Hundreds of thousands of students waiting for their SAT results were left in agony today after the Web site for the organization that owns the test crashed because of too much traffic.
By 6 p.m., some results were available, but the site was responding very slowly.
Kristin Carnahan, a spokeswoman for the College Board, said that technicians were working on the problem and hoped to get it fixed later today or during the weekend. Failing that, she said, students and colleges would receive the results by regular mail toward the end of the month.
More than a half a million would-be college applicants took the Oct. 9 test, one of the last of the old-style SAT tests before a radical overhaul planned for next spring. Most of the test-takers are high school seniors who have taken the test several times before, but want to improve their scores in order to get into the college of their choice.
Carnahan said that the College Board had been getting calls all day from anxious students eager to know their test scores, and from parents.
"We don't know exactly what happened, but our technicians are saying that they hope to have at least some of the features of the Web site restored by later today," she said. While the Web site is the earliest and easiest way for students to find out their SAT scores, the College Board uses the mail to formally notify test-takers of their results.
Test-takers who called College Board headquarters in New York today were also told that they could receive the results immediately by calling a 1-800-728-7267 and paying a fee by credit card.