SAT Cheating Scandal Imposes New Security Requirements

SAT cheating scandal

The SAT cheating scandal uncovered in Nassau, Long Island (discussed in my previous post) has resulted in changes to the security procedures that will be used in future SAT and ACT tests.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen M. Rice and her office identified more than 50 students who either impersonated and took the SAT or ACT for someone else, or paid another student to take the test for them. 20 Nassau County teenagers were arrested as a result of the investigation.

Due to this investigation and spurred on by the bad publicity, both the SAT and ACT organizations have added more security to the test taking process. Some of these new security measures to prevent any more SAT cheating Scandal are:

1. All test registrants will be required to upload a photograph of themselves when they register for the SAT or ACT.
2. All test registrants will be required to identify their high school during registration.
3. All test registrants will provide their date of birth and gender, which will be printed on the test site roster.
4. Standby test registration in its current form will be eliminated.
5. Students will certify their identity in writing at the test center, and acknowledge the possibility of a criminal referral and prosecution for engaging in criminal impersonation.
6. Proctors will check students’ identification more frequently at test centers. IDs will be checked upon entry to the test center, re-entry to the test room after breaks, and upon collection of answer sheets.

What do these new rules mean for the average test taker? More hoops to jump through to take these necessary exams. Note that any hitch in the above process will prevent you from taking the exam. This can delay your college admission schedule but will certainly help prevent any more SAT Cheating Scandal.

Careful preparation will be required to meet the new requirements.

The requirement to upload a photo upon registering is kind of vague. Can you use a Facebook photo? How old can the photo be? How big should it be? You can see a lot of room for errors here. The press release states, “Specialized software will verify that photos clearly show the student’s face.”

For those who identify their High School; what if you move or transfer prior to sitting the exam? There is also mention of a “slightly different registration procedure” for test takers who do not attend a high school. Although the press release is vague on details.

Will the test site roster, which now must include birth date and gender, be posted publicly?

The elimination of the standby test registration will mainly affect those who, for one reason or another, cannot take the exam at a planned time. For example, those who work, have family obligations, or merely want some flexibility in their schedule.

The SAT website has already been updated with the new requirements after the recent SAT cheating scandal. Note the “Photo identification” requirements. It stresses a “current and valid” photo ID. Passport just expired? Tough. Testing on your birthday? Better be careful and have a second ID, as most state’s driver’s licenses expire on your birthday.

All of these new requirements add to the stress of SAT or ACT test day but at least it will help prevent another SAT cheating scandal.

It is now more important than ever to be well prepared for your test. One of the most highly recommended ways to prepare is through a test prep program. The Kaplan program is one of the most popular paid options; other paid options include The Princeton Review, and Sylvan Learning.

For free options that include practice tests visit SAT at

or ACT at: .

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