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Cheating probe means anxious wait for China’s SAT students
2014-10-31
By Zhao Wen

THE United States College Board has said it will delay publishing its latest SAT scores for students living in China and South Korea due to allegations of widespread cheating.

According to a report in Time magazine, the board this week sent e-mails to all students living in the two countries who took the SAT — a standardized test used for college admissions in the US — on October 11, saying their results will be delayed and reviewed.

“Based on specific, reliable information, we have placed the scores of all students who are residents of (South) Korea or China and sat the October 11 international administration of the SAT on hold while we conduct an administrative review,” the report cited a statement from the College Board and its test administration and security provider, Educational Testing Service (ETS), as saying.

“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,” it said.

Jiang Hao, a teacher at Shanghai High School, said the delay is unlikely to affect his students as the majority of those planning to study overseas took their SAT tests in May and June.

Some students, however, told Shanghai Daily that they had taken the October 11 test in a bid to improve on the results they achieved in earlier tests.

With the review set to take up to four weeks, they are facing a long and anxious wait.

ETS spokesman Thomas Ewing said, however, that the College Board will make universities aware of the circumstances and can supply students with a letter to share with the schools to which they are applying.

Even if test scores are delivered in November, they will be reported as October scores, he said.

Delay no problem

Jeremiah Quinlan, dean of undergraduate admissions at Yale, was quoted as saying that the administrative delay will not hurt the chances of admission for individual applicants, as “any scores that arrive before our review process is complete will be considered.”

Currently, Chinese nationals need to travel outside China’s mainland to take the SAT. People with foreign passports can take the test in China at international schools.

The scores under question are for Chinese examinees who tested outside of China and not for those taken at the international schools in China, Ewing said.

Since 2008, the number of Chinese students studying in the United States has risen by 20 percent a year, to almost 200,000 in late 2012, the Time report said.

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