Gephardt Daily

College Board to tighten security to prevent SAT cheating

To prevent tests and test questions from being stolen, the College Board announced it will reuse fewer questions, give police the names of people and companies believed to be involved in cheating and reduce the number of times the test is administered outside the United States. File Photo by Oleksandr Berezko/Shutterstock

Feb. 23 (UPI) — The College Board, the owner of the SAT, said it will increase security worldwide following incidents of test-stealing and other forms of cheating in recent years.

In a public statement issued this week, the College Board said the efforts will be “the most robust and direct actions taken by a college entrance exam provider.” They will include providing law enforcement and government agencies in the United States and across the world the names of people and companies believed to be involved in cheating.

“We are unwavering in our commitment to SAT test security and we will continue to confront any efforts to undermine it, including the unauthorized disclosure of test questions and test forms,” College Board Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel Peter Schwartz said in the statement.

“There are three fundamental ways we protect the value of the SAT for test takers and score recipients: increasing the pool of test items, increasing security and deterrence, and limiting exposure of test materials by reducing the number of administrations.”

The College Board will also reduce the times the test is proctored outside of the United States each year and will reduce the number of questions that are reused on different tests.

“In all of our efforts, we’ve worked to strike a balance between thwarting those seeking an unfair advantage and providing testing opportunities for the vast majority of students who play by the rules,” Schwartz added.

The company said it will increase test center audits worldwide, make it easier for students and educators to anonymously report cheating incidents and expand its own criteria for banning prospective test-takers who would take the standardized exam for reasons other than its intended purposes.

Critics said the measures are not enough. Some said questions should not be reused at all.

“It is not sufficient to ‘reduce reuse,’ which is as far as the College Board statement goes, no matter how much additional security is put in place,” Bob Schaeffer, education director for the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, said. “With instantaneous global communication via Facebook, Snapchat, private messaging and dark websites, there is no way to prevent test questions from being circulated once they have been administered. The only way to stop unethical test-prep companies and individuals from gaining advance knowledge of upcoming test items is to stop reusing test questions.”