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Old 3rd January 2019, 03:35 PM   #41
baron
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
This is not necessarily so.

In many multi-choice exams there is usually a "correct" answer, one answer that looks as though it might be correct but isn't, and one that is obviously wrong. Many of the people sitting such an exam, who do not choose the correct answer, are likely to choose the same wrong answer.
I imagine they'll take that into account, where it's relevant, and it isn't relevant for many questions (I just did a dozen to see how desperately simple these tests are).
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Old 3rd January 2019, 03:39 PM   #42
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Okay, I'll bite.

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Odd story this.
What's odd about it?

Quote:
Kamilah Campbell took the SAT and scored a 900 out of 1600. Wanting a better score she had her mother hire a tutor, took some online classes, etc and 7 months later retook the test and got a 1230 but she never received an official score report, instead receiving notice that the score had been flagged as invalid.
Is this the odd part? Given the prevalence of the SAT, I would think that there's probably hundreds of people getting notifications like this. Far from odd, it would be a commonplace occurrence.

Quote:
The College Board, the company that administers the SAT, says that the increase in score is not the reason the test results were flagged, but declined to give the exact reason why Ms. Campbell's test specifically was flagged.
This also doesn't seem very odd. The test administrators would not want to divulge details of how they detect cheating. And also the test administrators would not want to publicize details of an issue that is properly between them and Kamilah.

Quote:
Ms. Campbell is claiming that the delay in getting her certified test scores is reducing her college opportunities.
Also not odd.

Quote:
Also not odd.

So what's odd about this story?
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Old 3rd January 2019, 03:52 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I went from a 56% to a 86% in the same calculus course in 3 months just by taking the damned thing again. The second time I just "got" the material.

(I also had a much better teacher).
Mastering a new body of knowledge is different from having an innate skill.

Give me seven months of dedicated study, and I could probably improve my grade in Russian by at least 80%.

But give me seven years of study, and it probably wouldn't move the needle of my DLAB score hardly at all. Because the DLAB tests my aptitude for learning new languages, which won't change much once I've reach maturity.

---

The DLAB was kind of a fun test. There's one section where they describe a rule of grammar in a fake language that you've never encountered before. Then they make you listen to a bunch of gibberish snippets that purportedly demonstrate the "rule". Then they make you listen to a bunch more gibberish, and identify in each case when the rule is being used.

Stuff like a rule for verb conjugation, except that you don't know what a verb sounds like, and you don't know what any of the other parts of speech sound like. And the example you heard used a different verb from the ones you're being tested on. And you only have a couple seconds to decide on each one.

This is the kind of thing your ear is either naturally tuned to, or not. It's not really something you can study and improve. I can learn Russian by studying it, but how long that takes and how hard I have to work at it is going to be mostly influenced by my basic ability to learn languages. The DLAB doesn't care how well I know Russian. It just wants to know whether it's worth investing in Russian language course.

(The DLAB is the Defense Language Aptitude Battery. It's intended to determine whether the military should spend resources training a soldier to speak a foreign language. Obviously only those who would actually be good at it should get the training.)

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Old 3rd January 2019, 04:05 PM   #44
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When I took the GRE about 15 years ago, they sent a CD-ROM with two practice tests. On the math section I scored a 390 (out of 800). I had been out of practice, and maybe I didn't try very hard. I took the second test a week before the exam and scored 780. /humblebrag

I've also worked as an SAT and GRE, though it's been awhile (I assumed it was still on the silly 2400 scale). The surge here is dramatic, but as the article explains, the CollegeBoard does not invalidate scores solely on that basis.

Originally Posted by baron View Post
Eh? Pretty obviously it's not the concurrence of correct answers that raises suspicion, it's the concurrence of wrong ones. If her incorrect choices, of which there are three every question as opposed to only one correct one, closely match those of someone sitting nearby then that would raise suspicions.
Yes.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 04:07 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
I think everybody already realized that.

