Allegations of Cheating on SAT in Korea, China Being Probed

Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, October 29, 2014

The College Board  is investigating allegations of cheating on the SAT given Oct. 11, 2014, in Korea and China, and has withheld scores for students in those countries.

The Educational Testing Service issued a statement saying that it was taking “seriously” any allegations of breaches in testing security and it strongly denounced organizations that work to get copies of the test in advance and then pass them on to students to make money.

The scores at issue are for the SAT that was given Oct. 11, 2014. Students from China and South Korea did not receive their scores, and when they asked why, this is the e-mail they got from the Educational Testing Service (which administers the SAT for the College Board):

Dear Test Taker:

We at ETS are highly committed to quality standards and fairness. After every test administration, we go to great lengths to make sure each test result we report is accurate and valid. It is with this objective in mind that we sometimes take additional quality control steps before scores are released.

For the reasons stated above, your October 2014 SAT scores are delayed because they are under administrative review. This review is routinely performed on each test score in certain circumstances and may take up to four weeks. We hope you realize only accurate and valid test results are meaningful and helpful to their recipients.

{snip}

The College Board and ETS, when asked about this, released this statement:

The College Board and its global test administration and security provider, Educational Testing Service (ETS), are committed to ensuring quality standards and fairness for all students.

{snip}

Based on specific, reliable information, we have placed the scores of all students who are current residents of Korea or China and sat for the October 11th international administration of the SAT on hold while we conduct an administrative review.  The review is being conducted to ensure that illegal actions by individuals or organizations do not prevent the majority of test-takers who have worked hard to prepare for the exam from receiving valid and accurate scores.

{snip}

Test security in Asia has been breached repeatedly in the past.

Last year, there were two episodes of suspected cheating, one in October involving allegations in Korea that questions from earlier tests were obtained by “cram schools” and given to students before they took the exam. (South Korea is famous for its “cram schools,” at which students are tutored intensively out of the classroom starting as early as kindergarten.) The College Board canceled the May 2013 administration of the SAT and SAT Subject Tests throughout South Korea because of a leak of test questions–the first time the test had been canceled in an entire country. The SAT is no longer administered at many sites in mainland China because of past incidents of cheating, usually involving prior knowledge of test questions.

On Oct. 8, 2014–days before the Oct. 11 administration of the SAT–the National Center for Fair & Open Testing received an anonymous tip about cheating that included what the sender claimed to be a copy of the December 2013 SAT that was supposedly going to be administered at international sites Oct. 11. This was reported by Bob Schaeffer, public education director of the center,  a nonprofit dedicated to ending the abuse of standardized tests commonly known as FairTest. He said FairTest tried to confirm the claims but could not.

According to Schaeffer, SAT tests given at international sites are “almost always” repeats of exams administered previously in the United States but not publicly released.

{snip}

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  • If these foreign SAT exams are almost always repeats of tests earlier given in the USA but not publicly released, it sounds very much to me that providing these questions was an inside-job, i.e. the College Board’s and ETS’s own people leaked them.

    If these two organizations went carefully through their own employees, I would bet they would find several who are living much more lavishly than their salaries would allow.

    • SlizzardAjeosshi

      You would be surprised by howl avishly teachers often live in East Asia

    • Korean guy

      “If these foreign SAT exams are almost always repeats of tests earlier given”

      Well, and students can simply remember what they see on the test.

      Just like, when we see a movie, we remember the plot and important scenes after watching that movie. We might not be able to remember each and every scene of the movie, but we can remember the important parts and the important characters of the movie.

      If several tens of students get together after they write the SAT, and sit around a table and attempt to gather everything they remember, they will be able to recall more than 90% of the test.

      • willbest

        Keep in mind you don’t need to get all the test questions, just enough to make a difference. So if you have 20 people and tell them each to memorize 5 questions assigning them each by test booklet, you will end up with 70 or so questions.

        • none of your business

          That is exactly what they do. Another thing is to have the same people take the tests again and again until they are very familiar with the material. Asians in Pacific time answer ADs in Asian language papers for test prep courses that guarantee passing. The testakers are given eyeglasses with built in speakers. The Eastern time experts recite Answer to question 35 is A Answer to question 36 is D. The pacific test takers just write that answer.
          Cheating is not considered immoral. It is a way of life.

