March 28, 2012

SAT/ACT Security

After last year's cheating scandal, there are new rules for these big tests.

Shelby: Tough new rules for students taking the SAT or ACT were announced this week.

“They are putting in place a security procedure that’s going to be second to none, that’s going to, I believe, seriously cut down on the ability for people to do this if not eliminate it altogether.”

Shelby: The changes come after a widespread cheating scandal in New York. Last fall, twenty students from five schools in Nassau County were arrested for cheating. Officials say some of those students paid other young people to take the SAT for them to get better test scores. A few paid as much as $3,600. Officials say dozens may have been involved.

Did you hear about the cheating scandal here?

Student: Of course.

Student: Yes, I did.

Shelby: Were you surprised?

Student: Yeah, sort of.

Student: Yeah. It definitely brought our reputation down.

Shelby: How big of a problem do you think cheating is?

Student: I’d say it’s a pretty big problem for kids who actually do study for the test. It’s kind of unfair and we deserve a fair chance.

Shelby: Starting this fall, students will have to upload, or mail in, photographs of themselves when first registering to take either the ACT or SAT. Those photos will be printed on admission tickets, which will be mailed to students on test day. A student will need to bring both the ticket and a matching photo ID which will be checked by an administrator. And that is not all. That photograph will be attached to a student’s scores when they are reported to high schools and colleges.

“They’re going to be able to compare the photo with the person who showed up and say that’s either John Doe or that’s not John Doe.”

Shelby: Now students have to show ID when they take the test. Do you think this is a good rule?

Student: Yeah, it’s a good idea. This way, kids can’t just walk in and say they are someone else.

Student: No, I really don’t. Because what would stop someone from uploading their friend’s photo if they know they’re going to take it for them? Just like all new rules implemented, people will probably find ways to get past them and then the cycle continues.

Shelby: So, do you think cheaters will just cheat, doesn’t matter what the rules are?

Student: To a certain extent, yep.

Shelby: Last year, nearly 3 million students took the SAT and 1.6 million students took the ACT. Because those tests are such a crucial part of the college application process, officials say these new rules will eliminate cheating and should even the playing field for students.

“They’re going to need, like, two IDs; your license, another ID and your handwriting. So that’ll definitely help.”

“If you’re cheating on the SATs and you get caught, it’s going to screw you up a lot.”

Shelby: Shelby Holliday, Channel One News.


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