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Long Island Students Want Answers After Their ACT Exams Go Missing

ROSLYN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Students and parents on Long Island want to know how the ACT answer sheets of 53 high school test takers went missing.

"Kept checking everyday, you know just hoping to see, you know maybe I got a perfect score," student Matthew Pemberton told CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff. "Nothing came."

Nothing, until an apology from exam administrators.

"We regret to inform you that your answer sheet is among those missing," the letter read.

"It's almost inexcusable to lose them. And there are so many people now where they're completely just lost now," Pemberton said.

The test was administered at Roslyn High School on October 22. Scores have been pouring in for most students since early November, but 53 have been told all efforts to find their exams have been unsuccessful.

How could this happen? The answer sheets could have been lost at the exam site, lost in transit or lost at the ACT headquarters.

An ACT spokesperson said they do not know where they were lost, but are "taking every possible step to locate the answer sheets."

At Private Prep, an education service where students practice taking the ACTs, there's empathy.

"It's just so time consuming, it's just so upsetting that a test would be lost," student Sam Kashi said.

"They put a lot of time into this, some for over a year, preparing for something like this," Jeremy Cohen said.

For Pemberton, a Glen Cove High School senior, much was riding on that test. He's in line for a riflery scholarship and studied hard, hoping that an extra point would save him and his family thousands of dollars.

"The email I got today is, 'you can have your money back and take the test at a later date.' Well, it's too late for that, it's just too late for that at this point in the admissions process," his father, Brian, said.

Tests were also lost last year in Suffolk County. CBS2 asked ACT administrators then why answers aren't submitted electronically. They said thy were moving in that direction. Now, we're told an online version is still a possibility in the future.

A spokesperson for the ACT shared the following statement:

"Answer sheets for 53 students who took the ACT at Roslyn High School in October are currently missing. ACT has worked with the courier service to track possible missing materials, and an extensive search of the test center has been conducted, but the missing answer documents have not yet been found. We are taking every possible step to locate the answer sheets and are hopeful that they will be found soon.

To ensure that impacted students have an ACT score to send to colleges, ACT has set up a special retest date for them on January 14 at the same location (Roslyn High School) in the event that the answer sheets are not located before then. Students can take the ACT on the retest date or switch their registration to a future scheduled ACT test date for no additional charge. All students will also receive a refund of their October registration fee.

ACT sincerely regrets any inconveniences that students and their parents may be experiencing as a result of this unfortunate situation."

Roslyn school district officials said all of the testing staff worked for the ACT, not the school district, and the test coordinator told them all proper protocols were followed.

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