In SAT Make-Up Test, Were Recycled Questions Used?

Once again, reports circulate that some students in Asia saw the questions before the test.

September 17, 2018
 

After the SAT make-up test was given this weekend, reports again circulated on social media that the make-up test included many questions from a past SAT widely available in Asia.

An educator who works in China told Inside Higher Ed that his students reported the use of these "recycled" questions to him, and that one student told him she had taken a practice test with the questions the day before the exam. The educator asked not to be identified because he said he did not want to anger the College Board, which has been criticized for using old test questions even though the questions circulate in Asia. The educator said he was shocked that the SAT would again use such questions, given all the criticism of the SAT in August, on which many reported seeing questions that had been used before and that were widely available at test-prep centers in China and Korea.

The August SAT was not given in Asia, but wealthy students from China and Korea traveled to the United States for the test (and for the make-up test this weekend), potentially having an advantage over other students. Many of those students from Asia may not have known that they had access to stolen test questions, and only thought they were using legitimate materials provided in test-prep centers. The father of a Florida student who took the SAT in August has filed a class action lawsuit, charging that the College Board has failed -- by using recycled questions -- to assure fair testing conditions.

A spokesman for the College Board said via email Sunday night to Inside Higher Ed: "Theft of undisclosed forms continues, and we cannot comment publicly on form usage. We are making progress in both combatting theft and cheating, and in developing more items and test forms than ever before."

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