evidence?), then why do you prefer that the cheating take place in May rather than in March?

    For several people, this thread seems to have become an outlet for random hostility toward tutors. I guess everyone is free to talk about whatever he or she pleases, but my original post was really of general interest: for the first time, as far as I am aware, College Board is cancelling large numbers of paid and confirmed test registrations only a few days in advance, and it is doing so without any coherent justification. This precedent should concern anyone--student, parent, teacher, or other--who counts on the College Board to deliver its product (i.e., the SAT) as agreed.

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  • jgoggsjgoggs 208 replies22 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hello @GABaseballMom ,

    Three points, all already mentioned above.

    First, while we frequently use the shorthand term "curve" when discussing the SAT and ACT, neither test is actually graded on a curve. For more information, see the links below or find others with Google.

    http://blog.****/how-is-the-sat-scored-scoring-charts
    http://www.thecollegesolution.com/is-there-an-easier-sat-testing-date/
    http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2013/11/in-which-month-is-the-sat-curve-the-easiest/
    https://****/wp/2011/02/is-the-sat-graded-on-a-curve/

    The important takeaway is that students' scores are not affected by the performance of other students who take the same test on the same day. That is, "an unusually large number of ... test prep tutors" would not, in fact, affect students' scores. Please do not take my word on this; instead, check the link above or find other information on your own.

    Second, a College Board representative, Aaron Lemon-Strauss has already stated that concerns about equating and scaling (the proper terms for what we are calling the "curve") were not motivating factors behind the decision to cancel the registrations of adult test-takers. This should be obvious, given the first point, above. (I can send you a private message letting you know where you can find the post from Lemon-Strauss, but it is in a LinkedIn group that you will have to join.) If the College Board itself says that "curves" were not an issue, then I think we can "dismiss concerns about the curve."

    Third, as already mentioned, the adult test-takers had their registrations moved from March to May. Even if there were concerns about the "curve," how would transferring registrations from March to May solve the problem? This assertion does not make any more sense than saying the registrations were transferred to solve a cheating problem. Why is it better to have cheating in May than in March? Why is it better to have "curve" problems in May than in March?

    Thus, in short, I "dismiss" concerns about the curve because (1) the SAT is not graded on the kind of curve you mean, (2) the College Board has said that concerns about the "curve" were not at play in its decision making, and (3) the question itself does not make sense, since transferring test-takers from March to May would only postpone any problems (whether cheating-related, "curve"-related, or anything else).

    I hope that explanation makes my position clearer.
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  • hebegebehebegebe 2672 replies38 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @2018eastorwest said:
    Here are the terms... They do state that they can cancel for pretty much any reason.
    They use the word cancel 34 times, but nowhere did I see they could cancel for any reason. If they could cancel for any reason, they probably didn't need to use the word that often.
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  • hebegebehebegebe 2672 replies38 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If the college board was concerned about adults throwing off the curve, they could have easily normed it against high school students. This is basic statistical analysis.
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