Students Have Until Sept. 3 to Register For a Fee Waiver For the October Test
After addressing an error on the June 6 SAT last week and announcing that two sections of the test will not be scored, The College Board said this week that students who took the exam will be able to take the October SAT for free.
To recap: About 487,000 students were registered to take the June 6 SAT, the last test date until the fall. Toward the end of the test, many students noticed that the last reading section had a misprint in the instructions, saying that students had 25 minutes to complete the section, when in reality it was 20.
This caused panic during the administering of the test, as anxious proctors tried to call The College Board to find out how to resolve the issue. Because of the misprint, many students felt they had longer to complete the section, and many didn’t finish it in time.
In response to the mishap, The College Board announced on June 9 that the section in question wouldn’t be scored, and it wouldn’t affect the reliability students’ composite and section scores. Then, on June 14, The College Board quietly updated its site to say that an additional section, a math portion also affected by the timing, would also not be scored.
Now, in response to student, parent, and counselor concerns, The College Board is allowing students who took the June 6 test to take the test again for free. Students have until September 3 to register, and it’s only for the October 3 testing date, right at the crunch time for early applications. Students must also register for this fee waiver over the phone – they will not be able to do so online.
So what should students affected by this testing problem do?
Register for the free test ASAP. June 6 SAT scores will be available June 25, so students will at least get a chance to view their scores before deciding whether or not to take the test again. However, it would be wise for students to look into registering for the fee waiver now, as there’s bound to be a surge of students registering as soon as scores are available. Also, while The College Board has insisted that the scores from the June 6 test will be valid, there has been a lot of uncertainty in this situation, and it’s better to register for the October test with the fee waiver anyway, should more problems arise as this situation unfolds further.
How to register: Students need to call 866-756-7346 and then dial 8 on the menu to get to the right representative. The representative will be able to pull up students’ records when given their first and last name and birth date. The representative will then submit a waiver request, which will be confirmed in 5-7 business days.
Reevaluate your early admission strategy. The October test is the absolute late date that students can take the SAT and schools still receive scores in time to consider them with an early admission application. Rising seniors who plan to apply to their first-choice colleges in the early round should look carefully at their June 6 test scores and decide if taking the exam again is necessary. If a student feels he or she could do better with a full retake, then plan to take the test in October. If they’re happy with their scores, then students should let The College Board know they don’t plan to take the test in October. Since there’s a good possibility many centers will fill up fast because of the influx in students taking advantage of the fee waiver, giving up that spot will open up a seat for another student who needs to take the SAT at that time.
Stay calm. We know this is not the best time for something like this to happen as rising seniors will be entering the thick of application season in a little over a month, but it won’t destroy all your hard work. Just like when there were issues with the Common Application, colleges know there is a problem and will work with students accordingly as the situation unfolds into the school year. Colleges want students to have ample opportunities to craft the best application possible, and should more problems arise with these scores, schools will work with students, counselors, and other testing officials to make sure students are supported and have the best chance at submitting a complete and compelling applications – including their test scores.
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*Correction: After The College Board announced the fee waiver we called to confirm the registration deadline for the fee wavier for the October test, and were told that the registration deadline was June 30. Later the same day, The College Board updated their website to say the registration deadline for the fee waiver for the October test was actually September 3. We checked again with The College Board, and they confirmed the deadline was September 3, so we have updated this piece with the most recent information available directly from The College Board.