SAT Retake Should Be Allowed On Any Saturday Date

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news - SAT fireby Annie Moreno

On Saturday, the October 11th SAT’s were cancelled due to a fire started within the testing center, Governor Thomas Johnson High School. Students were told to evacuate the building, hand over the test, and some were told to leave their belongings.

About 1,000 students stood outside of the testing center for about an hour, waiting to see if they were able to enter the building again to finish the test. Senior Josh Simmons says “I saw smoke coming from the building when I got outside. It was a little unsettling, but I’m glad no one was hurt.” The fire department arrived to take care of the fire. The students were then told that they may leave, and that the entire test would be invalidated.

I do not hold anyone accountable for the fire, or for the fact that the test could not be continued that day. I understand that it was no one’s fault, and that there was nothing that anyone could do about it. What should be fought for, is the fact that the entire test was invalidated.  Students, myself included, were all half way through the test when we were told that we had to evacuate. The essay, two English sections, and part of the math section had already been finished before students began evacuating.

What should happen, is that the sections of the test which were already completed  should be graded. Then students should be able to start at the section where they left off. I assumed that they collected our tests because it was going to be continued later.

It is not deserved by the students that did well on the first half of the test. Senior Hannah Hellmuth says “I’m angry because I worked through four sections of the test, and I felt really confident about my answers.” In addition, It is not right to have everyone who was there put all of the time and preparation into this day, and then have it be in vain.

This is a terrible anxiety, difficulty, danger, and predicament for high school seniors. The university early decision dates are approaching, beginning November 1st. Nearly 1,000 high school seniors are now in danger of not getting into college, regardless of all the hard work they have put into it for four long years. College is right around the corner and young people, at this day in age especially, cannot afford to waste anymore time.

Senior Sabrina Dirk said “ Now no one can do early admissions.”

The second tremendous injustice that deserves to be fought for, even more than the first, is that the makeup testing date is being held on October 25th, the same day that the ACT is taking place. This is an even bigger predicament for college-bound seniors. We are now in danger of being unable to take the ACT before applying to college, which could mean the difference between getting into the college of our choice and not getting in. It is impossible to raise one’s SAT scores, and take the ACT before applying to college with the amount of time we now have left. Senior Robert Krantz says “It messed up my whole plan, because now I won’t be able to make early decision dates.”

It is benevolent for the college board not to charge us for taking the makeup test, and to give our money back if we cannot make it. For that I am truly grateful.  I understand that it is a courtesy that they are bestowing upon us. However the makeup test date is not right. If a student is unable to retake the test on the 25th, they are allowed to take it on November 8th. Some of us, such as myself, cannot even afford to take it on November 8th.

I have a job as an actress in a small community dinner theatre. It will be incredibly helpful to put on my resume, and will definitely lead me in the right direction as to what I want in my future. It is a first step in what I want to go to college for, and pursue as a living. I have already missed one of my shows due to the SAT on October 11th, in which case they had to find a swing actress. I am also missing the show on October 25th due to the ACT, in which they will have another swing, but then to miss it again on November 8th? That is now a job that I can no longer pursue.  

The makeup test should be allowed to be made up on which ever Saturday works for the student.  If the college board is unable to validate the test, they can still follow through with that suggestion. I know it is in their power. Senior Kayla Sloan says “It is really inconvenient.”

Senior Jessica Shayuth says “it was a waste of time.”  Allowing the test to be on whichever Saturday works for the student is the least they can do that would be courteous and reasonable to the college bound seniors of Frederick County. I know that this will have an enormous impact on our dreams and futures.

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