Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

ACT Testing Wrongly Accusing Cheating 2017

ktrrightsktrrights Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
I would like to reach as many parents, students or teachers who have ever experienced a student being falsely accused of cheating by ACT, Inc. This is a huge issue that is impacting students all over the country. I want to not only spread the word but also bring awareness in hopes to stop the ACT organization from falsely accusing students. Please read my story. Share your comments, post on FB or anywhere that can spread this message.

Yes, my daughter was falsely accused of cheating on her ACT test. Not once, but twice. We now have 5 weeks before she graduates, so my efforts here are not to change anything for her, but for students who may follow in her circumstances. After researching, I have found others over the years with similar stories. I feel we need a louder voice to stop this unjustified practice.
My daughter is ***. She is a Senior at *** High School in Utah. Last week she received a letter from the ACT Test Security department accusing her of cheating on her last two ACT tests. Thus, we have chosen the third option which is to appeal this accusation and attempt to prove that she did not cheat by submitting letters and documentation proving her efforts, academic accomplishments and character. Initially I encouraged *** to contact the ACT security department directly to teach her the value in facing challenges head on. When she spoke to the representative she was told that there is nothing she can do but follow the directions on the letter. At the time of her call they went over her test scores and discovered that the scores in the letter she got did not match the scored in their system. Although they had on record two scores from 2015 (20 and 17) and two scores from 2016 (25 and 28) the letter and scores provided to my daughter for 2016 tests were 25 and 25. After discussing this and recalculating, the gentleman acknowledged that in fact there was an error in their system and the scores of 17,20,25 & 25 were the correct scores. It is my understanding that this has since been corrected in the system. My concern is that mistakes happen, as with this example and yet we still must prove her innocence. I have attempted to contact the security department three times. I have never received a call back, which is why I am taking the effort to reach out to you to make a plea for not just my daughter but for all students that earned their ACT scores. I am not just a protective parent taking the approach that my daughter can do no wrong. I understand that cheating happens and I believe in holding people accountable for their actions.Here are some of her successfully earned recognition:
· 2016 National Society of High School Scholars Award
· 2016 Officer of the FFA,
High School
· 2015-2016 Earned Approved Veterinary Assistant certification from Salt Lake Community College during her junior year through the JATC program, offered at
High School.
· 2013-2014 National Junior Honor Society
· 2014 President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence signed by the President of the United States, Barack Obama and the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan
· 2012-2016 maintained a 3.5+ GPA Honor Roll every semester of every year
has already completed 6 concurrent enrollment classes through Salt Lake Community College and is currently taking 4 additional during this final semester. Students are required to meet a higher standard to enroll in these classes. She continues to maintain a 3.589 GPA and will be a semester ahead towards her Associates Degree by the time she graduates high school.
has earned scholarship opportunities at several universities of which she has applied for. Her plans are to attend either Utah Valley University or the University of Utah College of Nursing.
has also received letters from the Principle of **High School, Sandy, UT, regarding the October and December 2016 ACT tests that were taken at his school, as testing rooms do not have cameras and he was told by ACT Test Security department that letters from the test proctors are not accepted. He confirms that he met with the ACT coordinator, who verified that there were no irregularities or cheating reported by the test proctor on either of the October or December test dates. In addition,
received letters from her teachers, counselor, assistant principle and the Salt Lake Community College coordinator, all who have worked directly with
throughout her junior and senior year in preparation for each ACT test that she has taken.
I cannot answer to why the test results revealed identical answers to other tests taken that day, no more than you can answer to the lack of proof that
or another student cheated. However, I would like to ask that you please reconsider the allegation of cheating against
. She has clearly taken full ownership and responsibility of her education and has sacrificed to dedicate her commitment towards her education and her future. She earned her ACT scores and deserves the credit and recognition for her efforts. Not to end her high school graduation, being labeled as a cheater by one of the largest, impactful organizations in our educational system.

