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Did you file a complaint about the test conditions and, if so, what happened?

BEmamaBEmama 6 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8 New Member
My child took a subject test at a center yesterday where the conditions fell far short of minimally acceptable. Testing center did not open until close to 8:30 AM. The test administrators were still not ready to handle students on entry. My child was moved to four different classrooms before child was put in the right classroom. Reasons for the moves ranged from children not listed on registration sheet to insufficient test booklets. Once my child was in the correct classroom, the proctor did not understand the difference the SAT and the SAT subject tests and continued to insist that the students in the room were supposed to take the former. Proctor had to leave multiple times to have supervisor explain what to do. Even after that, the proctor insisted on reading the instructions for both the SAT and the SAT subject tests. As there were two different clocks - with two different times - in the classroom, the students asked if the proctor would write the time being used for the test. The proctor refused to do so. The proctor then announced there was no penalty for guessing on the test, which my child and another student replied was not correct, but the proctor continued to insist they were wrong. My child continued to wait for the proctor to tell her to complete the pertinent sections on the answer sheet prior to start of test. A student asked which test they should take. The proctor replied that the student should take whatever test they may like. Another student raised hand and asked if they could start the test. The proctor replied, "why not." My child now raced to complete the answer sheet with pertinent info before beginning the test, even though the clock was now running. During the test, the proctor began to scream about a large cockroach and told the students to stop the test. My child asked if the proctor would stop the clock. The proctor said no. My child refused to stop taking the test. The proctor insisted the students pick their bags up off the floor. Some time late the proctor said there were 15 minutes left. My child had not even started the second half of the subject test. Until now my child has had no difficulty completing the practice subject test with scores in the low to mid 700s. My child left 7 questions blank. Do we file a complaint? What would you do? FWIW, my child feels horrible that other children were subject to those conditions and is being fairly mature in light of the circumstances, including needing to continue to study to take the test again in
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Replies to: Did you file a complaint about the test conditions and, if so, what happened?

  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 14633 replies974 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 15,607 Senior Member
    If the testing environment was as bad as you describe there will be many complaints filed. If there is only one complaint there will likely be no action taken.
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  • nomoodnomood 101 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    Yes definitely file a complaint.
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  • BEmamaBEmama 6 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Have you ever filed a complaint? Or have read about any here? The test center was a charter school in a low-income community. I grew up in a similar community but the SAT was always administered at a local university - always professional. Given my background, I am well aware of discrepancies in test preparation due to socioeconomic status and how that may play out in the lead up to the exam. I had not quite grasped, however, that the quality of the administration of the test would also be so uneven.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5339 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,349 Senior Member
    We have never encountered conditions that would require reporting so I as m not sure what the response will be.

    If you do report, you should do it only for your child and let them know what you'd like done (in addition to a reprimand to the test center. ) Free cancellation and another free test?

    Reporting "for others" rarely matters unless they too complain. This type of complaint tends to come across as a whiny complaint of your own veiled in concern for others.
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  • BEmamaBEmama 6 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8 New Member
    While my child expressed concern about how the conditions affected all people taking the test, I agree that I would only be reporting on my child's behalf.
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  • dcolosidcolosi 493 replies21 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 514 Member
    @BEmama we had issues with my D's test on Saturday as well. Proctor messed up and caused her entire testing room to have their scores invalidated. I have filed a complaint with College Board and when I looked this morning her admission ticket now has a status of makeup. I know there is a makeup test date scheduled in our area in a week and a-half so I don't know if they will be putting those students in that makeup location or not. It is the only testing center listed in our area and is 45 minutes away so not ideal compared to her original testing center 4 miles from our house.

    In our case, 20 some students were impacted and they weren't even allowed to finish the test due to the Proctor mistake. Not sure how it would work if you are the only one complaining about the exam. To file a complaint you have to provide them a letter with the details of what happened along with your students information.
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  • BEmamaBEmama 6 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8 New Member
    @dcolosi, I am sorry that your D had that experience. Was D taking an SAT subject test or the SAT? How unfortunate for those kids who prepared themselves for that morning only to have a proctor's error wipe out their scores. Will your D be available to take the make up test at that time? I can imagine that many students may already be out of school for the summer and no longer at home.

    In my child's situation, there is a chance that I may be one, or just a handful, who contacted the college board. My child is in 9th grade and my child indicated that many of the students taking the exam appeared to 1 to 2 grades older and more familiar with the process, e.g., completing the answer sheet with their demographic information while my child was waiting to be told to do so.

    I've spoken with 4 different people so far at the College Board and the information varies, including that if I file a complaint, then her scores will be invalidated. Based on what you've read, do you think there is merit in filing a complaint?

    They also told me it could be a month or longer before they figure out my child's situation and, consequently, running the risk of my child not having a minimally acceptable place to take the test in late August. This is my child's last shot for this test. Will not be able to take the test in fall with the demands of school.

    @dcolosi, thank you for your reply and would appreciate if you have any more insight or suggestions.
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  • dcolosidcolosi 493 replies21 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 514 Member
    @BEmama my D just finished her Junior year and this was her third attempt at the test. Since it was the entire room we did file the complaint because we already knew her test was invalid since they never finished it. I think she will be able to take the test on the 15th assuming that is what they are offering. Its still under investigation I just happened to see that her admission ticket status was changed this morning.

    If you are a single complaint and with your child being so young I don't know if it would be worth filing the complaint. We did so because our daughter will be submitting her college applications soon. One of her schools she can submit actually on June 15th, all the others are in August when the common app opens up and she needs to get another test in and I don't feel I should have to pay for her to sit again.

    What are your other options for testing centers? We have several nearby on the normal dates that we can choose from. If we didn't have choices then I probably would file a complaint in your case. If I had a reasonable alternative then I might just take the next test at another location.
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  • BEmamaBEmama 6 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Unfortunately there are no other reasonable alternatives available at this time and they just indicated that our request for an appropriate site was turned down. I understand that they have to follow a protocol (e.g., proctor/student ratio, etc) to move a child to a center that is full, yet the reason we are making the request is that the center where my child took the test did not appear to follow the College Board guidelines (e.g., opening test center on time, ready to accept students, etc.).

    Do you think filing a complaint with the College Board at my child's age would work against her at a later time? Don't want to be naive here.

    Best of luck to your D and thanks for your responses.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3460 replies70 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,530 Senior Member
    Two years ago, my kid took a SAT test at a local HS where the maintenance people were running a lawn mower for about an hour in the morning part of the test. I filed a complaint, and the score was invalidated and a credit was given for a future test date.
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  • BEmamaBEmama 6 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Our child's challenge is that August 24th is last time to take test - not going to be possible once school starts due to heavy course load, varsity sport, and extracurriculars.
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