Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

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Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

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SAT scores delayed after test day disruptions

The+view+of+Centrals+football+stadium+from+Room+222%2C+one+of+five+rooms+at+an+Aug.+26+SAT+Exam+that+were+affected+by+noise+coming+from+the+stadium.
Jake Pfeiffer
The view of Central’s football stadium from Room 222, one of five rooms at an Aug. 26 SAT Exam that were affected by noise coming from the stadium.

The College Board delayed the release of SAT Exam scores from an Aug. 26 proctoring of the test at Central. Students were offered a free retake of the exam, which will run on Sept. 23 at Central.

All students, regardless of whether they retake the test or not, will get their score on the same date: roughly three weeks after the Sept. 23 test.

The scores were delayed because of “a problem that may have affected some students,” according to an email sent out to students by the College Board. That “problem,” according to multiple students who took the test, was music from Central’s marching band practicing in Central’s stadium during the time that test was being administered.

“We got a text from one of our proctors saying there was band music playing on the football field,” said Jennifer Prerost, Central Dean of Students and the test administrator for that SAT exam.  “College Board has a litany of rules that we need to follow in order to provide a test for any student with validity. The moment it made a sound that could be heard in the classrooms we had to file a test irregularity. Then it’s up to College Board to decide what happens once we report that this occurred.”

The music was only audible in five of the 19 testing rooms, Prerost said, but the College Board ultimately decided to hold the scores and offer a retake to all 400 students who took the test at Central that day. The Midwest office of the College Board did not respond to a request for comment.

“Once I realized that my scores were delayed another six weeks I was just irritated and upset,” said Julie Vanderbloemen, a Central senior who was in a room unaffected by the noise. “I’m waiting for my SAT scores to submit my college application: I have everything else done except my SATs scores. So I was going to submit last week or really soon and I have to wait another six weeks. And that’s just something that I wanted to get off my plate and get that stress away.”

Vanderbloemen and senior Emma Orend, who was in one of the rooms affected by the noise, both declined the free retake.

“I would just be more stressed for something that I don’t think affected me that much and I already checked the box and moved on,” Orend said. “I haven’t been studying for the SAT anymore because I didn’t think I would have to. So to go back into studying again to try to improve my score when I don’t even know what [I got the first time wouldn’t make sense]. I’m not going to put that stress on myself.”

Both students expressed confusion as to why all scores had to be delayed until well after the retake.

Prerost said that she and Central testing coordinator Deb Erickson will work to prevent this from happening again in the future.

“We need to do a better job of sending out all staff emails to [ask for quiet around the school]” Prerost said. “I think with any testing session our entire school knows that the testing is going on, we do everything we can to keep any noise in the hallway to a minimum. The same thing has to occur for a Saturday testing and in the past we did not do a good job. That’s our responsibility to do that. We just have to communicate that a little bit better.”

Prerost sympathizes with students who are angry about having their results delayed.

“I just feel badly for all of these kids that had a proper testing environment,” Prerost said. “That’s five hours, that’s prep. That’s a lot to ask kids to sit through again.”

Javen Oswald contributed to this story

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About the Contributor
Jake Pfeiffer
Jake Pfeiffer, Editor-in-Chief
Jake Pfeiffer is a senior, entering his third year on the Central Times staff, this time as Editor-in-Chief. Jake joined CT as a sophomore because he wanted to write news, but since then he has grown to love just about every element of journalism. While it is rare to see Jake anywhere other than the CT office, occasionally you can find him captaining Central’s debate team, watching baseball, listening to a seemingly endless amount of podcasts or drowning in college applications.
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