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The College Board Botches Its Re-Promised, January 7th, 2016, PSAT Score Delivery

January 8, 2016

On December 15, 2015, I wrote a post about The College Board’s delayed reporting of October 2015 PSAT scores. I reposted the piece on Huffington Post on December 21, 2015.  Below is an excerpt:

According to Nancy Griesemer of the Examiner, school counselors were told that the PSAT scores would be available by mid-December. This is in keeping with the College Board’s information for educators, which tells educators to expect online PSAT results “around two months after the test”:

In the past, students’ PSAT/NMSQT paper score reports were received by schools approximately two months after the test. As we roll out the redesigned PSAT/NMSQT during the 2015-16 school year, the paper score reports will not be received until approximately three months after the test. We will, however, release results online around two months after the test. Results will be released to educators online one day prior to scores being released to students online.

It is now mid-December– two months after the mid-October PSAT. No scores.

Instead, the College Board has declared Plan B– which is Plan A, Delayed: An online access that school counselors will be able to view on January 6th, 2016, and students, on January 7th, 2016.

Well. It appears that January 7th, 2016, came and went without The College Board’s delivering on its once-postponed promise for those October 2015 PSAT scores for at least some October 2015 PSAT test takers.

At 11:48 a.m. CST on January 08, 2016, I received the following email from a Pennsylvania parent:

Greetings Ms. Schneider. I read your 12/21/15 article about delays by the College Board in reporting October 2015 PSAT scores and thought you would be interested in a new delay that nobody appears to be reporting as the crisis deepens at College Board.

As you noted in your article, the scores were supposed to have been made available online yesterday, January 7. Indeed, the College Board’s website states that the scores were made available as of yesterday by logging into student accounts. But at least for students at several top ranked public high schools in [Pennsylvania], this is not at all true. Students and school counselors are unable to view October 2015 PSAT scores, and no explanation or fix has been offered by College Board. Please see the email below from my teen’s high school principal, stating that College Board has admitted to him that none of our students’ scores or those of many other local high schools have been released (XX HS is one of the top ranked high schools in Pennsylvania).

As of today, more than 24 hours after the scores were supposedly released yesterday, we are still unable to see them. I have been advised by a school counselor that this is also happening to [several other] top ranked [Pennsylvania] high schools. There may be many others here and around the country, because when parents/students call the College Board to complain, the PSAT help line (866-433-7728) is so profoundly overloaded that a recorded message comes on advising to try to call again tomorrow or after going through a series of prompts hangs up or puts people into an endless cue. I just reached an agent after holding for nearly an hour. The agent looked into my teen’s account and confirmed that no October 2015 scores have been released and that access codes for …many high schools have not been delivered. She offered to “escalate” my concern to another department, which she said would respond in 5-7 business days, which is outrageous.

If this is widespread, College Board is in deep crisis. If it is just [our area in our state], then our students are being placed at a disadvantage compared to other students in terms of preparation for the March SAT. In any case, College Board has demanded that it hold the key to the futures of millions of children, but it is increasingly showing that is unworthy of such a great trust and responsibility.

Here is the embarrassing email that the principal sent to parents at 6:24 p.m. EST on January 07, 2016:

Good evening everyone,

I wanted to send a follow-up message about this afternoon’s email regarding PSAT results for our 10th and 11th grade students. The email that you received earlier this afternoon was written proactively because The College Board informed us that our scores would be released at some point during the day on January 7, 2016. In speaking with The College Board a few minutes ago, they have informed me that our scores (and many of the scores from local public high schools) have not been released as was previously expected. Students will not need an access code as long as they entered their email address correctly on the day of the test.

I will be in touch as soon as I have more information regarding the release of our scores. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Have a good evening,

[Principal’s Name]

XX High School Principal

On January 08, 2016, at 2:26 p.m. EST, the principal sent another update:

As of 2:20 p.m. on Friday, January 8th, our PSAT/NMSQT scores have still not been released.  We have been in communication with The College Board to obtain more details including a timeline as to when we may expect to receive our scores.  The College Board has assured us that our concerns have been brought to the highest levels of administration within their system.

Many of our neighboring districts have also not received their respective scores, so this would appear to be a larger systemic issue within The College Board’s score reporting process.

I will continue to communicate with The College Board, and to share any updates when I receive them. I apologize for the continued inconvenience.


[Principal’s Name]

XX High School

Now, as I read this principal’s emails apologizing for The College Board’s extended failure to deliver scores on a test taken in October 2015 and initially promised for December 2015, then re-promised for January 7th, 2015, then still not delivered, I cannot help but wonder why, in December 2015, both Illinois and Colorado would suddenly switch from the ACT to the SAT.

Do Illinois and Colorado officials not know that The College Board is bumbling with its PSAT test score delivery even as College Board President David Coleman is pushing his SAT revamp in an effort to increase SAT market presence?

They should. David Coleman’s College Board cannot smoothly deliver scores on time.

As for this latest delay beyond January 07, 2016, for at least some schools’ October PSAT scores, The College Board website isn’t letting on. If one views the website, one would be misled to believe that The College Board met its re-promised, January 7th, 2016, deadline.

After I received the Pennsylvania parent’s email, I checked The College Board website. This is what I saw (click image to enlarge):


In writing that the PSAT score reports “were released January 7,” The College Board has obviously lied.

