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Student: My SAT Score Rose, and They Assume I Cheated

Kamilah Campbell is demanding Educational Testing Service release her score
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2019 11:10 AM CST
In this Nov. 17, 2012, photo, a sign is seen for Educational Testing Service.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

(Newser) – Kamilah Campbell wanted to improve her March SAT score. So the 18-year-old Florida high school senior "studied harder than she ever studied before," says her attorney. The result was a 330-point increase when she took the test again in October, getting a score of 1230. But then she got a letter from Educational Testing Service telling her the October score was invalid and wouldn't be released. Her lawyer says that's because "such a marked improvement ... indicated to ETS that she likely had prior knowledge of the test," per CBS Miami, though the letter from ETS cited "substantial agreement between your answers on one or more scored sections of the test and those of other test takers." Now Campbell has lawyered up (with Benjamin Crump, whom Local 10 refers to as "high-profile" and CNN calls "famous") to fight that decision, and she held a presser Wednesday demanding her score be validated in time for her to be accepted into Florida State University's dance program.

Campbell has set up a GoFundMe campaign for her cause, on which she writes that ETS' decision "could cost her the chance to get into Florida State University ... and possibly miss out on opportunities to receive top academic scholarships." She says she has given ETS letters from a tutor and a teacher and even submitted pictures of the Princeton Review study book she used to improve her score. Per CBS, Crump says he'll consider legal action if the score isn't released: "The innuendo [is] that this young black student can't achieve." As for ETS, an official says in a statement, "We go to great lengths to make sure that all test scores we report are accurate and valid. In order to do so, we sometimes take additional quality control steps before scores are released. We do not cancel scores based on a score gain alone." A rep for the College Board, which delivers SAT scores to colleges, says the same. (The College Board once lost a bunch of SATs.)

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