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    MORE: Footage shows 263 missing Loudoun SAT tests left building in UPS possession

    Hundreds of Loudoun students are having to retake their SAT after the answer sheets went missing. Times-Mirror file photo
    UPDATED Friday 2:45 p.m.

    Video surveillance from May 4 at Broad Run High School shows that UPS left the building with the 263 SAT tests and answer sheets packed in four boxes in hand, according to Loudoun County Public Schools spokesperson Wayde Byard.

    Students initially took the test at the school in Ashburn on May 2.

    The used test booklets were placed in three brown boxes and shipped to a recycling facility in New Jersey. These boxes arrived safe and sound.

    The white box filled with 263 students' SAT answer sheets was the fourth box shipped to an Educational Testing Service grading center in Austin, Texas, one of the places effected by massive flooding in the past week. This box never arrived, and UPS, ETS and Loudoun schools are still searching.

    They do know the box is in Texas, and Loudoun schools are confident the tests will be found, Byard said.

    In case the tests are not found, the makeup SAT is still scheduled for June 20.

    Students and parents have expressed worry about the retake over social media, anxious that after so long, the information is no longer fresh and test scores could go down.

    But they may not have to worry. Many colleges are switching their focus from looking at pure data and test scores to a more holistic assessment, taking into consideration a student's extracurricular and overall high school career rather than placing so much emphasis on the SAT, according to George Mason University Associate Professor for Educational Psychology Lori C. Bland.

    Bland teaches courses on evaluations and assessment data and is ex-director of test development services at National Evaluation Systems at Pearson.

    She said students whose tests were lost in the shuffle should think about the first SAT as practice.

    “If you consider the first one like practice, go in and review the materials and say 'I'll try to do better this time,' their scores might go up,” Bland said. “This may have been a benefit to them.”

    If students are worried, she said they can leave a note on their letter to the colleges they're interested in explaining the situation and the anxiety from the retake may have effected their scores.

    “I don't think they'll need to do that because Loudoun students tend to do well,” she said.

    There are two types of SATs: the general test and the subject matter test.

    In the specific subject matter test, if the student knows their subject and didn't cram in the first go-round, Bland doesn't see how test scores can dramatically change.

    The general SAT measures a student's preparedness for their first year of college.

    “What we're looking to see is does this student have enough skill to do well in college,” Bland said. “So if they have to take it again, the scores won't typically decrease wildly unless the student has test anxiety.”

    The best advice she could give was stay calm and review on.

    UPDATE: Loudoun County Public Schools and the College Board confirmed 263 SAT answer sheets are missing from the May 2 exam session at Broad Run.Those students have been given the option to retake the test at no charge, according to the College Board.

    ORIGINAL: About 300 Loudoun students' SAT tests are missing.

    The students, who took the test earlier this month, have been asked to retake the tests after the College Board, the company responsible for giving the SATs, said they didn't receive the test answer sheets.

    The College Board sent students whose tests were never received letters informing them of the loss, according to a Tweet by Stone Bridge High School student Nick Bowe. 

    “We regret to inform you that we have not yet received the shipment containing SAT and SAT Subject Test answer sheets from your May 2, 2015 test center,” the message said. “Unfortunately, the shipment is still unaccounted for, despite exhaustive search efforts. Every effort has been made to find the missing sheets, however experience has shown that if materials have not arrived by this point, they are unlikely to be located.”

    June 20 is the scheduled exam make-up day for these 100 students.

    On May 2, Loudoun county public schools proctored about 300 SATs at Broad Run High School, public information officer for the school district, Wayde Byard, said. 

    Following the instructions set by the College Board, school proctors set finished SAT answer sheets in a box for UPS shipping with a tracking label for each test. 

    “We did our part,” Byard said. “We proctored, followed procedures and that's where it ended.”

    Students can choose to retake on June 20 or another date at no cost, according to the College Board, who confirmed closer to 250 tests are missing. SAT answer sheets going MIA in transit is a rare occurrence, a spokesperson for the College Board said. 

    This is a developing story. Check back to LoudounTimes.com for more information as it becomes available.  

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