File photo

On April 8 students arrived bright and early at University High School in Los Angeles, ready to take one of the most stressful and important test they will encounter in their life, the ACT.

Once the test was completed, students were told to expect results towards the end of April. However, multiple students and parents became concerned when some students test scores were being posted and others were absent.

Students and parents began calling ACT asking for test scores, but they received no definite answer as to why some of the scores were missing.

Their answer came earlier this week when ACT Customer Care sent out an email that said, “Our records indicated that you took the ACT test at University High School on April 8, 2017. After testing was completed, the test coordinator sent completed test materials back to ACT via courier service. Unfortunately, one of the packages containing the answer documents from your test center has not yet been received at ACT.”

The email was sent to 125 students on the Westside, including students at Palisades High School, Marymount, and Santa Monica High School. The email went on to say, “We regret to inform you that your answer document is among those missing.”

That final sentence has many students and parents concerned, worried and upset.

The three-hour standardized test measures a student’s skill in five specific areas, English, math, reading, science and writing. Students in grades 11 and 12 take the ACT and the scores are required by many colleges as part of the application process.

Samohi Mother, Melanie Skikne, is frustrated with the ACT, especially since this is not the first time ACT has lost test scores.

In 2015, ACT lost 88 test scores in Maryland, 50 test scores in Florida, and last year lost 53 test scores in Long Island.

“On an average national ACT test date, there are around 5,000 test centers administering the test across the country, so we must be very careful to track the thousands of packages that are coming to us,” said ACT Senior Director, Media & Public Relations Ed Colby. “Regardless of how many safeguards you put in place, there is always the possibility that a package will get lost or damaged in transit.”

Skikne’s child attends Samohi and has been preparing for the ACT since September.

“I have spent $5,000 on college prep because if I don’t then my child is at a disadvantage,” said Skikne. “Since the notice of the test scores being lost, both of our stomachs are upside down.

Her child meets with a tutor once a week, spends hours working on ACT prep course work, and takes a practice test every couple weeks.

She said Samohi parents have gathered a list of 40 other students within the high school who have been impacted by the lost of the ACT scores.

ACT is working with the test center supervisor and the carrier (FedEx) to attempt to locate the missing package.

“Some packages take longer than others to arrive at ACT, and occasionally a package will become temporarily lost in transit,” said Colby. “Most, however, are eventually located and returned to ACT.”

They will be working to register the impacted students for a retest, as many students were planning on send their test scores to prospective colleges.

Skikne and her child both agree to not retake the ACT.

“My child is one of the lucky ones, he has already taken the test and this was his second time. So we are sticking with the test scores from the first test,” said Skikne.

Impacted students may take the ACT for free on Sat. June 10. There is an alternate retest date on June 24 at University High School, the same test center where the scores were lost.

“ACT sincerely regrets any inconvenience that impacted students and their families may experience as a result of this very unfortunate situation,” said Colby. “However, we are still very hopeful that the package will be found, and that the students’ April ACT test can be scored and reported. We are doing everything within our power to locate the missing package.”