Teen Vogue has published a salacious, rather sad overview of how students go about cheating on the SAT and ACT. Of course, it’s not news to our readers that some nefarious students find ways to cheat on these exams — and that their methods of cheating have become way more advanced over the years from, say, crib sheets. From West Coach test-takers sneaking into bathrooms during testing to peruse comments on College Confidential written by test-takers who completed the exams a few hours before on the East Coast to taking tests for other people by impersonating them, Zach Schermele exposes these devious methods in a piece for Teen Vogue entitled “Why It’s So Easy to Cheat on College Admissions Tests Like the SAT.”
A Call for Increased Security Measures on the SAT, ACT, and Other Standardized Tests
As Schermele reports, “The Educational Testing Service, which is hired by the College Board to develop and administer its exams, did not respond to Teen Vogue’s multiple requests for comment. Whether many test-taking rules are followed, however, depends entirely on the people who proctor the tests, and while criteria do exist spelling out who can do the job, the College Board and ACT’s proctor requirements do not appear to have changed since one proctor and two test administrators were indicted as part of Operation Varsity Blues…’It might be smart for the test-makers to incorporate a stronger vetting process and require training,’ Sam Pritchard, the director of College Prep Programs at Kaplan Test Prep, told Teen Vogue. ‘More oversight seems warranted in that it may prevent more cheating and also restore faith by test-takers and their parents, not to mention colleges who want to know that applicants’ scores are their own.'”
We echo the thoughts of Mr. Pritchard. The security flaws of the SAT, ACT, Subject Tests, and AP Tests have been well known for a long time. Over the years on our college admissions blog, we have reported on so many instances of cheating in Great Neck, New York, in Ranchos Penasquitos, California, in South Korea, in China and just about every village, city, and nation large or small in between. If ETS isn’t up to the task of ensuring the security of these exams, perhaps it’s high time for College Board and ACT to administer the exams themselves and make real changes to their security measures.