New probe of cheating on SAT in Korea launched

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The second major investigation of the year has been launched into cheating on the SAT in Korea with new allegations that questions from earlier tests were obtained by “cram schools” and given to students during preparation for the Oct. 5 administration of the exam. This follows the College Board’s cancellation of the May 2013 administration of the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests throughout Korea of the leak of test questions — the first time a test has been cancelled in an entire country.

The Korea Times newspaper reported that police launched an investigation in southern Seoul into cram schools that apparently obtained questions from the SAT given in March in the United States and were on the Oct. 5 test given in Korea. The Yonhap News Service reported that police raided 13 of these institutes.

The newspaper quoted a statement from the College Board, which owns the SAT, and the Educational Testing Service, which administers the SAT, as saying that so far they have “no reason to suspect that any Korean test takers gained unfair advantage on the October SAT test” but will monitor the situation.

Earlier the College Board had cut the number of times the SAT is given in Korea each year from six to four because of leaks of questions.

It remains to be seen how all of this will affect Korean students who need SAT scores to apply to college next year. Korea is famous for its “cram schools,” which tutor students outside of class in this education-obsessed country starting as early as kindergarten.

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.

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Valerie Strauss · October 21, 2013