But it's also ridiculous and stupid. If the answers happen to be correct, of course there's going to be "substantial agreement" between her choices and those of others who answered the same questions correctly.
As Baron pointed out, presumably there was substantial agreement between her incorrect choices and those of other(s) who answered the same questions incorrectly. This is something that can be checked statistically.

It seems obvious that the proper response by an innocent student is to demand a chance to retake the test. Of course a guilty one would only prove her guilt.

It would be interesting to see if any other students come forward with complaints about their score being invalidated.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 04:13 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
As you say, a strange story. Can you improve your grade by more than a third in 7 months?
The test administrators used an algorithm and it looks like without any additional evidence. BIG mistake relying on no evidence except numbers.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 04:15 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
As Baron pointed out, presumably there was substantial agreement between her incorrect choices and those of other(s) who answered the same questions incorrectly. This is something that can be checked statistically.
If that happened. Did it?

And no she shouldn't have to retake the full test, maybe some sample questions or something but I think showing how she studied should be sufficient.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 04:17 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
As Baron pointed out, presumably there was substantial agreement between her incorrect choices and those of other(s) who answered the same questions incorrectly. This is something that can be checked statistically.
You may be comfortable making that presumption; I am not. It should be fairly trivial for a news agency to find if other students who attended the same test session also received identical letters declaring their test results negated.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 04:21 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
....

900 to 1230 on a scale of 1-1600 does seem like a pretty big jump. But she could have a bad day taking it the first time.
Out on a limb I'm going to say maybe they have no data at all that such an improvement is correlated with cheating, but more than likely they are simply and stupidly using some number that exceeds the standard deviation by a certain amount.

Does anyone want to bet that is the testing company's measure in this case but not an actual study of what cheating looks like.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 04:46 PM   #50
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Of course anything is possible, but having taken many many tests with multiple-choice answer sheets, starting in about 1956 with the Iowa Tests, I would contend that some changes in results might well be, not from cheating, but simply learning how best to take those tests.

To begin with, the first time I took the Iowa Test in third grade at a rural school, the teacher graded the answer sheets with a template. Surprised at my abysmal score, she moved the template up one, and realized that I had simply miscounted. It's very easy to do this. Suitably warned, I ever after made sure every fifth answer or so to make sure I was still on the right number, both to keep track and to make sure that when I erred I did not have to redo too many.

In addition, I realized fairly early on that many of those tests are designed so that most people won't have time to finish. But they're not designed with more difficult questions last. If you simply divide up your answers into "easy, just do it," "doable but takes time," and "may or may not be soluble, may need a guess," and go through the whole test in three rounds, you'll get more, often far more, right answers than if you labor over all the questions in sequence.

IN addition, it does help a great deal, if you're an abstract thinker with a lot of imagination, to learn the difference between what is possible and what is expected. And in the mathematical area, to know what kind of ideas are being explored, and what the limits are. Too much imagination is a handicap.

So a huge improvement after a fairly short interval, though it might sound like cheating, might simply be a matter of a smart but careless person learning the ropes.

I don't think I'm more than reasonably smart, more verbal than mathematical, but I got good test results, and my 1967 GRE scores would qualify me for Mensa any time I cared to apply (which I don't).
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Old 3rd January 2019, 06:02 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
As Baron pointed out, presumably there was substantial agreement between her incorrect choices and those of other(s) who answered the same questions incorrectly. This is something that can be checked statistically.

It seems obvious that the proper response by an innocent student is to demand a chance to retake the test. Of course a guilty one would only prove her guilt.

It would be interesting to see if any other students come forward with complaints about their score being invalidated.
Nope. You prove she cheated, first.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 07:08 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
As Baron pointed out, presumably there was substantial agreement between her incorrect choices and those of other(s) who answered the same questions incorrectly. This is something that can be checked statistically.

It seems obvious that the proper response by an innocent student is to demand a chance to retake the test. Of course a guilty one would only prove her guilt.

