SAT scores canceled for some test-takers in China, Korea

Updated: 2014-11-25 10:41

By PAUL WELITZKIN in New York(China Daily USA)

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The company that administers the Scholastic Aptitude Test said Monday that some test-takers from China and the Republic of Korea have had their scores canceled after an investigation into results of the Oct11 exam.

However, a majority of test-takers from China and Korea will receive their scores.

Test results from the college entrance exam taken Oct11 by Chinese and Korean students in Asia have been delayed due to a cheating investigation by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the College Board's test-administration and security-provider.

"We have determined that a limited number of test-takers had an unfair advantage on the October international administration," Tom Ewing, ETS spokesman, said in an e-mail Monday to China Daily.

"ETS has contacted these test-takers directly to inform them that their scores cannot be released. The scores of a small set of test-takers remain under review. These test-takers will be notified when the review is completed. We do not provide a breakdown by country.

"Scores can be canceled for a number of reasons, including copying, the use of technology during exams, advance knowledge, impersonation, etc," Ewing said. "The bottom line is that if we determine a score is not valid, we cancel the score," added Ewing.

Another SAT is scheduled to be administered on Dec 6.

There have been reports in the past about test-takers in Asia acquiring and sharing questions in advance, particularly at test-preparation schools. In 2013, the College Board canceled all SATs scheduled in May in Korea due to allegations that questions were leaked, affecting some 1,500 students.

"Sale of test items on the black market is something the College Board and ETS take very seriously," Ewing said. "It is something we track and monitor and take appropriate action when required. ETS and the College Board do not discuss specifics of test-security measures or processes. We review our security measures after every administration, and if changes are needed, we take steps to implement them."

"It's quite an open secret within my industry that some people will manage to get the materials of SAT tests," said Hu Zhonghua, founder of OnePlusOne, a Beijing-based company that trains students for tests, including the SAT. He said training centers that prepare students for the SAT may leak test materials to students before the exam is held.

Last month,some students took to social media to express concern that the delay in releasing the Oct 11 results might impede the college application process, especially for those who are seeking an early decision on admission.