The test scores of a Black Florida high student have been called invalid when they increased by 300 points after she took the SAT a second time.
Kamilah Campbell, 18, now said she would most likely miss the January application deadline to apply to Florida State University’s summer term, prompting her to hire a famed civil rights lawyer to fight the board over the results.
“I did not cheat,” Campbell said during a press conference on Wednesday. “I studied and I focused to achieve my dreams. It was like a blowback for me because I worked so hard, and I did everything I could do to get ready and get prepared so that I’d know that I could achieve my goal.”
She first took the SAT test back in March 2018 and scored 900/1600. Unsatisfied with the results, she decided to study harder and retake the test. The second time she scored 1230 but the Educational Testing Service and the College Board refused to confirm the score and said her test was “invalid” until further review, CBS reports.
According to WPLG, the board sent a letter to Campbell explaining that they can’t validate the results because their “preliminary concerns are based on substantial agreement between your answers on one or more scored sections of the test and those of other test takers.”
Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump is now representing Campbell.
“They said her score was flagged, and suggested that she had cheated,” Crump said during the news conference. “Instead of celebrating her and celebrating her achievement they are trying to assassinate her character, and we won’t stand for that,” he added.
“They tell you that you need to practice and work and study to do better but then when you do better they question it,” Campbell said.
“Because it improved for over 300 points, so they’re saying I improved basically too much and that’s skeptical for them,”she added.
She credits her improvement with months of studying, tutors and a free online SAT prep program.
“They are not looking at it as if, ‘Maybe she focused and dedicated herself to passing this test,’” Campbell said.
The testing board said an investigation is underway and if they don’t validate the score after the review, Campbell will have to retake the test.