Just How Common is SAT Cheating?

December 16th, 2011

By John Kessler
Dec 16, 2011

As the Long Island SAT cheating scandal widens, the education community is asking fresh questions about how many students are scamming their way through the most important test they’ll take in high school.

And the two organizations that oversee the SAT, the College Board and ETS, are facing fresh scrutiny over whether their security measures are up to snuff.

The soul-searching and finger-pointing are fiercest in Nassau County, New York, where 20 current and former students have been arrested in the exam scam. Prosecutors say that five test-takers used bogus school IDs to take the SAT or ACT for 15 students, who paid between $500 and $3,600 for the privilege.

The test-takers are charged with scheming to defraud, falsifying business records and criminal impersonation. If convicted, they could serve up to four years in prison.

The College Board and ETS have strongly condemned the attempted corner-cutting. “No one despises cheating more than the College Board and the people who design the SAT,” said its president, Gaston Caperton, at a recent New York Senate hearing on the controversy.

Declaring its determination to root out cheating, the College Board has hired a security firm headed by former FBI chief Louis Freeh to review its SAT security protocols.

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