College Board invalidates student’s SAT after she retakes test and improves scores

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The College Board invalidated a Florida high school student’s SAT results after she retook the exam to improve her score by 330 points.

{mosads}Kamilah Campbell of Miami Gardens, Fla., originally got a score of 900 after her first attempt at the college entrance exam without any prep work, CNN reported Thursday.

Campbell told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on Friday’s “New Day” that she took the test the first time to get a “baseline.” She also said that guidance counselors recommended taking the test the first time without any prep.

“I just took it to get a feel for how I was so I could know my strengths and weaknesses in the test,” Campbell said.


Campbell, who wishes to study dance at Florida State University, got a tutor, took online classes and studied with a copy of a prep book from The Princetown Review before retaking the test again seven months later.

Instead of finding out her new results, Campbell said she was sent a letter from The College Board essentially accusing her of cheating.

“We are writing to you because based on a preliminary review, there appears to be substantial evidence that your scores … are invalid,” it said. “Our preliminary concerns are based on substantial agreement between your answers on one or more scored sections of the test and those of other test takers. The anomalies noted above raise concerns about the validity of your scores.”

Campbell called College Board and was told she received a combined score from the reading, writing and language, math and essay sections of 1230 at her second attempt.

A perfect SAT score is 1600, CNN noted.

“I did not cheat. I studied, and I focused to achieve my dream,” she told reporters Wednesday. “I worked so hard and did everything I could do.”

Zach Goldberg, a spokesman for The College Board, told the network that scores are never flagged for score gains, saying that they are celebrated achievements.

A score may be flagged for other reasons, such as testing sheets having similar answers or an incident at the testing site.

Goldberg pointed out that Campbell’s letter “never references score gains as a reason for her scores being under review.”

The student has turned to a prominent civil rights attorney and Florida State alum, Ben Crump, for help.

“Instead of celebrating her and celebrating her achievement, they are trying to assassinate her character, and we won’t stand for that,” Crump said.

They are demanding that The College Board respond to a demand letter in two weeks — so Campbell has time to validate her score in time to be accepted to the university’s dance program.

Goldberg told CNN that reviews usually take between four to six weeks.

Tags Benjamin Crump college entrance exams Florida State University SAT
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