It would be interesting to see if any other students come forward with complaints about their score being invalidated.
I think that's a pretty big presumption to start with. And although I can see the possibility here of wondering if there had been cheating, it's also possible that there was a uniformity in wrong answers simply because they were specific sorts of questions, perhaps of a sort that the preparation courses and books don't handle well.

I never did terribly well on the math portion of those tests, partly because, until I was much older and helping my stepson prepare, I never had any idea that there was a finite set of rules for how "what's the next number in the sequence" questions follow. Of course if you don't know the rules, for a complex sequence you can imagine a nearly infinite number of possibilities that could generate nearly any number as the next one.

I think that trying to grade a test like this on the basis of wrong answer patterns and the like might work if there is no apparent difference in type or difficulty between the right and wrong ones, but even then, if there is evidence (as here) that the test taker used established courses or books to prepare for the test, it's equally possible that answers follow a pattern of what courses, hints and tricks the test takers used to prepare.

As for retaking the test, that is, of course, an option that would probably work most of the time. But it's also a great burden if you have been accused of cheating when you know you didn't. It's stressful and uncertain.

I remember, for example, when I took the GRE (the last, thankfully, that I had to take except for some stupid selective service test that I didn't worry about), when I opened the verbal portion I thought "this must have been written just for me!" I knew nearly everything and finished the test handily. I'd swear half the vocabulary words were things I had just happened to read recently, or seen in a crossword puzzle. But I also knew that a random choice of things like vocabulary could as easily have come up with a great number of things I didn't know. There's lot of just plain dumb luck here.

e.t.a. I would also add that of course we don't know the whole story here, including the very important matter of how many, if any, other tests were flagged at the same time, and what those who were flagged had to say about it. My argument above is abstract, and does not take into account the unknown answer to how many tests were flagged, and what those flagged may have had in common, or what the other test takers said.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 09:43 PM   #53
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Still even with the 1230 SAT, her dream of FSU is still a pipe dream and she has work to do to get into that school.

Looking at a site that ranks scores by percentiles, her increase from 900 to 1230 went from bottom quartile to top quartile, could be due to a lot of work.

Anyway, I thought it was routine to have different test booklets so that copying off a neighbor would not be better than chance, you neighbors would not have the same key as you, because the questions would be in different order.

Taking enough practice tests could result in such a score improvement. I did memorize a Navy test bank for the E-6 exam and did well enough.
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Old 4th January 2019, 12:13 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Congratulations, you achieved 100% in your RE exam.
Originally Posted by baron View Post
Jesus Christ.
This is one of those stupid scoring systems where getting the answer 33.3% correct = 100% pass, yes?
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Old 4th January 2019, 12:39 AM   #55
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Just curious, is this really a politically divided discussion? Right wingers: she cheated; left wingers, they haven't presented actual evidence?

Can someone add this up and if so can someone explain how this is a political issue?
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Old 4th January 2019, 01:12 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
The test administrators used an algorithm and it looks like without any additional evidence. BIG mistake relying on no evidence except numbers.
Either that or the big improvement in her score raised a red flag and the administrators made up an excuse to deny her result (since improvement alone wouldn't cut it).

In any case, she shouldn't have to prove that she didn't cheat. It should be up to the administrators to show by at least a preponderance of the evidence that she did.
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Old 4th January 2019, 03:50 AM   #57
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So far I think they are just investigating it and have withheld her results until that investigation ends.

Is that not the case?

The question of the thread is whether or not that investigation is jusitified given that the delay in getting her results has implications for which school she gets into.
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Old 4th January 2019, 04:32 AM   #58
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Its almost as if turning over the future of your country's young people to a privately owned commercial monopoly with its fingers in a lot of pies may not end up with the best ojtcomes for those kids.
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Old 4th January 2019, 05:24 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Just curious, is this really a politically divided discussion? Right wingers: she cheated; left wingers, they haven't presented actual evidence?
Who said she cheated? I said they suspect her of cheating. It's the family who hired America's foremost black civil rights lawyer, clearly because they believe she was targeted because of her race. Maybe take it up with them.
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Old 4th January 2019, 06:19 AM   #60
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While I can't speak to SATs, I improved my final Bursary Accounting mark by 53% from a 47 to a 72 in the space of 3 months, so.....
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Old 4th January 2019, 06:46 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
This is called education?
No, it is not called education.