This letter was acknowledged and we had a 2 hour phone conference with the manager over the Security Department, who reviews the test scores. We chose to record the call. ACT manager admitted that they base their accusations on the statistics and computer generated reports. They admitted they do not have proof or any reports of cheating from the test proctors. The test centers, where both test were taken did not have cameras. They confirmed that the other students that they claim she cheated off of we not being reviewed or investigated. Still they made my daughter go through the options provided ( lose the score, re-test, or appeal). We chose to appeal. We sent in letters from her teachers, college professors, counselor, principle and the principle of the test center school. In addition we sent in her report cards, academic accomplishments and practice tests taken to prepare her. I also requested copies of the test packet and answer sheet of the student they claim she cheated from and the seating charts and proctor reports. After receiving these we discovered the other students test packets were blank. No math work reflected. The seating charts were inaccurate and did not demonstrate the skipped rows and alternate desks. Her placement in the rows were correct. After almost 8 weeks we received a letter that the review panel has denied her appeal and dropped her last two scores of 25. Although, devastated, my daughter is now preparing to take the test again instead of going through arbitration since she only has 5 weeks until graduation. BUT - if she scores higher on this next test, ACT will not grant her the higher score. They will only reinstate her 25. Anything above a 25 will not be given to her.

This is a horribly flawed process. On behalf of all the parents that are faced with going through the anxiety and frustration of defending the integrity of their children, and on behalf of all the students that worked so hard on their education and towards improving their ACT scores, I hope that this letter has brought awareness to you of the impact that these allegations have. And to please consider that statistics do not prove or justify accusing a student of cheating. The message ACT is sending these young adults is that they are guilty until proven innocent, yet the ACT Headquarters does not have any proof to validate such harmful claims.
I would love to put a stop to this for all students that work hard and earn their results and end with a false accusation such as this. PLEASE PLEASE help me spread this. Thank you all in advance.

Replies to: ACT Testing Wrongly Accusing Cheating 2017

  • mmk2015mmk2015 Registered User Posts: 599 Member
    For others who may have to go through this long appeal process, if you didn't cheat, you're better off retaking the test.

    Appealing and winning is really hard. It can drag out 2 months+.

    If you retest while the material is still fresh in your mind, you should be able to keep the scores that are questionable.

    If you retest, in general, ACT let's you keep the questionable scores, as long as you score within a certain number of pts. From experience, it's normally within 3pts. In this situation, C22-25 would be enough to keep your C25.
  • markmeyesmarkmeyes Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    HEY. Your story really struck a chord with me.

    Did you try writing or calling our good friend Steve Stecklow at Reuters, the journalist who had been investigating corruption and cheating at ACT?

    I am POSITIVE that he may be the ONLY person who will listen to your story and help you.

    You might want to also contact ROBERT SCHAEFFER at Fair Test; he's a standardized testing expert who has dealt with many cases such as yours.

    My advice is to carefully document your case with all those records you stated above
    and send official sealed documents to both Reuters and Fair Test. I would also demand a written affidavit from the proctors who were present at the school during the time your daughter took the test.

    Then call the ACT and make sure you tell the security guys that you've been talking to Schaeffer and they might just yield.

  • markmeyesmarkmeyes Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    edited April 2017
    My bad.

    I also forgot about MANUEL ALFARO, who has been spearheading the effort to expose what he alleges is widespread fraud and malpractice at the College Board.

    You guys might want to team up to take down both the ACT and CB.
  • ktrrightsktrrights Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    Thank you so much for your feedback. This is exactly what I am looking for. I will definitely follow your recommendation.
  • ktrrightsktrrights Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    Do you have any other specific information on Manuel Alfaro? Maybe a state or profession. I found an article and it seems he used to work for ACT or SAT. I cannot find contact info. Thanks!
  • markmeyesmarkmeyes Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member

    I am so drunk, but from what I remember, Manuel was once THE Executive Director of Design and Assessment at the College Board. You can find him on LinkedIn and he even has some of donation site where you can send him money. He says the FBI unlawfully took his daughter's iPad and he needs money to sponsor his crusade against corrupt education firms like CB and ACT.

  • DoctorTODoctorTO Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    edited April 2017
    @ktrrights we have had similar experiences with ACT. We have very high scores with at least one perfect ACT score every year in our small program and this has triggered letters from ACT questioning the validity of some of these scores.

    The best way for your DD to justify her score in question from ACT is to retake the exam. When our students did so, all were vindicated from these claims.

