Social media reports say the August SAT test administered in the United States was the same one offered in South Korea and China a year ago.
Assertions are circulating on Twitter that the August 2018 Scholastic Aptitude Test had been leaked overseas, with some saying it was the same test administered in Asia in October 2017. If so, that would give students who had the answers from last year an advantage over other students.
A post on Reddit pointed to a number of students from China who, the poster said, arrived at her SAT testing site in California on a privately chartered bus and showed their Chinese passports for identification. The poster suggested the group knew that day's test was the same one administered last year in Asia and had the answers in advance.
The College Board, which administers the test, wrote that it takes quality control steps before scores are released, which include conducting statistical analysis of certain test scores:
In response to numerous questions about rescoring or canceling the August test scores, the College Board said that scores would come out as regularly scheduled.
"For those of you who have asked about the SAT test on Saturday, Aug. 25/Sunday, Aug. 26, we do not comment on the specifics of test form and/or question usage, in order to protect the security of our tests," a statement read.
Most U.S. colleges and universities use the SAT to measure the capabilities of applicants. More than 6.7 million test-takers completed the SAT or a pre-SAT test during the 2015-16 school year, Maria Eugenia Alcón-Heraux, College Board director of media relations, told Student Union.
Likewise, many students judge schools by looking at the level of SAT scores a college or university prefers in deciding admissions. It is a metric that implies higher scores mean smarter students and better schools.
The College Board has come under fire before for test scoring and question recycling.
This June, the test administered faced a tougher grading curve because the questions were easier, according to the College Board. While the board maintained that the scoring was fair, many students taking the test for a second or third time said their scores dropped despite the fact that they got more questions correct. They demanded the test be rescored.
But cases of cheating, particularly on tests administered throughout Asia, have been rampant. Last February, many SAT scores from international tests were canceled in the wake of cheating, and the College Board concluded that it would reduce the number times that SATs are offered overseas from four per year to three, to reduce duplication of questions.
In an extreme case, three Chinese students were arrested last year for "attempting to defraud the United States" after the government proved they had paid another student to take the SAT for them, which led to their admission to American universities.