    • Ultimate187

      I’m not sure if the SAT is computerized now, but it should be. With the advent of greater security measures such as electronic test taking and biometrics (e.g., fingerprints), incidents of cheating should go down.

  • SlizzardAjeosshi

    Korea is one of the most irrational countries on Earth, very different from your typical East Asian stereotypes, both good and bad.

    Koreans are definitely risk takers molded quite substantially by American capitalism, they’re definitely not meek, passive people, they love sports and they love to fight.

    Most young people are tall and pretty ripped…pretty much the jocks of N.E. Asia.

    At the same time it is a very unstable society, prone to paranoia and conflict, always tensed up to the max and with an underlying feeling of incoming anarchy.

    Impressive country with incredible people, not sure about the overall quality of life though

    (even if in terms of GDP, technological development, scientific knowledge they’re way way ahead of my native Italy)

    • Augustus3709

      Yeah they are unusually big for Asians. It was strange watching the world cup this past summer, seeing South Korea vs Russia. The Koreans actually towered over the Russians. I’m thinking the Korean team intentionally picked taller people to be
      more physical, and the Russians picked smaller players to have better
      running endurance, but still it was sort of bizarre.

      • Anonymous

        It amazes me that so called “race realists” are amazed by it. There are differences between the racial AVERAGES. But not everyone within a certain race conforms to the average. In the Netherlands you will find a few midgets and in Bolivia you will find a few giants. The only difference is that in the Netherlands the giants outnumber the midgets and in Bolivia the midgets outnumber the giants.

        • Augustus3709

          If you’re saying that Dutch are on average bigger than Bolivians then congratulations you’re a “race realist” yourself.

      • Sue

        Soccer is not about size at all, but speed, skills and indeed running endurance. The average Russian man is still much taller than the average Korean regardless of the fact that Koreans appear bigger than other East Asians. Koreans also have completely different proportions and get an extra inch or 2 from their disproportioned big heads. Look them up in an image search, it is freakish to say the least…

        • Augustus3709

          Well Forwards tend to be bigger because they jump over the other players to head the ball towards the goal. As a counter sometimes defenders are big too to compensate for tall forwards. It’s probably most likely for midfielders to be smaller since they run around the field the whole game and need to be lightweight. But I’ve seen tall Asians, around where I live. I assume they’re Korean but they could be Chinese. They’re tall but very skinny.

  • JackKrak

    I’ll say it again for the benefit of anyone who missed the first ten million times I said it –

    The whole concept of fairness, honesty and integrity in competition is white thing. More specifically, it is an Anglosphere thing.

    • SentryattheGate

      I agree! I remember reading a similar story about India’s cheating and bribery scandals.

    • Ultimate187

      I disagree. A nation like China would not have survived for five millennia without a certain degree of those positive traits. Same goes for most other civilizations. You can’t take an article like this and extrapolate white-only qualities from it. If you’re also implying that white students don’t cheat, then I’ll simply say you’re wrong.

      • Max

        They didn’t withhold the scores from the U.S. so I’d go out on a limb here and say that the cheating is widely practiced and/or officially organized in the countries the subject of this article. That suggests something.

      • willbest

        China might have an extremely old culture, but it hasn’t spent a whole lot of time unified.

      • none of your business

        Whites do cheat but Whites consider it wrong and something to be done on the sly. Asians do not consider cheating on tests cheating. “It is what I have to do to get into college or pass the nursing license test or whatever”
        One thing widespread among Asians in California college is hiring people to take classes for them. One White man calculus teacher at Santa Monica College noticed the same person taking classes under different names. A lot of Los Angeles area colleges investigated and found the practice widespread.
        Another trick is to finish in 3 years by hiring people to take classes at more than one community college during the summer and transferring those credits to the university. Sometimes they get caught, sometimes not.
        There is also hiring people to take the driver’s license written and driving tests.

        • StillModerated

          That might explain why the drivers around Annandale VA are so lousy, somebody else took the driving test for them.

    • Max

      And- it is largely the cultural result of the influence of Christianity on Anglo-Europeans. Bribery and cheating are just the normal way of doing business in China and Korea by all accounts. Haven’t heard the same about Japan though.