The SAT is simply a test prospective college/university students take to demonstrate that they have received sufficient education to be considered for admission to a college/university. US college/university admissions departments use it along with grades and a host of other data to determine who they want to offer a place at their institution.
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Old 4th January 2019, 06:51 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by paulhutch View Post
No, it is not called education.

The SAT is simply a test prospective college/university students take to demonstrate that they have received sufficient education to be considered for admission to a college/university. US college/university admissions departments use it along with grades and a host of other data to determine who they want to offer a place at their institution.
Indicative of education, then?
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Old 4th January 2019, 06:56 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by paulhutch View Post
No, it is not called education.

The SAT is simply a test prospective college/university students take to demonstrate that they have received sufficient education to be considered for admission to a college/university. US college/university admissions departments use it along with grades and a host of other data to determine who they want to offer a place at their institution.
I think theprestige is closer to the truth when he says it's an aptitude test, which is different from a test of the level of one's education.
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Old 4th January 2019, 07:38 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
Indicative of education, then?
Yes, tests are used to evaluate a person's level of education.
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Old 4th January 2019, 07:44 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I think theprestige is closer to the truth when he says it's an aptitude test, which is different from a test of the level of one's education.
If that was the case then they would not vigorously recommend, as they do, that the student wait until they have received sufficient education before taking the test.


ETA, aptitude was removed from the name of the test in 1990.

ETA2,
Quote:
The College Board states that the SAT measures literacy, numeracy and writing skills that are needed for academic success in college. They state that the SAT assesses how well the test takers analyze and solve problems—skills they learned in school that they will need in college.

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Old 4th January 2019, 09:00 AM   #66
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I would also disagree about it being a pure aptitude test. There is subject material in the test. The math section requires specific knowledge that would be covered in high school, ranging from Geometry, Algebra, and pre-calculus. There are some more general aptitude questions, like interpreting data or charts, but specific subject matter is included.

It is more specific in subject matter than an aptitude test, like an IQ test, would be.
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Old 4th January 2019, 09:17 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I would also disagree about it being a pure aptitude test. There is subject material in the test. The math section requires specific knowledge that would be covered in high school, ranging from Geometry, Algebra, and pre-calculus. There are some more general aptitude questions, like interpreting data or charts, but specific subject matter is included.

It is more specific in subject matter than an aptitude test, like an IQ test, would be.

However, it's my understanding that within the context it appears (i.e. administered to high school students), SAT scores correlate as well with IQ scores as any two different IQ tests correlate with one another. So it's often considered an IQ test, even though it probably wouldn't measure IQ well in other cohorts (e.g. young children who'd never taken a geometry course).
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Old 4th January 2019, 10:12 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by paulhutch View Post
If that was the case then they would not vigorously recommend, as they do, that the student wait until they have received sufficient education before taking the test.


ETA, aptitude was removed from the name of the test in 1990.

ETA2,
The skills are taught, but how well they are applied is up to the aptitude of the student. Anyone can be taught to paint. Only some will actually be good painters.
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Old 4th January 2019, 10:23 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
You may be comfortable making that presumption; I am not. It should be fairly trivial for a news agency to find if other students who attended the same test session also received identical letters declaring their test results negated.
Perhaps. But then, it may depend on the circumstances.

Hypothetical situation: Student A takes the test honestly, student B cheats by copying. Both students get flagged. Student A will want the case reviewed. But student B may recognize that yes, indeed they did cheat, but they don't want to raise unwanted attention so they don't talk to the news agencies and keep their cheating letter private.

