ACT tests taken at Mariner lost in transit

Forty exams in June never made it to Iowa facility; students found out last week
By Brandon Gustafson | Aug 21, 2019

A few dozen students who took the ACT exam at Mariner High School during the last school year received unfortunate news last week when it was revealed that the tests of 40 students never made it from Everett to the ACT’s facility in Iowa.

“The answer documents of 40 students who took the ACT test at Mariner High School on June 8 have, unfortunately, not yet been received by ACT,” said Edward Colby, ACT’s senior director of media and public relations. “After testing was completed, the test coordinator sent the test materials back to ACT via courier service (FedEx) as instructed, but ACT has not yet received those 40 answer documents. We continue to work with Mariner High School and the courier service to search for the missing answer sheets and are hopeful that they will be located.”

The ACT is an entrance exam that many colleges and universities in the U.S. use to help with admissions decisions.

While the exam took place at a Mukilteo School District school, the test was administered strictly by ACT and its hired proctors, Mukilteo School District spokesperson Diane Bradford said.

“Mariner was a test site, but there were students from all over there,” she said. “I know we had some Kamiak kids there.”

Bradford said she’d heard the ACT had a record of giving the tests to FedEx, but somewhere between Everett and Iowa they went missing.

“It’s rough and we feel awful for all students involved,” Bradford said. “If those students have concerns about college applications, we recommend they meet with their guidance counselor.”

As Bradford mentioned, the test is potentially important for incoming high school seniors, as many college applications occur early in the school year.

One incoming senior who took the exam at Mariner that day was Lindsey Greenfield, a Kamiak student. Her father, Brad Greenfield, said the process for finding out that his daughter’s test was missing was long-winded and ultimately disappointing.

“We were waiting for the results, which we knew from prior experiences typically takes 3-4 weeks,” Greenfield said. “After about a month and a half, we started making some calls to ACT, who didn’t really have a clear answer, but they eventually admitted had no records. Then last Wednesday, they emailed us and said they’d lost 40 tests. We’re obviously upset and disappointed.”

Greenfield said Lindsey had spent a lot of time during the second half of her junior year studying for the exam, hoping she’d get a good enough score that she’d only need to take it once. But now she’ll have to retake the test without a prior score to compare it to.

“It is what it is, but she has to retake the test now and doesn’t have those initial results to go off of,” Greenfield said. “College applications are coming up soon, and it doesn’t give her a lot of time.”

Colby said students who were affected by the lost exams are able to take the exam for free in a few weeks.

“As our search continues, we have automatically registered the impacted students for the upcoming ACT test date at Everett Community College in September to ensure that they have a test score to send to colleges,” he said. “Obviously, this is at no cost to them. If students cannot test on that date, they can switch their registration to any future national ACT test date for free. In addition, we will be refunding their June registration fees.

“ACT has informed the affected students of the situation and offered them our sincere apologies. We know how important this is to them; it is very important to us as well.”

Greenfield said both ACT and FedEx should have voiced this issue earlier.

“I wish they would have stepped up. It would have been nice to know earlier,” he said. “It put us in a hole here with not much time left.


Information for those involved

For students affected, the exam is Saturday, Sept. 14, at Everett Community College. Students must log into their ACT student web accounts after this Friday (Aug. 23) to print a ticket. To test, students must report to Everett CC by 8 a.m. that day with the ticket and photo ID.

For students unable to take the Sept. 14 test, they can switch their registration to any future national ACT test date during the next 12 months without paying a fee.

For those who already signed up for the Sept. 14 exam, those registration fees will be refunded. The ACT will also refund registration fees for the June exam.

Students involved who are facing college application deadlines are recommended to provide a copy of the email the ACT sent last week to the colleges they’ve applied to.




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