College Board: it’s not me, it’s you

Chronicle Staff

Dear College Board,

Why do you do this to me? You started off so nice when I joined your website as an innocent sophomore. You sent me e-mails filled with useful information, like which standardized tests I should take to get into that perfect college (only the ones run by you, of course). You let me personalize my own account and look up schools I had never even heard of before. You were my guide, College Board.

Our relationship has since gone downhill.

I could ignore hearing about those SAT Is that got rained on and mis-scored last year (although mainly just because it didn’t directly affect me and thus was unimportant). I could ignore the lengthy SAT I, although spending five precious Saturday hours in Chalmers 309 is certainly not an experience I would recommend to anyone who could avoid it.

But now, College Board, you’ve gone a step too far, hurt me one too many times.
This time, you’ve lost my French Language AP exam.

You know the one I mean. The one that took five hours to finish. The one with fill-in-the-blanks, reading comprehension, an oral section AND an essay. The one that Mme. Ghirlanda spent months preparing her second period class for.

You’ve put me in a tough position, Mr. Big Bad College Board. Not only are you putting me back in that room to take another three-hour AP exam (they were bad enough the first time around, thank you very much), but taking the exam four months after I’ve finished the class doesn’t sound like the yellow brick road to a five.

So this is all very inconvenient, but here is my main dilemma:
How is it that I am supposed to trust you, College Board, with the important task of guiding me to my future when I can’t even trust you to safely transport my AP exam to a warehouse in New Jersey?
And even if you slip up, somehow manage to lose an entire class’ worth of exams on the way there, I thought I could expect more from you than a letter saying I could either re-take the exam or cancel my score – without a letter from you, the cause of this predicament, telling XYZ University why I don’t have a French Language AP score on my transcript. I thought you would take care of me, College Board.

Sure, my parents pay $23,850 to get college advice from licensed professionals, but you’re the one who’s supposed to be giving me the inside scoop, the 411, the lowdown on how to pick the right school for me and how to make that school see I’m the right student for it. It seems that you’ve only caused me and my peers more trouble than you’re worth, old friend. I thought we were going to help each other out, me taking your standardized tests, you getting me into college.

I don’t know how I feel about this relationship. It’s me taking your standardized tests, you losing my standardized tests. I do know that it’s not quite the symbiotic relationship I signed up for.

So College Board, this relationship is on the outs. Sure, I have to take a couple more SAT IIs, but I’ll probably resent you for that. Sure, I’ll have to sit through some more AP exams, but after that…you and I, College Board, we’re done. You’ve lost my faith.

Previously yours,
Sophie Mancall-Bitel