Steps taken to thwart entrance exam cheats

March 27, 2012 at 7:48 PM
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LONG ISLAND, N.Y., March 27 (UPI) -- New security requirements for college entrance exam takers in Nassau County, N.Y., following a cheating scandal will be applied nationally, an official said.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen M. Rice announced restrictions Tuesday that will require students to upload photos when they register to take the SAT and ACT exams, and then present a matching photo ID when they arrive to take the tests. Other changes include dropping the practice of standby registration, in which students who do not preregister have been permitted to register the day of the exam, The New York Times reported.

Rice's office said the changes will be imposed nationwide, the newspaper said.

The changes resulted from a cheating scandal in which high-scoring Long Island high school students used fake IDs to take entrance exams for others. Five students were suspected of being paid between $500 and $3,600 to take exams for 15 other students.

Rice said the changes, scheduled to take effect this fall, include requirements that test takers specify their gender. One of the Long Island students suspected of taking exams for others is a male who authorities said provided false ID and took the exam for female students.

Exam takers will also be required to identify their high schools.

"This will ensure that high school administrators receive students' scores as well as their uploaded photo," Rice's office said in a statement. "This back-end check will provide another opportunity for cheaters to be caught."

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