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ACT accused of cheating and inconsistent score history.

DerangedrickDerangedrick 5 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hi everyone, I am a high school senior and just received a notice yesterday that my last ACT score is under review due to inconsistent score history and similar correct and incorrect answers to another examinee. let me tell you the backstory, last year I took my first ACT in June, I did not open one study guide or do one review question for it, to be honest, I only took the test to have a score for college applications as I knew I would be taking another. I received a 21, which isn't terrible, but isn't what I need for colleges. I then signed up for the October test, and that summer I studied almost every day using a multitude of testing sites and prep guides. I even got two of my friends who graduated last year to tutor me at least twice a week using the official ACT guide book, as neither I nor my family can afford a real professional tutor. I studied harder for that test than any other test in my life in those three months. I got a 31 and I was so proud of myself, it was everything I needed. My GPA also rose this year as I put more effort into my work and tried harder.

For the cheating allegations, my main point is that I took the test at a school almost 40 minutes away from my current school and around 50 from my home and that I don't know a single person at the school, let alone the handful of students in the classroom, why would I waste the days that I spent studying on a random chance that a student that I don't know is smarter than me or not. Other than that I don't know what else to say, I can't get a signed paper by students or the proctor as I have no clue who they were.

Almost more than half a year later (October 25th, 2018, to April 27th, 2019) I get a package saying my score is under review with the options
1) Cancel the score
2) Retake free of charge
3) Send a personal statement, with a transcript, and supporting documents

I've read a lot of other discussions about issues like this and many of the responders say to just retake saying "if you got the score genuinely once, you can do that again". The main difference here is that those students are either juniors or seniors at the beginning of the last year with ample time. Normally I would just retake and study again and try for it, but I am an IB diploma candidate and have a large amount of test in the next months and have to study for them as they take up 50% of the grade of my courses for the past two years. I don't have time to put into studying for another ACT and I feel like being forced to retake is me being set up to fail. I'm choosing option 3 but I need help figuring out what to do, does my transcript even help my case? End of last year my GPA was a 88, but now it is a 93. Also what documentation can I provide? I don't think they will take a signed letter from my friends who tutored me as they have no professional ties or are legit. I don't know what to do to help my case and I don't believe I can make it in the three-point margin as I would have no time to study for another test. I'm not a bad kid, I'm a volunteer firefighter, I'm no community leader but I have started donations and charity events in my community and I don't have a single black mark in my school record. Thank you for reading this and anything that you guys can say to help me out here, I'm really stressed and struggling to figure out what to do.
edited August 18
16 replies
Post edited by skieurope on
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Replies to: ACT accused of cheating and inconsistent score history.

  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Unfortunately, because you took the test swathed in pure anonymity, you put yourself in the classic cheater’s position. That’s what they do. Not everyone who takes the test far away is a cheat. There are often good reasons to do do. But that’s a scenario for-cheating. Especially in the wake of what has come to light in this big cheating scandal.

    I don’t know if you have a choice in retaking the test.
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  • DerangedrickDerangedrick 5 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Yeah I get it, there was no room in the testings centers near my school
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2236 replies30 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited April 28
    Where are you going to college in the fall? Any chance wherever you are going is test optional? If so they might not care, and voiding the 31 ACT would be a non-issue.

    I might choose #3, take your IB tests and then reevaluate. Then, if your college requires a higher score than the 21, you can take it again.

    There are several threads on this issue, I think this is the main one: https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/sat-act-tests-test-preparation/1987200-act-testing-wrongly-accusing-cheating-2017-p1.html
    edited April 28
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  • tpike12tpike12 502 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    Is there any history of your studying on the testing sites? I know for the SAT you can look at a particular date and see what questions you answered.
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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3367 replies11 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    #3. Couldn’t your GC provide a letter saying your academic record is more consistent with a 31 than a 21? For your own letter, just describe what you said here.
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  • DerangedrickDerangedrick 5 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    edited April 28
    @Mwfan1921 I have been accepted and committed into John Jay College of criminal justice, while my GPA is above the average for students, the average ACT is a 23, and while I think a 21 won't get my acceptance taken away, it could lead to me getting less money from the school than what I would be earning with a 31, and money is tight in my family. Other than that I can contact them and see if there would be any problems, thanks
    edited April 28
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  • DerangedrickDerangedrick 5 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @CheddarcheeseMN I'm making an appointment with my GC for tomorrow and if she can write anything to submit with everything else.
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  • lostaccountlostaccount 5330 replies90 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'd go with door number 3 (3: Send a personal statement, with a transcript, and supporting documents). I'd structure what you wrote for this post in a more formal manner so it is easy for the ACT folks to read:

    1) Conditions of initial testing: blah blah no practice, etc.

    2) Reasons for choice of test site and timing: Include the fact that closer locations were unavailable, etc.

    3) Steps taken to improve after 1st test. Mention every book you used and every site you accessed . If you completed tests on line and you can still access the accounts, I'd download (or upload) to send. If you have actual books and have answer sheets, I'd scan to send. In other words, provide every piece of evidence you have that you did, in fact practice. If you used on line resources your accounts would even include dates on which you took practice tests and how you did on them, etc.
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  • DerangedrickDerangedrick 5 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    edited April 28
    @tpike12 All I have are handwritten notes and answers, none with dates or anything official like that.
    edited April 28
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  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 3964 replies55 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "Almost more than half a year later (October 25th, 2018, to April 27th, 2019) I get a package saying my score is under review "

    Wait a minute, they released your score and only questioned it 6 MONTHS later??
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  • DerangedrickDerangedrick 5 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @suzyQ7 Yes, I got my score, sent it to schools, the whole thing anyone one would do, and then I finally received a package at the end of April.
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  • ColoradomamaColoradomama 2779 replies32 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Hasn't John Jay College already given you a financial aid/merit package based on your highest submitted score of 31? Do you know what John Jay College intends to do with your aid?
    I think if your wrong answers match someone in the room with you, it does not matter if you know them or not, it looks as though you or the other person copied each other. You don't need to know someone to cheat with them.

    It does seem this scrutiny may be higher after the college admissions scandals and test cheating. I hope you can straighten this out.
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  • nomoodnomood 118 replies15 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
  • Been.ThereBeen.There 3 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Derangedrick--My son recently went through very similar circumstances with ACT. I completely understand and sympathize with your situation. I noticed that the last comment to your post was in June and will withhold any comment at the moment. Can you give us an update on your case. I wish only the best for you.
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  • PublisherPublisher 7976 replies82 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    In this case, based on the limited information provided, the ACT organization appears to be making a reasonable inquiry.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39213 replies6997 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    The OP is long gone and this thread should not have been needlessly bumped. Closing.
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