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Controversial and Pricey Summer SAT Test Canceled

Plans to offer the SAT on Aug. 3 to students in a special summer pilot program at Amherst College have been canceled.

Taking the college-entrance exam outside the stressful academic year is appealing to many high school students, but critics said it was unfair to only extend this chance to those who could afford to pay $4,500 through the University Prep program, sponsored by the National Gifted and Talented Society.

The National Center for Fair & Open Testing, also known as FairTest and advocates for test-score optional admissions, called on the College Board to cancel the test, and others chimed in with concern through blogs and editorials.

On Tuesday, the College Board issued a statement calling off the summer test saying that the initiative proceeded without proper consideration of whether all aspects of the program were aligned with its mission.

"Given what senior management has learned in the past few days, we informed NSGT earlier today that it would be inappropriate for an official SAT administration to take place at the conclusion of the University Prep program," the statement reads. "The College Board continues to support the NSGT's mission to provide educational opportunities for gifted and talented youth of all backgrounds. However, certain aspects of this specific program run counter to our mission of promoting equity and access, as well as to our beliefs about SAT performance."

The College Board says it will continue to explore the concept of a summer administration of the test, but will postpone piloting the initiative. Its statement said steps are being taken internally to ensure that future proposals receive the appropriate level of senior management review.

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