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In wake of cheating, tighter security for SAT, ACT exams

The millions of students who take the SAT and ACT each year will face tighter security beginning this fall, under new measures aimed at curbing cheating.

The announcement comes in the wake of an SAT cheating scandal on Long Island, in which students were allegedly paid to take the tests for others.

The companies that administer the college entrance exams, the College Board and ACT Inc., announced the new rules at a news conference in New York with Nassau County Dist. Atty. Kathleen Rice, who is overseeing the Long Island investigation.

Students will now be required to submit a current photo when registering for the exams. The photo will then be printed on the admissions ticket for the testing site, according to a College Board release.

On test day, supervisors will have access to an online register of the photos and a roster of students with their name, date of birth, gender, test type and high school.

When the students arrive at the testing site, they will be required to show both their photo admission ticket and another acceptable form of identification.

The ticket and second form of identification will be checked whenever a student reenters the room and when the test is collected.

Currently, students only have to show a single photo ID when they arrived at the test site.

Students will also no longer be able to change testing sites or decide to take a different test on test day.

After the exam, high schools will receive scores for all test-takers from that school, along with student information and photos to review.

In the Long Island case, over 20 students from elite high schools were arrested for paying others to take college entrance exams for them.

"I believe these reforms, and many others which are happening behind the scenes, will prevent the kind of cheating that our investigation uncovered and give high schools and colleges the tools they need to identify those who try to cheat," Rice said, according to the Associated Press.

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--Stephen Ceasar

 
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