I'm not saying that's what happened, but it could explain why only one of the "cheating pair" (the honest one) gets noticed.

Side note: I used to teach computer science at a local college. When I gave programming assignments, I ran each student's code through a program that looked for similarities. I once found 3 students who had worked together. Two of the 3 admitted they all worked together as a group, the 3rd person continued insisting they worked alone, even though his 2 fellow students had already implicated him (and their programs were almost the same.) My point is: people can act weird when they are accused of cheating.
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Old 4th January 2019, 10:41 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
900 to 1230 on a scale of 1-1600 does seem like a pretty big jump. But she could have a bad day taking it the first time.
I think the range is 400 to 1600.
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Old 4th January 2019, 10:45 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by jadebox View Post
I think the range is 400 to 1600.
//Hijack//

Then the goddamn scale is 1-1200. Why have a scale that doesn't start at zero?
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Old 4th January 2019, 10:56 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
//Hijack//

Then the goddamn scale is 1-1200. Why have a scale that doesn't start at zero?
400 points for writing your name. Maybe that's multiple choice too.
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Old 4th January 2019, 10:56 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Either that or the big improvement in her score raised a red flag and the administrators made up an excuse to deny her result (since improvement alone wouldn't cut it).
The article notes that the SAT company loves it when someone improves their score significantly, and it's not hard to believe it. Improving scores gives students an incentive to retake the test, generating more revenue for the company.

Quote:
In any case, she shouldn't have to prove that she didn't cheat. It should be up to the administrators to show by at least a preponderance of the evidence that she did.
Her defenders are all acting as if the company has had no experience at checking for cheaters, as if it never occurred to them to check and see if the questions she got wrong were questions that almost everybody got wrong.

To me the most parsimonious reason the College Board refused to accept her score is that she cheated, and so obviously that they took what appears to be the relatively rare step of disallowing the test.
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Old 4th January 2019, 11:06 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
The article notes that the SAT company loves it when someone improves their score significantly, and it's not hard to believe it. Improving scores gives students an incentive to retake the test, generating more revenue for the company.
Unless you can show otherwise, the article (https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/02/u...rsy/index.html) says no such thing.
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Old 4th January 2019, 11:19 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Unless you can show otherwise, the article (https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/02/u...rsy/index.html) says no such thing.
The article also states that they are currently reviewing the scores not that have refused to accept them as poster Brainster claims.
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Old 4th January 2019, 11:22 AM   #76
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Also, why would the family hire a lawyer before any allegations have even been made? Legally speaking it makes no sense, because no action can yet be taken. It's almost if they want to head off at the pass any investigation by the board and pressure them into relenting and awarding the marks. Now why would this be? If I had been told my work was under investigation for cheating the very first thing I'd want is for the investigation to go ahead, and fast.
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Old 4th January 2019, 11:49 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
As you say, a strange story. Can you improve your grade by more than a third in 7 months?
I imagine diminishing return is at play here too. A 900 score is really low, so I imagine that lots of fairly obvious knowledge gaps could be identified and addressed.

Going from 900 to 1200 is going to be easier than going from 1200 to 1500.
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Old 4th January 2019, 11:56 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
...

In any case, she shouldn't have to prove that she didn't cheat. It should be up to the administrators to show by at least a preponderance of the evidence that she did.
My feeling as well.
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Old 4th January 2019, 11:57 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
So far I think they are just investigating it and have withheld her results until that investigation ends.

Is that not the case?

The question of the thread is whether or not that investigation is jusitified given that the delay in getting her results has implications for which school she gets into.
The delay has negative consequences for her, she can't complete her college applications without the score and those applications have deadlines.
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Old 4th January 2019, 11:58 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Its almost as if turning over the future of your country's young people to a privately owned commercial monopoly with its fingers in a lot of pies may not end up with the best ojtcomes for those kids.
Excellent observation.
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