Miami-Dade high school senior says SAT officials are wrongly invalidating her score

Teen says she is being accused of cheating simply for improving her score

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Kamilah Campbell, a senior at Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School in Miami-Dade County, dreams of going to Florida State University. 

This week is crunch time, as many college applications, including FSU's, are due Jan. 1. But Campbell may miss the deadline due to her SAT test scores.

"I waited for four weeks for my score only to be told I have to wait another six weeks. And then they didn't tell me anything after," she said. "I keep calling and calling, and then, when they finally answered the phone, they said, 'Well, you have to provide documentation that you studied because we don't believe your score is valid.'"

According to the paperwork Local 10 News received from Campbell, she got a 900 in March 2018 and improved her new score by about 300 points.

But The Educational Testing Service officials aren't buying it. 

On Dec. 19, they sent her a statement saying, "We are writing to you because based on a preliminary review, there appears to be substantial evidence that your scores on the October 6, 2018 SAT are invalid. Our 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."

"There are practice tests in them where I had to answer a few questions. And this is where I checked off what I got right and wrong," Campbell explained.  

Campbell denies cheating, saying after the first test in March, she had a tutor and used study books.

"I wrote a statement myself. My English teacher wrote a statement. My tutor sent a statement. I sent pictures of my practice book and I let them know I had Khan Academy," Campbell said. 

With the FSU application deadline three days away, Campbell is now left with three options: retake the test, cancel her scores and get a refund or continue to fight and take it up with an arbitrator.

"No time during the test did anyone stop her. Note that she wasn't doing anything wrong. So therefore, she wasn't recognized as a cheater," said Veronica Morning, of Morrison Triumphant Community Taskforce. 

Campbell's biggest concern is losing her chance to attend FSU.

"It's a slap in the face because it's like you did better only to be told you couldn't have done that much better," she said.