Minister of Education and Technical Education Tarek Shawky announced, in a special statement on Wednesday, that his ministry is looking for solutions to the crisis regarding the 2020 SAT exams.
Shawky noted that he was aware of all details regarding the cancellation of exams for American diploma students, and is now studying solutions with the responsible exam authority.
He asserted that his ministry will announce the measures to be taken to solve the problem by Thursday.
Earlier, the College Board, which administers the SAT tests, cancelled planned tests on 29 August in Egypt until June 2021, indicating that an early copy of this year’s SAT exam had leaked and were being offered for sale.
“Persistent test security incidents have led to repeated test administration cancellations, as well as score holds and cancellations, despite our implementing numerous additional security procedures,” the College Board said in a statement, “Due to these test security issues, we can not continue administering the SAT in Egypt at this time.”
This is not the first time Egyptian students have been affected by cancelled SAT exams. The cancellation means that the students who were supposed to graduate this year will be unable to do so. They will also not be able to enrol at universities this year, due to the repeated cancellations and not achieving the required grades.
Due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the College Board had already twice cancelled this year’s SAT administration.
In 2019, the College Board also thrice cancelled either the exams or the announcement of exam result for Egyptian students in the country and abroad, following a leakage of the SAT exams.
Last week, the Ministry of Education and Technical Education issued an official statement confirming that it had sent a letter to the College Board, obliging it to perform the exams for students who had already applied for this year. The ministry had requested this without prejudice to the public interest of the students and their educational future.
Meanwhile, the College Board announced that for a full refund is already being processed for those students for whom August SAT exams had been cancelled. The refunds will be applied to the payment method the students used to register.
It added that, for those students still wishing to sit the exams, they can register for another fall test date through their College Board account.
In 2019, Egypt’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research announced the criteria required from the American High School Diploma in order to apply for public universities in the country.
It said that students should pass eight subjects from those required for each faculty, after completing Grade 12. Each subject must represent at least one credit, with a maximum of three subjects to be taken in Grade 11. However, some private universities in Egypt may accept two subjects from Grade 10.
The new minimum required SAT I score is 1,050 out of 1,600, which will be accepted by public or national universities. The minimum accepted SAT II score is a total of 1,170 in two subjects, out of 1,600.
For admission to the Faculties of Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Veterinary Medicine, and Nursing, the two subjects required are Biology (obligatory) and Physics, Chemistry, or Mathematics (optional).
The Faculties of Engineering, Information Technology, Computing, Fine Arts (Architecture section), and Urban Planning, the two subjects required are Mathematics (obligatory) and Physics, Chemistry or Biology (optional).