Measures that Prevent Cheating on the Sat and Act Tests

The SAT and ACT are the modern standard of academic aptitude tests that college admissions use to determine a students readiness for college and they require the utmost security. These tests have many regulation procedures for ensuring no student will cheat; but every testing location has different quality of applying these procedures. Almost any educational institute in the world from the college to high school level can be a testing location for a SAT or ACT test. The problem with this is that some of these schools are very small and lack the resources to properly administer the rules and prevent cheating.

There are many ways that some dishonest students try to gain an unfair advantage like working on the test outside of the allotted time, using electronic devices, sharing answers, or taking the test for another student; but most testing locations are able to catch these students and void their scores. The current method to catch these students cheating in the classroom is to have proctors that monitor students while they take the test. Unfortunately the most popular modern cheating method is outside the classroom when students hire others to take the test for them.

To prevent this wrongful impersonation every SAT and ACT test taker is issued a ticket with their name verifying that they are taking the test; students then also need to provide another form of photo-identification that matches their name on their ticket.  This photo-identification could be anything from a school ID to a driver’s license. This may seem like a foolproof method of catching any impostor but students who are willing to cheat go to the extent of creating false identification cards which may fool some non-professionals. This is why some smaller testing locations are less secure than larger ones that can higher trained police officers; but these officers will not be able to notice a false school ID. This is why College Board has passed a new rule that will be initiated with this year’s fall SAT and ACT tests.

Starting this fall College Board will require all test takers to provide a picture of their face that will be placed on their test ticket. This method will compare the submitted photo to the face of the person taking the test. This method could only be cheated in one way and that is if the test taker submits a false photo on the website. The College Board ticket cannot be faked because they can collect the ticket and if they find it differs from the actual ticket the student was assigned their score would become void. Students also cannot falsify the image they provide on the College Board website because they could simply run a facial diagnostic to recognize any duplicate photos and notify the proper authorities of the student’s fraudulent identity.

As of current policy College Board has a secure testing method for the SAT and ACT to prevent cheating and has caught many people attempting to gain an unfair advantage. Starting in the fall of 2012 this new ticket identification policy will ensure that taking one of these tests for another student will be a near impossible feat. This new policy along with the strict diligence of all testing center proctors will hopefully be able to successfully prevent any possibility of a student cheating on the SAT and ACT tests.