High school students shocked after university entrance exam mix-up

Memorial University computer gave bungled scoring of 200 math placement tests

Dozens of Atlantic Canadian students—and their parents—were stupefied after Memorial University bungled the results of their entrance math exams. From the Toronto Star:

Every student wanting to get into the math program at the school in St. John’s, Nfld., is required to take the Math Placement Test (MPT). But this year things went off the rails when computer software that verifies the answers was applied to the wrong set of exams.

When students checked out their results and found out they had failed, chins dropped and disbelieving parents rushed for the phone. Within minutes of the results being posted, the university’s lines started to light up.

“We mixed up the answer key on one of the tests … and gave the wrong answers to about 200 tests,” Professor Edgar Goodaire, the interim head of Memorial’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, told the Star on Tuesday.

“We are very apologetic and we have egg on our face,” he said.

Goodaire also told the newspaper that the mistake became obvious when a student granted early admission with a 98 per cent high school average scored 41 per cent on the entrance test. After the tests were remarked, the average score jumped from 66 to 76 per cent.