On the list of things that rising high school seniors finishing up their summer breaks have to worry about, retaking tests doesn't often appear. But that is exactly what 18 Long Island teens are being forced to consider after the Educational Testing Service lost their AP US History essays this summer. Whoops!
"I'm quite mad," one of the seniors, 17-year-old David Livoti told Newsday. "I worked a full year, and for them to lose half a test is a big thing." Though the loss isn't necessarily a bad thing. Not only has ETS has apologized profusely for the incident but they've also offered what could be quite a good deal to the affected students:
Students have been offered the choice of retaking the essay portion of the test, canceling results and getting a refund of the $87 fee, or accepting "projected" scores based on their multiple-choice answers, which were not lost.
And, at least from the students Newsday spoke to, it seems that many are just taking the projected score—which statistically may work in their favor.
According to Superintendent Russell Stewart, if all 18 students accept the projected scores then the average score be 4, "compared with an average 3.0 registered by 22 local students in 2011, when essay results were included." Hmmm!
As for how the essays were lost? That really isn't clear. The tests multiple choice portions all made it to ETS's headquarters and but the essays went poof somewhere along the way. Still, ETS notes that, on the plus side, "More than 99.9 percent of all testing materials are received and processed seamlessly, but we understand this is of little comfort to the affected students."