      Disclaimer: No, not all or perhaps most of these nationalities but it has long appeared more acceptable in these cultures to operate in ways we have traditionally found morally unacceptable. More than once I have read a news story about an Asian immigrant restauranteur or shopkeeper being shocked that offering an inspector money resulted in prosecution.

      • willbest

        It goes on in Japan too. They are just more civilized about it.

      • none of your business

        I know a woman. She is an electrician who works as a building inspector for the city and country of san Francisco. She has to go to cultural sensitivity classes. She is taught that in Asian culture it is insulting not to accept the bribes. She is paid a high salary to sit through classes about how to turn down the bribes politely instead of inspecting electrical wiring.
        Actually it is better than it was 100 and 50 years ago when the building inspectors did not go near Chinatown and the inner Richmond because inspecting building owned by Chinese was considered racist.

  • Universities worship Chinese grad students and profs. The students pay full tuition, while the profs are willing to work cheap. Much worse though, is that universities know these despicable creatures are cheats and often spies for the Chinese government.

    Never donate money to a university. The love of diversity is destroying us. Dishonesty is the norm and I’m afraid white students see how the system is rigged against them and then they begin to cheat and lie too. It’s tragic what’s happening.

    • SentryattheGate

      I uncovered a lot of info. lately re. universities as providing the “research” used by gubmint to do WHAT THEY WANT TO DO! Professors and researchers only get grants if they have a far leftist mindset, then they get paid to “do the research” that “proves” that diversity is good, for example. Then universities recruit and even finance diversity(foreign students) at the expense of U.S. students! Then they tell US that we “need these foreign students” to stay because we “lack enough people with these skills”.

    • Max

      This is absolutely true. Foreign students of ANY stripe are much preferred as a “twofer” because they cost the state nothing (state colleges) compared to students from in-state and the much venerated diversity factor for anyone non-white. They may even bring in fed. moneys for various ESL and community placement programs.

      They have descended like a plague on the colleges in this area. The schools are unrecognizable since the days when I started.

      • none of your business

        They get all those instructor jobs even if they cannot speak understandable English. Way back around 1985 students at the numerous university of Illinois campuses sued the university because the foreign instructors could not speak English.

    • none of your business

      My position on any kind of donations.

  • antiquesunlight

    Not surprised by this at all. I’ve noticed at my school that asians cheat a lot. For example, in my current physics class, there are a couple of asian students who always obtain copies of the tests in advance and just memorize the solutions. I used to think they were geniuses because they’d finish super fast and get perfect scores, but then I found out what was really going on. That is just one recent example. I could give others.

    • They’re not cheating, they just have really high IQs. At least that’s what the HBD folks keep telling me.

      • Anonymous

        No. It means that they are cheating, and they have moderately high IQs. It is possible to be academically dishonest and have a triple digit IQ.

      • Magician

        Engelman, please go back to your original login

        • JohnEngelman

          I am only using one Disqus account. I am not the only one who thinks the way I do.

          • Magician

            We do all appreciate your presence and amusing inputs on AmRenaissance!

        • I’m not Engelman, he is.

      • HE2

        You are being sarcastic, right, Roger?
        I would hope so.
        They skillfully cheat. It is a way of life for Asians, be they Chinese, Japanese, Korean et al.

        • I was being sarcastic. I’ll do it again:
          They use their higher IQs to cheat tests made by us lower IQ round eyes!

          Just to not be misunderstood, I know they’re cheating and I disapprove.

          http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_yNBEmr8Zzzs/Sm9d7K110iI/AAAAAAAAAqM/m9321oex3Yw/s400/DISAPPROVE..bmp

          • Anonymous

            Everyone knows they are cheating. But academic dishonesty and a triple digit IQ are not mutually exclusive. Get over it. They cheat, but even if they didn’t cheat their scores would still be at least as high as that of Whites.

          • OK prove it.

    • Ultimate187

      Asians score too high, too consistently for it all to be mere cheating. Cheating also isn’t race specific or predominant; 98% of all college students today admit to cheating on something in high school.

      • antiquesunlight

        I’m not claiming it’s all cheating. But I have personally observed that asians cheat a lot, seemingly a lot more than my white peers. It’s possible that the white students are just sneakier about it, but I don’t think so. Asians have a small reputation as cheaters, and that reputation is not totally undeserved.

