South Korea SATs Cancelled For Entire Country After Allegations Surface Of Widespread Cheating

Why The SATs Were Cancelled For An Entire Country

The May 4 SAT exam was cancelled in South Korea after allegations of widespread cheating surfaced. Some 1,500 South Korean students had been signed up for the exam, hoping to use their scores to gain admittance to American universities.

The College Board, the organization that oversees the SATs, and Educational Testing Service (ETS), which develops and scores the test, cancelled the exam after learning that tutoring companies allegedly obtained and distributed the test illegally. The College Board reportedly made the decision only after exploring every other reasonable alternative, according to a company statement forwarded to The Huffington Post.

While the College Board and ETS have previously cancelled exams for individual testing centers or several centers in a certain area, this is the first time an SAT exam has been cancelled for an entire country, said Thomas Ewing, spokesman for the College Board, in an email to The Huffington Post. All students who were signed up for the May test received refunds.

Is is unclear how many -- if any -- tutors currently stand accused of the crime, although The Wall Street Journal notes 10 educators have been barred from leaving the country. Educational authorities are currently investigating all 68 tutoring centers in Seoul, reports The Korea Herald.

The College Board says it "would support charges being brought against individuals or organizations engaged in such illegal activities."

In the meantime, South Korean students who planned to take the May 4 exam must explore other options. The College Board says other exams will be held in June and in the fall, but students who fear another cancellation are reportedly making plans to take the next scheduled test in Hong Kong or Japan, according to the Journal.

Ewing said the College Board will look into preventing future cheating from occurring. “Test security policies and practices for test centers in the Republic of Korea [are] already among the most thorough in the world but we will be implementing additional policies in the future,” said Ewing.

In 2007, South Korean students were embroiled in another major SAT cheating scandal. The scores of all 900 students taking a version of the test were cancelled after it was discovered that some had previously seen a portion of the exam, according to the Journal.

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