Exclusive: ACT cancels test scores in Asia after leak of essay question

Exclusive: ACT cancels test scores in Asia after leak of essay question

LONDON (Reuters) – Students in Asia have already been notified that their scores in the writing section of last month’s ACT college-entrance exam are increasingly being canceled, into the example that is latest of how standardized test makers are struggling to contain a worldwide epidemic of cheating.

The incident comes just months after ACT Inc, the nonprofit that is iowa-based operates the test, was obligated to cancel its exam for all takers in South Korea and Hong Kong. That incident, in June, marked the first time the high-stakes exam was canceled for an country that is entire.

ACT spokesman Ed Colby declined to say what amount of students were afflicted with the October score cancellations, which he said involved test centers in Asia and Oceania. He described the incident because of “a compromise in the testing process” and said the affected students “amounted to simply a small portion of examinees in the region.”

Affected students for the October score cancellation received a note from ACT that stated: “Unfortunately, events occurred which compromised the testing process for the writing portion of your test event. As a total result, you’ll not receive a score for your writing test response/essay. Your choice that is multiple ACT, mathematics, reading, and science tests—WILL be scored.”

The message added that write my paper now ACT will issue each learning student a $16 refund.

The ACT writing section is nominally voluntary, but colleges that are many students to take it to gauge an applicant’s writing and reasoning abilities.

The latest security incident is “a frustrating and complicated situation for our students,” said Kristin J. Dreazen, president for the international affiliate associated with National Association for College Admission Counseling.

Your day ahead of the ACT was administered on Oct. 22, Reuters obtained a copy of an ACT writing test on the subject “Fame” that an Asian source said had leaked and was to be provided with the day that is next. Test administrators in Asia were instructed shortly ahead of the test to substitute a different essay topic as compared to one that originally had shipped. Colby declined to touch upon the test Reuters obtained.

Reuters reported in July that ACT’s test security unit repeatedly had recommended security that is tightening before the June breach, but that ACT executives had rejected the recommendations. The organization later let go the relative head regarding the unit. ACT’s chief executive, Marten Roorda, has declined to be interviewed.

ACT recently began shipping a number of its test booklets and answer sheets in lock boxes to guard against leaks. However the utilization of lock boxes ‘s still not universal, in accordance with test administrators.

In July, Reuters also detailed widespread cheating within the ACT-owned Global Assessment Certificate program. The program, that offers college preparatory courses, has about 5,000 students and operates in about 200 centers, mostly in Asia. reut.rs/2akY3uf

Seven students who attended three different GAC centers in China described how school officials and proctors ignored and were sometimes complicit in cheating regarding the ACT. Eight teachers or administrators who have worked at seven different Chinese GAC centers also described cheating in program courses.

ACT’s chief rival, the newest York-based College Board, which administers the SAT, happens to be struggling along with its own security problems. The school Board recently notified an undisclosed wide range of test-takers in Egypt that their scores were being canceled when it comes to October test.

College Board spokesman Zach Goldberg said the cancellations were “based on evidence that a test preparation organization illegally shared and obtained the test content prior to the administration.” He declined to elaborate.

Reuters also reported in August that a breach that is major a huge selection of unpublished questions for upcoming SAT exams. A College Board spokeswoman said the company was investigating what she termed “a serious criminal matter.”

The SAT and ACT are employed by tens and thousands of U.S. colleges to help select from among millions of student applicants.

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