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ETS Provides Wrong Answer Sheet

On September 17, 2005, when Linda Fox sat for the Educational Testing Service Praxis Chemistry, Physics, and General Science test(10070), administered at the College of Charleston (SC), Center # 02499, she found that the answer key didn’t match the test. Here’s how she described what happened.

Well, at first, I couldn't quite process what I was seeing. I mean, my head went back and forth, back and forth, between the test and the answer sheet. I must have looked like a bobblehead doll.

Then came the fun. I raised my hand, trying to get the proctor's attention. They had made it VERY CLEAR, if we got out of our seat, without permission, they would take the test away, and send us on our way. So, I discretely tried to signal them. For about 10 minutes. They were paying absolutely no attention.

Finally, one of them looked up. And came over. I showed her the test and answer key. She said she would have to call ETS. That took about
15 minutes before she returned. She said that I should write in the answer book, instead of the answer key.

The trouble is, I had already marked up the test book. I usually do that in the margins. So, I had to erase any marks, so they could be sure to tell which answer I meant to write.

I figure I lost at least 25-35 minutes on a 2 hour test with all this. Need I add that I don't think I did too well on the test?

Linda learned that another teacher at her school had the same problem at another test site. And so they called ETS. An ETS representative said that someone from ETS would be in touch. Linda and her colleague received identical form letters from two different people.

In a response dated October 11, 2005, ETS treated Linda’s complaint as a trivial matter, in her words, “like the lighting or the temperature conditions.” ETS offers to waive PART of the fee for a re-test. She will be obliged to “submit the registration fee, state fee (if applicable), and any other required fees."

If Linda takes this retest on the date chosen by ETS, they will waive their test fee. They want her to take it on November 19, 2005, the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Linda wonders how many other ETS test takers faced this problem.

NOTE: The Praxis Chemistry, Physics, and General Science test(10070) contains 120 Multiple-choice questions. Here is the approximate breakdown:

I. Major Ideas of Chemistry and Physics 24 20%
II. Chemistry 36 questions 30%
III. Physics 36 questions 30%
IV. Earth and Space Science 12 questions 10%
V. Life Science 12 questions 10%

Here's a sample question, which gives you an idea of the complexity of not having a matching answer sheet.

1. Zn3(PO4)2(s) + 6H+(aq) « 3Zn2+(aq) + 2H3PO4(aq)
The expression representing the equilibrium constant,
Kc, for the equation above is
(A) [Zn2+][H3PO4]
(B) [Zn2+]3[H3PO4]2
(C) [Zn2+][H3PO4]
(D) [Zn2+]3[H3PO4]2
(E) [H+]6

Here's more about the exam .

— Susan Ohanian
communication with an ETS Test Taker




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