        • Anonymous

          Depends entirely on which White students. I used to be a TA. Every class I marked papers for, a few Chinese students would cheat, out of perhaps 10-20 of them. However, there were times when I caught ALL of the Eastern European and Middle Eastern students cheating. I think that on a per capita basis, Eastern Europeans and Middle Eastern kids are more likely to cheat. However, because East Asians and South Asians are so numerous, their raw total of cheating students is higher.

          A sympathetic Ukrainian girl eventually told me why it is this way for Eastern Europeans: she said that in many Slavic cultures, if your friend asks you to help him/her cheat on a test, you are obligated to do so, and the friend will take it personally if you don’t do it. I suspect a similar thing may be going on for Middle Eastern and East Asian students.

      • HJ11

        Personally, when I use the word “cheating” in the context of IQ tests I mean more than just having crib notes or answers written on your sleeve. I mean craming for the specific test and even for the non-verbal items (spatial relationships, etc.). You can game the IQ tests this way.

        As far as the SAT and similar tests, the cheating by Asians is often much more direct and does involve real cheating in addition to the concerted effort to study for the specific questions. Whites are generally not as intense in such things–but, maybe we should up our game to meet the competition by doing the same things.

    • willbest

      Asians are fairly ends justify the means, and its only dishonorable if you get caught. These cultural aspects facilitate cheating. I went to HS with a lot of Asians. The really smart ones didn’t need to cheat. But there were quite a few that did.

      The amusing thing is whenever somebody says the Far East is going to dominate the West in science in a couple years, I smirk and say, “It’s hard to copy something when the answer isn’t known”

    • Gary John 金白龍

      How do they obtain copies?

      • antiquesunlight

        Some friend of theirs who has the same professor at a different time takes the test before us and gets the questions for them. I don’t know if they take a picture of the test with their phone or write the questions down or what. But I know they get it from their friend that way.

  • HJ11

    Asian cheating is often subtle right here in the U.S. where the parents are often, in one way or another, helping their children score high. White parents, for the most part, let their kids sink or swim. If White parents put as much effort into helping their kids as the Asian parents do, you’d see most White kids scoring higher than most Asians on various tests–and, yes, also on IQ tests (no, please, don’t try to argue with me by saying that IQ tests can’t be cheated on).

    • Magician

      “(no, please, don’t try to argue with me by saying that IQ tests can’t be cheated on). ”

      Or you can do the IQ test fair and square, and then bullsh*t about your IQ just like Snoop Dogg did after doing the IQ test.

      Snoop Dogg claims his IQ is 147. The following was written by him to describe why he is voting for Obama instead of Romney and it looks like it was written by someone whose IQ is the square root of 147

      • Magician

      • Max

        That’s 147 Ebonics I.Q. points. You forgot about the correction factor of (.5) for standard I.Q. score.

    • none of your business

      Licensed psychologists can buy the IQ tests. They are not supposed to sell them to lay people. But Asian psychologists buy them and sell them to Asian parents who practice, practice with their children.

      • HE2

        This is true, none.
        Asians in school with me were cheating like mad. We all knew it. They get by with it because TPTB look the other way.

        From childish techniques, i.e., writing out answers on sleeves, to passing on copies of the exam Asian friends who took the exam photographed, to buying copies from Asian crooks who traffic in such things.

        Cheating is Asian cultural specific. Another reason to keep them all out of this country.

        • Anonymous

          It is even more entrenched in Eastern European and Middle Eastern culture. Do you want to start deporting Middle Easterners and Slavic peoples too?

      • HJ11

        Right. This is one of the main ways to “cheat” or game IQ tests. The presumption behind many of the tests is that the test taker will be unfamiliar with the test items. Those who are familiar with the items, even the non-verbal items, can practice them. Many Asian parents do this with their children.

        • Anonymous

          If it is so easy to do it, White kids would have done it too. I don’t think they are cheating on IQ tests…universities don’t ask for it so they have no incentive to even take the IQ test in the first place.

  • chitownkp

    I wonder who started these probes? Jealous haters.

  • Magician

    “The SAT is no longer administered at many sites in mainland China because of past incidents of cheating, usually involving prior knowledge of test questions.

