The June 2018 SAT Scoring Controversy

As many you know by now, major news outlets such as NBC, ABC, The Washington Post, and The News & Observer (NC) have reported on the controversy surrounding the June SAT score reporting.  Apparently, students have observed that the June SAT was “easy” and their scores are lower than expected.  Many students and parents have complained to the College Board and a hashtag requesting that CB rescore the test has appeared on Twitter.
What happened was that many past test-takers noticed that they answered more questions correctly–especially in the math sections–yet their Math score was lower than on a previous SAT, generally the March test.  For example, Johnny Student correctly answered 50 of the 58 math questions and earned a Math score of 710 on the March SAT, and then he correctly answered 52 of the 58 math questions on the June SAT.  According to the news reports, Johnny expected to score a 730 on the Math.  Instead, he scored a 700, lower than his March result.  Understandably, students and parents are not happy about this.
The College Board has stated that this is a normal artifact of the way the SAT is scaled.  It turns out that the Math sections on the June SAT were much easier than normal, and more than half of the students who took the June test answered more than half of the math questions correctly, which skewed the scale.  Meaning that it took more correct answers to score a 500, which pushed the scores up the scale, requiring a larger and larger number of correct answers to achieve higher scores.  That is why students are seeing a result in which they answered more math questions correctly, but their scores either flatlined or went down.  This is especially true of higher scoring students, who are farther along the Bell Curve and will see bigger “drops” in their score based on the unusually aggressive scaling on the June SAT.
One last note: the College Board has issued an official response which you can find here: https://blog.collegeboard.org/june-2018-sat-score-release-faq.  You can also reach out to me with any questions you have on this topic or any other regarding SAT scores.
Jason Breitkopf, Director of Faculty
Chyten Premier Tutoring & Test Prep