The College Board, the not-for-profit testing company that’s responsible for putting together the SAT college entrance exam used worldwide, set about redesigning the exam in 2012 under the guidance of newly-appointed CEO David Coleman.
In 2013, consulting firm Gartner urged the company to better protect the sensitive testing material it was developing for the revised SAT. A year later, College Board’s own employees recommended to management that access to the testing material and its answer keys should be limited.
Apparently, the testing company failed to heed those warnings.
Reuters said on Wednesday that a person with access to the sensitive testing material provided them with hundreds of confidential test items including 21 reading passages with questions and answers as well as around 160 math problems.
To say that this is a problem would be a massive understatement.
The publication said it doesn’t know how widely the leaked test items have been circulated and that there’s no evidence it has fallen into the “wrong hands,” so to speak. After sending a copy of the data to the College Board, spokesperson Sandra Riley told the publication that the organization was moving to contain any damage from the leak.
The spokesperson didn’t say whether its steps to mitigate the issue would involve delaying or canceling upcoming tests, the next round of which is scheduled to take place on October 1.
Should the data find its way to a nefarious third-party, they could easily sell the information for top dollar to both students and prep centers looking to gain an unfair advantage.
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