College Boards

Yesterday Jessica took the SAT 2's.  This is the second time she has taken this type of test.  They are an hour long and you opt to take them.  Many schools want you to take at least two.  Kids pick a subject that they excel at and take that particular test such as chemistry, history, math, etc. 

I am not a huge fan of these tests but you have no choice but to take the test because fighting the system is going to get you no where.  Also, how many 17 year old are going to take up the cause against the College Board? 

Here is where happened at Jessica's test yesterday. She needed to be there at 745 am.  At 10 am, they began to let the kids into the area where the test is being held.  So she sat for more than 2 hours waiting. They were not able to give out the tests because they didn't have a proctor.  Around 11, the people who were in charge, started handing out the tests and had everyone fill out the info.  Still, no proctor.  The powers that be put a kid in there who appeared to be around 18 years old and 7 months pregnant who texted on her phone the entire time to be the proctor.  Everyone just started to take the test with out anyone telling them to start or any one timing it.  The test is supposed to take 60 minutes. 

Jessica said that it was so poorly organized that she could have gone from class to class and read the other tests in different subjects and opted to take what ever she felt like.  She didn't but she could have.  She stuck with what she signed up for.  During the test, kids were texting their friends and making phone calls.  Although it can't be confirmed but my guess is they were cheating.  No proctor was there to monitor the test.  The test wasn't held in a quiet environment where one can concentrate.  You could have taken an hour and a half to take the test if you wanted because nobody of authority was monitoring the test.

I won't say where the test was taken because why should the kids who follow the rules have their tests canceled out because of what went on in the classroom.  Some kids chose to take advantage while others did not. 

It is disgusting that the College Board who has established themselves with tests that must be taken to get into college could allow this to happen.  It is stressful enough for a 17 year old to prepare, take the test and wait for the results that could make or break their desires to get into their school of choice.  

More schools are beginning to not require students to take the test.  Until every school jumps on that band wagon, kids will be hard pressed not to take the test.  Based on Jessica's experience (each time was similar), all schools should abolish standardized testing. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Laura

    Ugh..I wish I hadn’t just read this post…. Our kids are encouraged to take 3 of these Subject Tests. They take these specific classes in HS which are supposed to be “more challenging” and more “college-like” – only to find that many of them teach to these Subject Tests and are just “more boring”. My son took the SAT Biology Subject exam as a Freshman! Can a HS Frosh really be at his peak of knowledge for a Subject? It is all about how well you test. Many of the kids in his class got 750’s and higher because they are excellent test takers. Do they really know anything about Biology at 14 and 15 year olds? This year they were all taking the History Subject exam – as Sophomores- he opted out because he plans on taking AP US History next year so he said he’ll just take it then. He also plans on taking the French Subject Exam so he’ll have his 3. Another pet peeve is that many of his friends have opted out of taking 4 years of one language because they say languages are too hard and it will ruin their GPA. We convinced our son to quit thinking about his GPA and take the 5 years of French that his HS offers…maybe he’ll actually learn the language! The AP classes that were supposed to be like College Courses – end up being Subject Test prep classes….and once again less exciting. These kids are so bored in school, it’s hard to make a case for 4-6 more years of school when they hate being in the classroom.

  2. jonathan

    In response to Laura’s comment, the idea is that the kids take the Sat II test just after they have taken the relevant academic class. If Bio is in 9th grade, it doesn’t make sense to wait until 11th to take the test. Foreign language, on the other hand, is cumulative, so it makes sense to wait.

    My 11th grade daughter’s school has abolished AP classes. I think all (or almost all) of the private Manhattan high schools have done the same. What it really means is that they don’t have a class with the sole objective of teaching for the AP or SAT subject tests. The academics at her school are superb, but just might not synch with the standardized subject tests. Do they do as well on the AP and SAT IIs? Who knows? When my child came from taking the SAT IIs yesterday, she said that she hadn’t learned some of the American History they were tested on. Getting it wrong because you made a mistake is one thing, getting it wrong because your curriculum didn’t cover it – I take a deep breath and move on.

    Joanne’s post is shocking. While the shambolic monitoring calls into question the test results, it doesn’t have anything to do with the test itself. Standardized tests are but one of the criteria schools look at and, based on the dozen or so college information sessions we’ve been to, it is on the bottom of the list. The exceptions are probably the large state schools who need some easy filter (GPA and test scores) that they initially apply across the board. It is tough to read 25,000 applications.

    The tests aren’t going away. If anything, there are more and more. Kids are now taking the SATs and the ACTs (that is next Saturday’s excitement). There are some schools that don’t require the SAT/ACTs, but they are still outliers. I am not sure if relying only on subjective data (essays, teacher recs, grades) as opposed to a combination of (arguably) objective standardized tests plus the softer material is a step forward.

    Finally, I think the tests are administered by the College Board. Princeton Review is a tutoring company similar to Kaplan.

  3. Shripriya

    Amazing. Every test I’ve taken (most in India) have been so well proctored, they monitor that you put your pencil down on the dot.

    As an aside – did you mean the Educational Testing Service (ETS – that runs the tests) versus the Princeton Review (that provides the prep service)?

  4. gothamgal

    It is the College Board. The whole entire process basically sucks. Shame on them.

  5. lily

    same thing happened to my daughter. Washington Irving HS, right? What a joke. My friend’s daughter took the test at Montclair High School right outside the city in Montclair, NJ it’s about 30 minutes away and she was in there testing at 8:30 and out at 9:30. Amazing.