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

I wonder if so many adults registered that students are finding that they can’t get registered. No idea what the volumes are, but that could be a reason. I honestly don’t have a huge amount of sympathy for tutors getting pushed out, and I assume adults testing for reasons like going back to college will be allowed to test in March.

Maybe the college board (and colleges) are concerned that it is unfair that some kids can afford the best tutors (as you describe above) and others can not afford a tutor at all, and therefore restricting tutors from taking the test might even the score (literally).

@2018eastorwest, there must be some reason, but we can only guess at what it is. The “cheating” explanation is not very plausible, given that all of these same adults were simply transferred to the May date. As I noted in another post above, a lot of tutors are speculating on Twitter and elsewhere that College Board just decided it did not want the kind of scrutiny that thousands of tutors would provide. It’s easier to dupe and bully 16-year-olds than it is to dupe and bully perfect-scoring 40-year-olds who have been focusing on standardized tests professionally for years and years.

*The larger cause of concern for everyone, however, should be the College Board’s rather brazen decision not to honor its own commitments. Going forward, everyone will know that registering, paying, and receiving a confirmation and admissions ticket does not[i/] mean you will actually be able to take the test, even if you’ve already put a great deal of time and money into preparing, traveling, and so on.

@jgoggs I agree it’s ridiculously to do this with five days notice. My son is registered for the March test and I would be livid if the College Board rescheduled his test date with only five days notice!

I wonder if the non-students will actually be able to test in May, given that the CB seems to be focusing in the letter on allowing only students. Maybe the transfer to May will only occur if these adults prove by May that they are students?

  1. There is a process outlined for adult test takers who can prove they have a valid reason for taking the test (officer test, scholarship). Doesn’t seem that difficult to do. Of course if you had wanted to take it on March and May, you are out of luck.

  2. I think most people know that even if you take the test, there is no guarantee that you’ll get your scores if the College Board suspects you cheated etc. There are no guarantees.

  3. The test fairness and security policies state that they are designed to prevent any student from getting an unfair advantage. Given the College Board’s focus on leveling the playing field, it would make sense to limit tutors’ access to the test. There may even be provisions in the agreement with Kahn Academy requiring they limit prep companies’ access. Given the rampant cheating overseas, it makes sense to limit people willing to fly internationally to look at the test that will likely be administered overseas in May or at a later date.

I agree that the very late notice seems very sloppy but this is par for the course for College Board for at least the last year.

A lot of adults had registered for the test, but the registration deadline passed weeks ago, so if there were any issue of students not being able to get seats, it would have come up weeks ago, not just a few days before the test.

I don’t really understand the remarks (not just from you but also from others here) about not having sympathy for tutors. Why not? To be clear, these are people who registered according to the rules, paid, received confirmation, and planned accordingly. The College Board is now failing to honor its own terms and agreements. Why doesn’t any person in this kind of situation, whether adult or child, merit sympathy?

Adults testing for reasons like going back to college may well end up able to test this Saturday, but they still had their registration peremptorily cancelled and will have to spend this week calling and emailing College Board trying to appeal, uncertain until perhaps the very end of the week whether they have succeeded. That seems like a rather heavy burden to bear for people who may have registered, paid, and received confirmation as long ago as last summer or fall, who may reasonably have thought they could use this week to study, and who may have made other plans (besides continued studying and test-taking) for the rest of March, April, and May.

First, let me point out yet again, that according to the College Board itself there is no such thing as a “valid” or “invalid” reason for taking the test. Anyone who registers, pays, and produces proper ID can take the test, and, as already mentioned above, there are numerous reasons for an adult to do so, none of them “invalid.” (And yes, I will admit that “cheating” is invalid, but I am not aware of any connection between cheating and adult test takers, and if College Board believed there was one, it presumably would simply bar adult test takers, not just transfer their registrations to the next date.)

Second, as already pointed out above, the process outlined for adult test takers who can prove they have a “valid” reason is indeed “difficult.” These are people who may have registered as long ago as last summer or fall; they may have scheduled time off for work this week for studying; they may have made other plans (other than continued studying and test-taking for the remainder of March and for April and May). Now they are in limbo–their paid and confirmed registrations were unilaterally cancelled by College Board, and they have to spend the week appealing, trying to convince College Board to reinstate their registrations. Even if they prevail, they may not know of their result until the end of the week. Does that really seem like a reasonable burden to place on people who already registered and paid according to College Board’s own terms and rules?

The legit adult students who had their registrations canceled and are now inconvenienced as you describe seem to have had their registrations cancelled due to the over abundance of registrations of non-student adults/tutors who planned to take the test for reasons other than to gain admittance to college/scholarships - which is the only reason CB seems to recognize for taking the test (according to their letter)… That is probably why people seem to have more sympathy for the legit adult students. It also appears that the CB intends to administer the test only to students from this point forward. Although in the past, non-students have been able to successfully register and take the test, that practice might have come to an end - for various reasons, including those mentioned in the posts above: partnership with Khan, concerns for cheating, concerns about criticism, concerns about fairness, concerns about skewed results, concerns about the image of the CB, concerns about competition with the ACT, etc. Only the CB knows for sure why it has done what it did. But it certainly does seem that times are changing. Colleges are seeking new methods, and it looks like the CB may be responding in kind.

Well, sort of. I would say this is less “par for the course” than it is a frightening new precedent. Some of the parents above seem to get my point. Yes, in the past, you could have your scores cancelled with no evidence and no real chance of an appeal. Now you can have your paid and confirmed registration cancelled only days in advance with no real explanation and no real chance to appeal. If wielded against actual high school students at certain times of the year, this new power that College Board is claiming for itself could wreak absolute havoc on those students’ lives.

Some of you say, “But these aren’t students. They’re tutors.” Well, now that College Board has decided it doesn’t need to honor its own terms/sales/agreements, do you really think there is no chance it will ever do something like this to actual high school students?

@2018eastorwest, not sure why you are concluding that College Board “intends to administer the test only to students from this point forward.” Again, College Board did not cancel all of these adults’ registrations permanently; it simply cancelled their March registrations and re-registered them (without consultation or consent) for May instead.

Regardless of who deserves sympathy and why College Board does what it does, the important point is this: ** the College Board is now asserting a new right not even to honor its own terms/agreements/sales; people who register and pay and receive confirmations cannot count on actually being able to take the test on the date for which they have registered; their registrations can be peremptorily cancelled up until days before the exam.**

(To be clear @2018eastorwest and others, I am not arguing with you; I am just trying to respond to your points. My problem is with the College Board, not with anyone here in this thread.)

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.

@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.

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.

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?

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.

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!

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.

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?

Couldn’t the tutors and teachers simply do a practice test? I thought they were available.