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Reuters: How Asian test-prep companies swiftly exposed the brand-new SAT

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Replies to: Reuters: How Asian test-prep companies swiftly exposed the brand-new SAT

  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,014 Senior Member
    Periwinkle wrote:
    According to their 990 for the year ending in June 2014, the College Board made a profit of about $99 million in that year. Total assets in that year were about $1 billion.

    I think the College Board has the resources to create one-time tests. If they want to.

    I think the US Congress should give them the will. The College Board is a non-profit.

    Exactly. The CB is on the record as saying that it costs about $1 million to create a test. With clear, untaxed profit of $99 million, the CB absolutely has the resources to use unique tests in every test administration. The College Board must stop recycling tests.
  • jgoggsjgoggs Registered User Posts: 230 Junior Member
    Good for Reuters for doing some real reporting here, but the March 2016 cover page they reproduce in their story looks fake to me. A scan wouldn't look that crisp, and I don't think College Board says things like "SAT Test," which sounds more like non-native English. I could be wrong, of course--but it looks to me like someone took the cover page of one of the College Board's practice tests and just doctored it a bit.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,014 Senior Member
    They're on the record saying that the contents of that exam match reports of the test that was given in March and have run it by students who took the March exam, all of whom said it was the exact same test. I'm very inclined to believe the report, partly because of what I've heard from students here in Asia, but also because, hey, this is Reuters, not Buzzfeed, and Steve Stecklow has won a Pulitzer and three Polks. @jgoggs
  • jgoggsjgoggs Registered User Posts: 230 Junior Member
    I'm not doubting the report. I'm only doubting that cover. But again, I could be wrong.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,014 Senior Member
    Yeah, the cover may be synthetic.
  • sattutsattut Registered User Posts: 524 Member
    No one in Asia should taking the tests honestly should take the SAT. Take the ACT. Colleges will not take SAT scores from Asia seriously.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,014 Senior Member
    Hard to parse that garbled first sentence, but the second is definitely not the case, as the vast majority of test-takers in Asia do not cheat (I know--I teach hundreds of them a year).
  • CTTCCTTC Registered User Posts: 2,091 Senior Member
    edited March 2016
    CC is mentioned more than just in passing. Aside from other references about how test material is shared on this Board, the closing of the article states: “Have you read College Confidential?” Roy said in an interview. “All the detailed material is there.”
    This makes me sick.
    Is this Board perpetuating the cheating as the article suggests?
    If so, what is being done to stop it?
    Not much. Several have complained, and the only response has been from mods who state they don't have the time to monitor the threads where the SAT is discussed. Maybe instead of notifying the mods, posters who notice tests being discussed on CC should notify CB? The article states that "After the test ended, the website College Confidential was full of talk about the exam. The site said last week that it received and complied with one take-down request from the College Board after the new test."
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 51,299 Senior Member
    edited March 2016
    No one is excusing college board from taking responsibility for tightening security, getting rid of employees who are easily bought off, etc. But cheaters will find a way to cheat.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 27,775 Senior Member
    CC should take down the SAT forum.
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 51,299 Senior Member
    Sad that a site focused on college planning should possibly have to take down something so intrinsic to the process.
  • PeriwinklePeriwinkle Registered User Posts: 3,480 Senior Member
    edited March 2016
    If it were a one-time, one-use test, there would be no problem in students discussing SAT questions. It's only that the CB does not want to move to that model which makes it problematic. And it's problematic because some entities are harvesting the discussions to recreate the tests. Which they then market to their subscribers.

    @jym626, cheaters will always cheat. There's a level beyond which it becomes unconscionable, though. And that's the word my husband used, after he read the Reuters piece. Admittedly, he used that word to describe the College Board's behavior.

    I also think the descriptions of the test-prep cram outfits in Asia sound like one of Dante's levels of hell. If some of the students are memorizing old SAT tests, it resembles a piece from The Onion, doesn't it? Isn't there some better use of the students' and teachers' time?

    If the College Board were to assemble one-time tests from a huge question bank, it wouldn't matter as much if some of the questions were widely known in Asia. Go ahead, try to memorize 30,000 questions. It's the set up by which they reuse whole sections and whole tests, in a world in which a piece of information--such as which particular test has been reused--can literally cross the globe in minutes.
  • BBHENSBBHENS Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Stop giving the SAT test in Asia. They'll always try to cheat there.
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Registered User Posts: 7,675 Senior Member
    edited March 2016
    The other option is a massive question bank, well into the tens of thousands, available on demand. But this couldn't be updated all that often, making it vulnerable to cheating, an issue solved only by reducing the benefits of such an approach with 100,000+ questions.
    If I recall, this is how the National Board of Medical Examiners handles US Medical Licensing Exam Step 1 (322 questions) and Step 2CK (max 355, but the amount can vary). I don't know the exact number of questions in the bank, but no two students take the same test, even if they are doing their tests at the same time on the same day at the same center. When you register you have to provide an image of your fingerprint, along with your name, address, telephone number, date of birth, ID number, and a scanned copy of your ID (such as your driver’s license or passport), which includes your photograph. I don't know how they determine when to do it, but eventually questions are retired and sold in a bunch as a practice exam by the NBME itself. The exam is offered internationally at licensed test centers in many other countries.

    To my knowledge, they don't have a rampant cheating problem.
This discussion has been closed.