Cheating Scandal Prompts New SAT and ACT Security Measures

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In the wake of an embarrassing cheating scandal involving at least 20 Long Island, N.Y., high school students, the makers of the SAT and ACT college entrance exams are tightening rules nationwide. Significantly, students will now be required to provide a photograph when signing up for the tests that officials will check against student identification on testing day.

The SAT and ACT are used by virtually every American college when making admissions decisions.

Last fall, the Nassau County District Attorney charged five teenagers with taking the tests for other students and accused 15 others with paying them $500 to $3,600 to take the tests, The New York Times reports. As many as 50 students may have been involved, the district attorney, Kathleen M. Rice, told the Times.

According to Rice, the changes are meant to send a message to others who might consider cheating.

“They will be caught, and they will be held accountable,” she told The Times. “The old system did not ensure that.”

Students will be required to upload or mail in their photograph and the image will be printed on their admission ticket. Proctors will compare the printed photograph with photo identification presented the day of the test, as well as the student’s actual face.

The new photo requirement, along with other changes, will take effect in the fall.

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