    It appears what they mean by “Cheating” is the students in South Korea and China are aware of what they will see on the SAT because the SAT asks the identical questions or near-identical questions every year.

    Then I presume the solution is quite straightforward – ask different questions on the SAT every year.

    And yes, those East Asian teens do love communicating over the Internet and find exactly what they want, when they want, always for free.

    It somewhat sounds like, a pitcher throws the ball in the same location at the same velocity all the time, and the opposing batters are eventually able to predict what they will see when they face the pitcher at the plate, and the pitcher complains, “Those guys are cheating!!”

    • antiquesunlight

      How is it not cheating to get a test beforehand and prepare your answers? That’s what it sounds like they are doing.

      • Magician

        Maybe it IS cheating. But this type of cheating can be prevented simply by giving students different test questions every year.

        • antiquesunlight

          Yes, but the Chinese and Koreans are still wrong for cheating. That is the main point.

        • none of your business

          There is a whole network of Asian techniques that range from the administrators copying and selling the tests to hiring professional test takers. Bear in mind that the administrators of the tests in Asia and Indian are Asians and Indians. Back when it was easy to get tech jobs with just a few years of cobol and fortran community colleges were full of programming students.
          The cobol teacher at the Chinatown branch of San Francisco community college used to give his students copies of the standard programmer aptitude test given by the city and all the big employers like Bechtel, Crown Zellerbach, Levi Strauss, PG&E, department stores etc.

      • Ultimate187

        The onus is on the test writers to prevent cheating.

        • antiquesunlight

          No. It is the student’s responsibility to be honest.

          • Ultimate187

            It’s not the responsibility of the student to be honest; it’s just in their best interests to be honest because the consequences for cheating are dire.

            If it were actually the student’s responsibility, then schools wouldn’t be hiring so many proctors to monitor students, nor would testing companies like Prometric be using security cameras to watch people as they did their exams.

          • antiquesunlight

            Is your name Thrasymachus?

            The schools taking measures to prevent cheating does not in any way suggest that students don’t have a responsibility to be honest. If anything, it implies that they do have such a responsibility, since the schools are evidently attempting to hold them accountable.

            We may be at an impasse. I believe it is unethical to be dishonest. Consequently, I have a responsibility to be honest. Do you not see it that way?

          • M&S

            Outcome, not motive.
            Motive is always about ‘can I’ rather than ‘should I’. It is open to the personal perspective of consequential risk to an act vs. counterfactualism of how you would feel watching someone else attempt it.
            Outcome driven moral conditioning is about what happens when someone who cheated their way through a high complexity vocational skills acquisition process is put in charge of a process which, if it fails, causes innocents who _did not get to choose_ to lose life, limb or property, to be victims.
            Whites know this, intrinsically. We fear the guilt of it.
            So when our Kindred look at us, trusting we have the right answer, we are DRIVEN to **be right**. Because it means a lot to us, to have their unquestioning esteem.
            That is what is missing from the other cultures of the world, it is the hollow, amorphous, center of their tribalistic rather than individualistic associative thought processes.
            ‘Something’ will be responsible for every wrong wrought upon them from among the Great Other of group identity.
            But not some one.
            And certainly not themselves.

        • none of your business

          It is hard for the American White Eurocentric SAT to understand the extensive and clever Asian cheating techniques. Asian cheating is way, way beyond anything the SAT can do to stop it.

    • Ultimate187

      There’s nothing wrong with preparing for certain question types. It’s the responsibility of the College Board to maintain the integrity of the SAT.

      • Sue

        Enough with your finders keepers fallacies all over this thread. It’s not about preparing for the question, it’s about preparing to UNDERSTAND the question, and you obviously do not understand anything about personal morals and ethics here.

  • Korean guy

    ENGELMAN! I am ashamed of you!!

  • LHathaway

    They say it’s easy to photograph test questions while you take the test with some kind of a mini camera and then give them out to students who will take the test after you.

    • antiquesunlight

      It happens all the time. That is what the students I mentioned in my comment above are doing.

    • none of your business

      Asian test prep companies do that. Check out the test prep ads in Asian newspapers and websites. “Passing guaranteed” are the words to look for.

  • willbest

    The more they change the test the more they need to test it to ensure adequate annual comparisons. Such is not cheap.

