Florida Girl Improves Her SAT Score 330 Points. Now She’s Being Investigated For Cheating.

On Kamilah Campbell’s first attempt taking the SAT, she scored a 900. She wanted to attend Florida State University (this reporter’s alma mater) and believed she needed a better score.
She worked with a tutor, took prep classes online, and read a copy of The Princeton Review prep book, according to CNN. Seven months later, she took the SAT again.
When she received an envelope from Educational Testing Services (ETS), the company that administered the test, she expected a better score. Instead, she got a letter saying her score may be invalid and her answers “raise concerns about the validity of your scores.”
"We are writing to you because based on a preliminary review, there appears to be substantial evidence that your scores ... are invalid," the letter said, according to CNN. "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. The anomalies noted above raise concerns about the validity of your scores."
It seemed to Campbell that she was accused of cheating — which she swears she did not do.
"I did not cheat. I studied, and I focused to achieve my dreams, and I know to achieve them, I had to be focused and dedicated." she told reporters Wednesday at a press conference. “I won’t let ETS or anybody else take my dreams away from me.”
After receiving the letter, she called the testing company and found out she scored a combined 1230 on her second attempt at the SAT, meaning she improved her score by 330 points. She believes this substantial increase is why her test was flagged.
Zach Goldberg, a spokesman for The College Board, which administers the SAT, told CNN that a score would not be flagged just because of an increased score, and that such increases are celebrated. He told the news outlet that tests could be flagged for other reasons, such as similar answers between testing sheets.
An official for ETS reiterated this to WPLG Local 10, an ABC affiliate in Miami.
An ETS official released a statement regarding the issue, saying, "We cannot discuss specific students' scores. After every test administration, we go to great lengths to make sure that all test scores we report are accurate and valid. In order to do so, we sometimes take additional quality control steps before scores are released," the spokesperson said. “We do not cancel scores based on a score gain alone; we will only cancel scores after we are confident that there is substantial evidence to do so."
Campbell is being represented by Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney and an FSU graduate. He says he was asked by other university alum to help Campbell. He said during the press conference that The College Board has two weeks to respond to his questions.
"Instead of celebrating her and celebrating her achievement they are trying to assassinate her character, and we won't stand for that," he told reporters.
He said the timing is important because colleges across the country — including FSU — are currently evaluating applications and deciding who to let in. A delay could cost Campbell acceptance to her dream school, where she wants to study dance. She has already missed the January 1 college deadline, according to WPLG 10.
She told the affiliate she “turned in a letter from my tutor, a letter from my teacher and I wrote a statement myself,” to prove she did not cheat. She “also turned in pictures of the study book I used on my own.”
Campbell is from Miami Gardens, Florida, has a 3.1 grade point average, and has been dancing her whole life.
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