In the wake of an embarrassing cheating scandal that saw high-scoring students using fake IDs to take college entrance exams on behalf of other students, the SAT and ACT tests are stepping up security. Both exams will now require students submit a photograph when they sign up for the test, and officials will check those images against the IDs presented on test day to ensure the two match up.
At first glance it looked as though the new measures lacked teeth. After all, what’s to stop a student from uploading or mailing in a fake photo that matches the fake ID? But the test providers worked in a few more safeguards, including making it mandatory for test scores be mailed to the students’ high schools with the corresponding photos so school administrators can easily verify the identities of their students. The photos will also remain in a database that can be accessed by colleges.
The measures are designed to stop future incidents like the scandal unearthed last year in Nassau County, N.Y., in which 20 teens were charged with either impersonating someone else and taking the ACT or SAT for that person, or paying another student between $500 and $3,600 to take the test for them.
By Kayla Webley, Time Magazine