South Korean ACT Cheating Scandal

Over the past year, controversy has been swirling around the new SAT. Much of this controversy has been focused on things other than the format of the test itself. For example, the SAT has been the subject of numerous cheating scandals. In addition, the College Board found itself roiled in another controversy when it released a new concordance between the new SAT, the old SAT, and the ACT. Together with the new and untested format, and colleges’ unfamiliarity with the new SAT and its numerous subscores, many students across Asia and across the world opted instead to take the ACT.

Now, however, the ACT has experienced an Asian cheating scandal of its own. The June ACT was canceled all across South Korea because American College Testing, the company that owns ACT, discovered that the security of the test had been compromised and that upwards of 5000 students were given copies of the actual June ACT test.

“What a shame this is,” says Neil Chyten, founder of Chyten Premier Tutors and Test Preparations.  “A few unscrupulous companies and students have ruined it for all the honest, hardworking students across Asia who actually earn their high test scores.” As a result, many students from across Asia now come to America to study and then take the SAT and ACT. According to Chyten, “We get calls every day from international brokers asking about our test preparation services for students coming over from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea.” Chyten says that many students come over from Asia to his centers to study for a month or two, then take the ACT or SAT at one of the many test centers around Boston. While he welcomes the influx of Asian students to his centers, Chyten insists that cheating on tests hurts everyone—especially honest, hard working students. “It is hard for students to compete against others who have been given the actual test questions and answers in advance. It isn’t fair.” Chyten draws a clear distinction between students who use old released tests for practice and those who attempt to gain an unfair advantage by memorizing the actual, upcoming test questions and answers in advance. He says that every student in the world appropriately studies previously released ACT and SAT tests, but that some unscrupulous companies try to give their students an unfair advantage by obtaining and distributing upcoming tests in advance.