Cheating in any academic setting is not only immoral, but also holds significant consequences. Twenty students found that out the hard way in an SAT cheating scandal on Long Island last year. Legal charges of fraud and illegal impersonation were brought against students who paid others to take their exams for them; legal action was also taken against those who accepted payment to take the exam. In all, 20 students from 5 high schools were charged.
In an effort to eliminate cheating on standardized tests, the College Board and ACT are tightening up their rules for test-takers. Students will now be required to submit a photograph when they sign up for the SAT or ACT, and officials will check that student IDs match their registration photos. In addition to the requirement to submit a photograph, several other changes will be implemented, as well.
Standby testing, whereby students can register the day of the exam, will be eliminated, and students will have to certify their identity in writing at the test center. Furthermore, test-takers will be required report their gender, birth-date, and high school. Previously, students could choose not to report their high school, but with the new changes, all scores will be sent to the high school, along with the students’ photographs.
Plans were also proposed to send student photographs to colleges along with their SAT or ACT scores. However, due to concerns that sending photographs might influence admissions decisions, this proposal is under reconsideration. The ACT has opted not to send photographs to colleges, and the SAT will not automatically send photographs, but make them available to colleges in a database.
The new regulations will go into effect this fall for both the SAT and ACT.