    Of course, if you aren’t willing to put in the work the simplest way to ensure the integrity of the test is to only offer it in the US at 1pm Eastern through 8am Hawaiian.

  • none of your business

    SATs are often canceled in India because of cheating. The Oracle programmers exam is notorious for Asian americans cheating.

  • none of your business

    True story. There is an Asian medical records clerk working in Alhambra hospital in the Asian suburbs west of Los Angeles. She charges $1,000 to take the Licensed vocational nurse test and $2,000 to take the registered nurse test. She bought all the test prep books and just memorized them. She is considered to be very intelligent. She is often asked why not just go to nursing school? You will make so much more money.
    She is happy with her part time job. Her husband makes a lot of money and she wants to be with her kids. Nursing school, even if you know all the academics is hard and time consuming.
    She just uses her customers Dr licenses and test admittance ticket to get in. She is Asian, they are all Asian, black hair, round faces, Asian features no proctor has ever noticed. They do take fingerprints at various steps in the nurse licensing process but not when admitted to the licensing exam.
    Her customers could probably pass the test on their own. But they hire her because she is guaranteed to pass. They consider it no more immoral than a White American hiring a union plumber guaranteed to do the work properly than do an amateur job.
    It is really a different system of morality.

  • HJ11

    There is something deeper here and I think we Whites need to adopt it. This does relate to the issue here and you can figure it out for yourself

    In my negotiatons with many different race/ethnic groups I find that Asians, Arabs and Jews will almost ALWAYS ask: “Is that your best price?” Whites will seldom ask that.

    I interpret this to mean that we Whites rely too much on authority–even if the “authority” is just a salesperson–instead of looking out for our own self interests. In other words, we Whites too often just accept whatever is told us or whatever is presented to us as set in stone (including how we take tests). We need to start becoming more active in our own best interests. We need to ask of everything: “How can I get a better deal or have this come out better for me (and for Whites)?”

    • Sue

      That is not who most Whites are genetically. Our genuine higher IQ also leads us to know that it makes no sense to pass a test if you don’t understand it. It might open doors for you in the beginning, but will eventually lead to mediocrity or failure very quickly if we can’t do the job properly. Many Asians use cheating in academia in the hope of boosting their opportunities in the business world for example, but they mostly end up stuck in middle management in spite of all their high grades and fancy diplomas.
      Anybody who has work with Asians knows that they are not at all what they are made up to be, especially at the leadership level.

      • Anonymous

        Well, the vast majority of White women aren’t exactly cut out to be leaders either, so you are the pot that calls the kettle black.

  • Gary John 金白龍

    Those races that don’t feel guilty about cheating or taking advantage of others will survive. Whites will die unless they start playing by non-White rules.

    • Johnny not so good

      Actually those races are bound to destroy each other that way too, so I’d rather die as a man than live as a parasite in the end.

  • Chip Carver

    Asians may have a slightly higher “average” IQ score than Whites, but Whites have a much wider distribution curve, so this story is no surprise. Another reason that it is no surprise is because of the importance Asians place on education, it is the be all end all. Not so for Whites. Whites could do with making it a bigger part of their existence though. The Asians see getting the scores, getting in to certain schools as all part of the end justifies the means. Too many whites don’t realize this, and still believe in “fairness”. That “fairness” that whites believe in is part of what has us in floundering around in the current mess the US and much of the West is in. Our empathy, feelings of charity, tendency toward fairness, altruism and other traits were noticed, studied, and used against us.

    • Anonymous

      Here’s the thing though. If you are looking for good neighbours and good classmates, a high average and low standard deviation is more useful than a middling average and high standard deviation. For example, it is cheaper and less stressful for teachers to educate Asian kids, mostly because there is less variation in ability so you don’t have to spend so much money on special ed for the retards and gifted classes for the geniuses…because there are no retards and no geniuses. Same goes for White girls. But a school made up entirely of White boys is expensive because you end up having to deal with boys whose IQs are literally 20 and ones who are at 180. And you still have to cater to the majority of the White boys whose IQs are in the 80-120 range.

      Neighbours are the same way. If we picked 100 random White Americans and made them live in the same neighbourhood, we would get some brilliant doctors, entrepreneurs, and scientists, but we would also get a few meth dealers and unwed mothers.