Students who took botched June 6 SAT can retake it for free

Students who were affected by a printing error in the June 6 administration of the SAT can retake the test for free in October.

But some Georgia college admissions directors are telling students not to feel they must do that.

“My counsel to students has been: Wait and see if that’s really something you need and want to do before you sign up to do it,” Georgia Tech Director of Undergraduate Admission Rick Clark said.

During the June 6 administration of the SAT, a printing error in test booklets meant some students had five additional minutes for one reading section. Because of the way the test is administered, it could also have affected students taking a math section in the same room at the same time, according to a College Board statement.

The error affected everyone who took the SAT that day in the United States — approximately 487,000 test takers. It did not affect those who took the SAT on June 7 or any SAT subject test offered that day.

The College Board announced last month that it would still score the June 6 SAT, but omit the two sections, an approach it said would not change the scores’ validity.

At least three class-action lawsuits have been filed regarding the error and the College Board’s response.

FairTest, a national nonprofit group critical of standardized testing, called the College Board's response "far from sufficient." The College Board should offer a retest before October, offer to cancel June 6 scores, refund registration fees and make studies on the validity of the test scoring available for independent review, FairTest says.

In a written statement, College Board spokesman Zach Goldberg said: “We remain confident in the reliability of scores delivered from the June 6 administration of the SAT. We are aware of the cases but will not be commenting on potential or pending litigation.”

Brian Eufinger, co-founder of Atlanta-based tutoring company Edison Prep, said dropping the sections could have had a bigger effect on students on the tails of the bell curve — low-scorers and top performers. Those in the middle will likely see scores relatively close to their practice-test performances, he said.

“I think that the closer you are to the Average Joe test taker, the more true that is,” he said.

If the error had been on any other test besides June, it might have been less of a big deal, Eufinger said. For many students hoping to make college early-admissions deadlines, June is the last administration date that allows them to review their scores before sending them to colleges. Taking the October SAT means sending score reports in blindly.

“That’s obviously anxiety-inducing for some people,” Eufinger said. “You always like to know how you did in a professor’s class before you ask him to write a letter of recommendation.”

Nationally, college admission directors plan to treat the June 6 scores just like scores from any other SAT, according to the College Board.

“If students are concerned that the printing error on the June 6 administration of the SAT would somehow impact their competitiveness for college admission, they can rest easy that it will not,” UGA associate vice president for admissions and enrollment management Patrick Winter said.

Students who wish to retake the SAT in October should contact the College Board at (212) 713-7789 or by Sept. 3.