    Hope things work out for you and your DD!
  • MarleythedogMarleythedog Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    hi, My daughter is in the same situation. She took the test 4 times, the first two she scored poorly and the third time her score rose 8 points, her fourth time was not so good. She does maintain a 3.2 GPA, she hasn't scored well on these type of tests. The 3rd test was taken in Sept '16. In March of '17, she received the "Official Score Review" letter from ACT. They offered her the option of cancelling, retaking or submitting additional information. We chose the last option and after three weeks we have been informed that our submission of additional information was reviewed and combined with her seating proximity to a person whom she had "an unusual response similarities with", her significant increase in score. they also cited that she had only two math computations in her book that were lead to the correct answer, while the other person had 26. (I can say that her tutor showed her how to move through these questions quickly and use his methods to find the answer). She now has the same first two options as well as a third option of challenging the review panel cancellation decision in binding arbitration. As noted in the "Rules" of the binding arbitration the matter to be decided is "...whether ACT acted reasonably and in good faith" in their decision process. If one is to use this standard for a decision, then one would be hard pressed to find that they acted otherwise. What business would act in bad faith? Being forced into binding arbitration places the burden on the "plaintiff" as it is based on bad faith rather than litigation, which would be based on reason, physical evidence and a jury.
    She is now planning to retake the test in a few weeks. This has caused a load of burden on her that I can only support her and do what I can to help.

    I find it hard to fathom that a company such as the ACT doesn't have enough test booklets to ensure that in a room of 30 students there would a very limited number of the same tests and the seating would be such that those that are predetermined.
  • FortleemanFortleeman Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I have same situation with my daughter. Did you go thru arbitration? What should I do? We are thinking going for arbitration with all evidences.
    But there aren't much evidence to proof besides transcripts, recommendations etc.
    please help me
  • ktrrightsktrrights Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    I'm so sorry for this late response. Here is the latest. The ACT reviewed our evidence and kept their decision to drop the 2 scores. I emailed the president again, asked for a re-review. If he refused I would turn in all my documents and recorded calls to Fair Testing, US Secretary of Education, Director of Reuters, the Director of Department of College Education, Department of Education for Fair Treatment, and Utah ISD. In addition I asked multiple questions many which they refused to answer. I requested their statistical information on the # of accusations they've made against male, female, nationality, Utah, US and international. They refused. I requested the names of the 4 proctor from all 4 tests, they refused - even though the ACT Proctor Administrative Manual (online pg2 for 2015-2017) states a examinee can contact the proctor directly if investigated by ACT. They refused. I requested copies of the searig charts and was sent inaccurate copies. I requested the answer sheets and booklets for all tests. They sent 2 Blank and claim one was destroyed.
    I have now sent updated GPA and report card, mire questions, corrections to the answers they claim were erased (the answer sheet clearly shooed no corrections) and a spreadsheet showing corrected answers were compatible between both students. I also have recorded calls, 1 with Sr. Manager Testing, Mike Trevitt and ACT Atty Michael Clifton. Both giving contradicting answers to my questions.
    We are now in the middle of our 2nd review. I sent a letter keeping my initial promise to spread my documentation to the organizations mentioned, my atty and we will prepare to Arbitrate. Most curupt organization! We will not back down. This us not about retaking or proving these scores. It is about teaching g our kids to fight for what's right! Anyone that wished to join is welcome to contact me. [email protected]
    LET'S BRING AWARENESS and prevent this from happening to other kids.

    Thanks to all who take the time to read and respond.

  • Astro77Astro77 Registered User Posts: 304 Member
    That is awful. I had no idea this type of thing happened. How terrible.
  • Dambrose9Dambrose9 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    edited June 2017
    My son received a letter back in May, From the ACT org accusing him of cheating a week before graduation. Seven months later. My son submitted his supporting data to the ACT org however they denied him, therefore we are obtaining a Lawyer with ACT experiences. As parents parents we should all get together and take this issue to 20/20 or any other news channel. We have to expose this Org. It appears that the ACT org waits until a senior is about to graduate and have been accepted into the university of choice along with scholarships and then drops this fraudulent information on the student. They are destroying young people's life's and repertation. No child should have to deal with this type of accusation. They have enough stress to deal with, without dealing with this crap. If anyone can provide the Reugrter reporter's contact information, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you all for,sharing.

    Removed personal EM addresses
    Post edited by Erin's Dad on
  • Dambrose9Dambrose9 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    I agree.
  • prospect1prospect1 Registered User Posts: 1,432 Senior Member
    Sadly, I know a few families who went through this very thing with ACT. In each case, the kids were really upstanding citizens; no way were they the cheating types. In every case, they fought it. One family hired a lawyer. NONE of them succeeded against ACT; all had to retake the test since time was running out and they needed to matriculate to their colleges.
  • ktrrightsktrrights Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    We must take a stand against this. Until someone fights this it will only continue.
Sign In or Register to comment.