The SAT cheating scandal involving an Emory student has led to tougher security measures for test takers.
Last year, the Nassau County district attorney charged Emory University student Sam Eshaghoff, who is from New York, with scheming to defraud, criminal impersonation and falsifying business records. The DA alleged that six students at Great Neck North High School in Long Island paid him as much as $2,500 to take the SAT in hopes of achieving a higher score.
Now, the test companies are taking steps to prevent such blatant cheating.
Stung by a cheating scandal involving dozens of Long Island high school students, the SAT and ACT college entrance exams will now require students to upload photos when they sign up for the exams, and officials will check that image against the photo identification the students present when they arrive to take the test, the Nassau County district attorney said Tuesday.
The change was one of several announced Tuesday in the aftermath of the cheating cases, in which high-scoring students used fake IDs to take SATs or ACTs for other students. Twenty teenagers from five schools in Nassau County were arrested last fall, five of them suspected of taking tests for others and the other 15 accused of paying them $500 to $3,600 to take the tests.
The new rules apply nationwide, and the Nassau County district attorney, Kathleen M. Rice, said in a statement that they would take effect in the fall. Ms. Rice said a goal of the new requirements was to close the gaps in test security that had allowed students to impersonate other students. The photograph that students will be required to upload will be printed on their admission ticket and the roster at the test center. The statement said the uploaded photos would be retained in a database that high school and college admissions officials can look at.
Another new rule calls for would-be test-takers to list their high school when they sign up. “This will ensure that high school administrators receive students’ scores as well as their uploaded photo,” according to a statement from Ms. Rice’s office. “This back-end check will provide another opportunity for cheaters to be caught.” The statement said home-schooled students or others who are not in high school — those in the military, for example — “will follow a slightly different registration procedure.”
The statement also said that standby test registration, in which students can register the day they take the test, would be eliminated. “Students not appearing on the roster” at a test center or students who do not present sufficient identification “will not be allowed to sit for the exam,” according to the statement from Ms. Rice.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog