Report: Chinese cheating on SAT; unlikely to stop with new version

testingStudents taking the SAT college entrance exam in China have gotten a huge advantage over students here in the U.S. – they’ve gotten copies of some of the questions and even sometimes the whole test. It’s an ongoing problem throughout Asia, according to multiple news agencies including the Wall Street Journal.

But this week,  Reuters reports the problem hasn’t been fixed with the arrival of the new version of the test that premiered this month and will be given again in May. It seems some of the tests questions continue to be recycled – and in some cases leaked.

See our full story about that new version of the SAT here. 

Further, according to the news agency’s report, it has happened more than the test’s maker, the non-profit College Board, has admitted.

In addition to breaches the College Board has acted upon, Reuters counts eight other times since late 2013 that questions have circulated online before the exam was administered overseas.

Apparently, survival in the Asian test-prep market is dependent on plumbing for copies of test questions. One test-prep consultant that Reuters spoke to compared it to doping in the Tour de France: “If you don’t do it, someone else will.”

How do the cheats get a hold of the test?  According to Reuters, some test-prep centers send folks in undercover to memorize or photograph its contents. And sometimes U.S. teens spill valuable details on social media.

The College Board told Reuters it “would never move forward with a test administration … without the full confidence that we can maintain the integrity of the exam and deliver to our member colleges and universities valid scores.”

In the past, it has cancelled tests when a leak was suspected. It has also held scores when cheating was suspected on a test already administered.

The next test date in the U.S. is May 7, 2016.

According to Reuters: “About 64,000 students took the SAT in East Asia during the 2013-2014 school year, including 29,000 from China. And some 125,000 mainland Chinese undergraduates now attend U.S. universities.

The Wall Street Journal reported in June 2015: A record 886,052 overseas students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities in 2013-2014, with the largest number — 274,439 — being Chinese nationals, according to the Institute of International Education.

 

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