LONDON (Reuters) – Students in Asia have already been notified that their scores regarding the writing section of last month’s ACT college-entrance exam are increasingly 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 nonprofit that is iowa-based operates the test, was obligated to cancel its exam for many takers in South Korea and Hong Kong. That incident, in June, marked the 1st time the high-stakes exam was canceled for an entire country.
ACT spokesman Ed Colby declined to express what number of students were impacted by the October score cancellations, which he said involved test centers in Asia and Oceania. He described the incident because of “a compromise in the testing process” and said the affected students “amounted to simply a small percentage of examinees in the area.”
Affected students for the October score cancellation received a note 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 simply will not receive a score for the 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 student a $16 refund.
The ACT writing section is nominally voluntary, but many colleges require students to take 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 associated with international affiliate for visit the site here the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
Your day prior to the ACT was administered on Oct. 22, Reuters obtained a duplicate of an ACT writing test on the subject “Fame” that an Asian source said had leaked and was to be provided with the next day. Test administrators in Asia were instructed shortly prior to the test to substitute a essay that is different than the one which 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 security that is tightening ahead of the June breach, but that ACT executives had rejected the recommendations. The company later let go the head regarding 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 guard against leaks. Nevertheless the usage of lock boxes ‘s still not universal, according to test administrators.
In July, Reuters also detailed widespread cheating in the ACT-owned Global Assessment Certificate program. 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 were and ignored sometimes complicit in cheating regarding 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 latest York-based College Board, which administers the SAT, has been struggling using its own security problems. The school Board recently notified an undisclosed amount of test-takers in Egypt that their scores were being canceled when it comes to 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 hundreds of unpublished questions for upcoming SAT exams. A College Board spokeswoman said the business was investigating what she termed “a serious criminal matter.”