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Tighter grip on SAT and ACT testing after cheating scandal

As a result of a cheating scandal, orchestrated by numerous students from the Long Island high school system,  students taking the SAT and ACT college entrance exams this fall will have to provide a photo ID during the application process for security purposes, the testing officials announced Tuesday. Officials will then match the photo with the students ID when they arrive for testing.

The change, which applies nationwide, comes after a cheating case involving the use of fake IDs that enabled student to take the SATs and ACTs for other students.

Reported by The New York Times, 20 former and current students from five schools in Nassau County, NY were arrested last fall in relation to the scheme. While five were believed to have taken tests for other students, 15 were accused of paying for the service.  Nassau County District Attorney, Kathleen Rice, said that as much as $3,500 was paid by some of the students. While 50 students are suspected of being linked to the scandal, Rice said only the arrested 20 has evidence riding against them, The Associated Press reported.

Charges against the 20 students are still pending.

“These reforms close a gaping hole in standardized test security that allowed students to cheat and steal admissions offers and scholarship money from kids who play by the rules,” Rice said.

Included in the new security reform is the the requirement for students to provide their gender during the application process. A test-taker arrested last year, Samuel Eshaghoof, was allegedly taking the exams for girls with a fake ID. Yet, Mr. Eshaghoff, a 2011 graduate of Great Neck North High School, pleaded not guilty following his arrest, the Times reported.

Furthermore, it will be mandatory for students to list the name of their high school.

“This will ensure that high school administrators receive students’ scores as well as their uploaded photo,”a statement from Ms. Rice’s office said. “This back-end check will provide another opportunity for cheaters to be caught.”

Categories: US News