A student filling out a score sheet for an exam.

The state Education Department has delivered the 2018 student test scores to schools — but demanded the results remain top secret until late September.

Critics call the stalling manipulative and political, noting that the delayed release will come after Thursday’s Democratic primary pitting Gov. Andrew Cuomo vs. Cynthia Nixon.

The state could also be tinkering with the “cut scores” — where to set the lines between passing and failing — to shape the overall results.

“One can only speculate that they want to delay the release until after school has begun and they have figured out how to portray the results in a positive light,” said education advocate Leonie Haimson.

Each student’s scores on math and English tests in grades 3-8 were sent to schools the last week of August, but remain “embargoed” and are “meant to remain confidential until the public news release,” state officials told superintendents and principals in a memo.

NYC parents need the scores to help their kids apply for middle-and high schools which set admission criteria.

Asked why the state is withholding the scores, spokesman Jonathan Burman said releasing them at the same time as school wide and statewide data will give families “a reference” to put them in context.

But education advocates blasted the secrecy.

“If the scores are there, why the heck aren’t they releasing them?” asked Carol Burris, a former Long Island principal and testing critic.

“Embargo and double talk surrounding the 2018 results are just one more example of how we are kept in the dark,” said Fred Smith, a a former test specialist for NYC public schools.

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