One of my reasons for writing this post is to alert the public that The College Board has not delivered all October 2015 PSAT scores by January 07, 2016. There is no centrally-available means for the public to track the extent of The College Board’s botching of its January 7th delivery. The College Board has clearly not been forthcoming on its website regarding the January 07, 2016, PSAT score delivery.

At 3:38 p.m. CST on January 08, 2016, I received another email from my Pennsylvania parent contact stating that his teen had finally received the delayed–and-delayed-again PSAT scores. In a subsequent email, the parent added the following:

[The College Board] finally did produce the report this afternoon. I agree though that it is still a problem…and I don’t even know whether other students in my school or other schools have received reports or just my child as a result of pushing. Not to mention that the scores should have been produced in early December to begin with, particularly with a new test. This recent reporting trouble indicates not all is yet right and they are generating angst among students, parents and educators.

Indeed, The College Board should be delivering score reports on time, the first time. But it is not.

It is not.

missed target


Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

She also has a second book, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

  1. As per a College Board tweet, an email was sent to us this AM (Saturday 1/9) with the above mentioned access code needed to obtain PSAT (11th Grade) scores for my children (twins). Unfortunately, using said access code does not produce any updated test results either.
    —Still waiting in Central TX

  2. Update Sat 1/9 1:32 PM CST: had to create a brand new College Board account with email address used on bubble sheet (& access code sent to this AM) to get test results. What a PITA!

  3. MCody permalink

    As of 1/9 Saturday 6pm EST This Junior student has not received an CB email with access code. The student general emails from CB and has preexisting CB account where PSAT are not accessible (school ID does not work). CB has not responded to tweets on their site.

    • MCody: Access codes are not necessarily being sent to the pre-existing CB Acct associated email address. If the student bubbled in a different email on their actual PSAT test that is where it will go. (If they misbubbled it goes to The Twilight Zone)…

      • Student does not have another email address.Though the school uses internal email addresses, they also have student provided addresses. I feel in many cases the problems are due to data inconsistency, not a “conspiracy”. However I find it surprising that the fix is slow coming and the “access code” the HS was able to retrieve on Monday 1/11 should have linked test result to account.

  4. They did an amazing job last year of selling these useless tests to school systems across America; maybe too amazing!

  5. 2nd Update after other twin now home. All possible email addresses & spam folders checked; he did NOT get an access code email. So, back to
    —Still waiting in Central TX,
    Sat 1/9 8:11 PM CST

  6. Bob permalink

    Good luck getting anything if a code didn’t show up in email. I called today – after 45 minutes on hold, they confirmed they had a correct email address, had an access code and had my daughter’s scores, but there was no way for me to access them. They couldn’t provide the scores, couldn’t provide the access code, couldn’t (re-)send the code to the email on file. Our school confirmed that they also do not have access to any codes or scores. Their suggestion was to wait until hard copies are sent at the end of January, or she would escalate my case which would take 5-7 business days for someone to get back to me.

    54 days until the new SAT – at least 10, possibly 15-20, that I can’t plan a course of preparation and study around the results of the test. Khan offers a diagnostic of the scores to tailor preparation – good idea in theory, not so much if scores aren’t made available.

    A quick web search shows I’m far from the only one with this problem. And we pay for the privilege to take this test. I’m glad we already took the ACT, maybe we’ll just stick with that going forward.

  7. Debra Felman permalink

    1/12/16 been on hold for 25 minutes with College Board , no scores and now my son’s account is no longer recognized

  8. Terri Rennirt permalink

    I am a school counselor and have tried multiple times to access my scores.After a lengthy hold yesterday ( Jan.12th) ,I was told that they were still processing and I should check back in 2-3 days.

  9. 1/13 Sporadically trying code (HS CG got Monday) – continues to not work.
    CB is now starting to DM (direct message via twitter – a private communication which reduces the number of negative messages all can see) the following to people who still have not codes:

    “We’ve reviewed (the) account and it looks like scores are currently delayed. Have you received any email communication from us or your counselor? Unfortunately, we don’t have the specifics of the delay. We recommend contacting PSAT Services at 866-433-7728 (U.S.) or 212-713-8105 (Int’l) for more specific information.”

    Note when you call (25-37 min holds for people late last /early this week once the call connected) they create a case # and will get back to you 5-7 business days.

    For us it seems to be school wide (CA) and counselor was also given a we’ll get back to you in 5-7 biz days.

    School counselors across the US who contacted CB early have started to hear back from CB and telling families “I just received an update from Collegeboard and we should have score reports during the first week of February.”

    My opinion echoed by others here… This test was taken mind October. (weren’t paper copies handed back Mid Dec in past?) Getting the paper scores Early February is a few weeks before March test. Students will have a 3 test window, during which many use one for end of school year subject tests. Fall SAT date is won’t meet Early Application deadlines, and with this new CB timing might have a hard time meeting Regular deadlines.

  10. Jamie permalink

    Yep- Not answering phone, not replying to emails. No access to scores and when a parent actually got through the College Board Rep. said the school does have access, we just don’t know how to access it. A complete non-truth.

    How much does this relate to Pearson receiving and scoring the bubble sheets this year?

  11. Laurel permalink

    Still no scores for school in upstate New York. No response to emails and no answer to the problem when reached by phone. I started a hashtag on Twitter for those who still have no score. #PSATignoresproblem

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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