Students nationwide risked getting their PSAT scores cancelled by posting memes and jokes based on the test questions on social media moments after completing the test.
On Wednesday, October 14, 3.5 million high school students across the nation sat in their seats and prepared to take the PSAT. PSAT stands for Preliminary SAT, which is considered a shorter, practice SAT.
The test is four hours long, and covers reading, writing, and math. Before students take this test, they are required to sign a contract stating, “You may not discuss the contents of the test with anyone else, or share them through any means, including, but not limited to, emails, text messages, and the Internet until after score reports have been distributed.”
As soon as students completed the test and headed off for lunch, they began to post about all the content, calling it “2015 PSAT Memes.”
Within an hour of the end of the test, there were over a hundred thousand tweets about the test.
“We appreciate that students share their experiences on social media, [but] as part of their test experience, they have acknowledged that they will not share specific test content.” said CollegeBoard spokesman Zach Goldberg to Washington Post.
Later that day, social media accounts dedicated to spreading the memes began to pop up, like the Twitter account @PSATof2015, which only tweeted jokes related to the test.
“I don’t think I would be affected for participating in the memes, it relates more to the names mentioned in the PSAT, it doesn’t answer any specific questions,” Ryanna Henson, a sophomore who took the test, said.
After #PSAT became a worldwide trending topic on twitter, the College Board took notice and encouraged students to “tweet responsibly.” They even replied to a student and said, “Glad you had fun w/ the test, but we ask students not to share test content, Please delete this tweet. #NoOffenseBey”
Summer Winn, Ann Richards Testing Coordinator agrees with the college board. “Their scores could be cancelled. If I heard about certain people [posting], I would have to do something.”
Since 2003, PSAT jokes have been all over social media, and although the jokes have started to die down, there is no sign of it stopping next year.
“The College Board is aware of it, and they can’t stop it, but I don’t think they’re offended at this point,” Henson said. “Memes can’t educate people, but they’re entertaining.”