LONDON (Reuters) – Students in Asia have already been notified that their scores from the writing section of last month’s ACT college-entrance exam are being canceled, in the latest example of how standardized test makers are struggling to contain an international epidemic of cheating.
The incident comes just months after ACT Inc, the Iowa-based nonprofit that operates the test, was forced to cancel its exam for several takers in South Korea and Hong Kong. That incident, in June, marked the very first time the high-stakes exam was canceled for an entire country.
ACT spokesman Ed Colby declined to state exactly how many students were afflicted with the October score cancellations, which he said test that is involved in Asia and Oceania. He described the incident because of “a compromise in the testing process” and said the affected students “amounted to only a portion that is small of in the region.”
Affected students for the October score cancellation received a message from ACT that stated: “Unfortunately, events occurred which compromised the testing process when it comes to writing portion of the test event. As a total result, you won’t receive a score for your writing test response/essay. Your choice that is multiple ACT, mathematics, reading, and science tests—WILL be scored.”
The message added that ACT will issue each learning student a $16 refund.
The ACT writing section is nominally voluntary, but many colleges require students to go on it to gauge an applicant’s writing and reasoning abilities.
The latest security incident is “a frustrating and complicated situation for the students,” said Kristin J. Dreazen, president for the international affiliate for the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
The afternoon prior to the ACT was administered on Oct. 22, Reuters obtained a duplicate of an ACT writing test about the subject “Fame” that an Asian source said had leaked and was to be provided with the day that is next. Test administrators in Asia were instructed shortly ahead of the test to substitute a essay that is different compared to one that originally had shipped. Colby declined to comment on the test Reuters obtained.
Reuters reported in July that ACT’s test security unit repeatedly had recommended tightening security overseas before the June breach, but that ACT executives had rejected the recommendations. The company later laid off the head of the unit. ACT’s chief executive, Marten Roorda, has declined to be interviewed.
ACT recently began shipping some of its test booklets and answer sheets in lock boxes to protect against leaks. But the use of lock boxes is still not universal, based on test administrators.
In July, Reuters also detailed widespread cheating in the ACT-owned assessment Certificate program that is global. This system, that offers college preparatory courses, has about 5,000 students and operates in about 200 centers, mostly in Asia. reut.rs/2akY3uf
Seven students who attended three different GAC centers in China described how school officials and proctors ignored and were sometimes complicit in cheating on the ACT. Eight teachers or administrators that have worked at seven different Chinese GAC centers also described cheating in program courses.
ACT’s chief rival, the newest College that is york-based Board which administers the SAT, happens to be struggling featuring its own security problems. The school Board recently notified an number that is undisclosed of in Egypt that their scores were being canceled for the click this link now October test.
College Board spokesman Zach Goldberg said the cancellations were “based on evidence that a test preparation organization illegally obtained and shared the test content prior to the administration.” He declined to elaborate.
Reuters also reported in August that a major breach exposed a huge selection of unpublished questions for upcoming SAT exams. A College Board spokeswoman said the company was investigating what she termed “a serious criminal matter.”