January 13, 2012

How to Appeal Your SAT Score

As you may have noticed, the system of filling in little circles with a #2 pencil is an old one -- and far from perfect. The machines used to scan your answer sheets at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) are probably more sophisticated than the ones in your high school office, but that doesn't mean they are flawless. Any errors in scoring may work for or against you, but -- especially if you've made some erasures -- it is possible that the antiquated (SAT word - it means old) technology may lower your score.

If you'd like to have your answer sheet rescored by hand, it'll cost you $50. However, if at least one error is discovered, the College Board will refund the fee. You have up to 5 months after the test date to request this service. If you'd like to take the $50 gamble, call the SAT Program Customer Service at (866) 756-7346. The College Board will send you a "Request for SAT Score Verification" form, which you will have to fill out, sign, and return with your payment. 3-5 weeks later, you'll receive the results of the hand-scoring and a refund, should you be entitled to one.

The College Board website warns (scroll to bottom) that your entire answer sheet is re-scored and that the outcome can raise or lower your score. The adjusted score is final. From my experience, few students receive a higher score through this appeals process, and few get their $50 back. If you score much lower than you expected, you may want to explore this option. However, if you're simply not happy with your score, it may be time to accept the results and start preparing for the next test date.

1 comment:

  1. I read your article on appealing SAT scores, and I was wondering if you could help me with a decision I need to make about appealing them. I got an 800 on CR, 760 in Math and 640 in Writing. The question I missed in math was ranked in difficulty as 2/5. It also appeared as omitted, which seemed strange to me since I hadn't omitted any questions and finished all the sections with time to spare. Although the difference between a 1560 in math and CR and a 1600 is probably small, I would like to be able to say that I scored perfectly on both these sections and higher than anyone in my family. The real dilemma I have is that I don't know how big the risk of getting a lower score is, because my high school grades aren't as good as my SATs and this could hurt my chances of getting into the colleges I like. I don't know whether it makes any difference, but I didn't have any difficulty on the test and was relatively certain I'd achieved over 1500 on M+CR. Any thoughts?

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