Cheaters busted on the SATs

Shon Cagungun, staff writer

Twenty or more students in the Great Neck, New York region have been implicated in a large scale SAT cheating scandal. Allegedly, 15 high school students in this affluent area paid five others to take the college entrance exam for them. The charges for the students range from misdemeanors to fraud felonies.

In addition to the cheating issue, moral and ethical questions arise in regard to the case as the attorneys present their defenses. If prosecuted the test takers could face up to four years in prison while the others will escape with misdemeanors.

The rash of cheating raises questions about the security of the SAT test; a test already notorious for it’s stringent policy on i.d. checks. I.d. scanners could solve this problem, but Carlsbad High School’s guidance technician Mary DeLuca expressed her concern about this possibility.

“It’s like [the test officials] are policing the students,” Mrs. DeLuca said. “It’s going too far.”

The standing policies require i.d. checks at the door before the test; a measure which may or may not be enforced.

“I feel like there should be more consequences for cheating. If you’re caught they just delete your test scores,” senior Ian Du said.

Ease of cheating coupled with pressure leads to academic dishonesty. Students incentive to cheat increases, as average test scores admitted to top colleges goes up. The pressure to do well led these particular students to feel as though the only way to ensure their future success was to cheat.

“Colleges stress numbers; we all want to put up top-notch scores,” Du said.

In the case in New York, The final test taker is expected to step forward and turn himself in very soon. The defense attorneys argue that these kids were simply trying to achieve success in the same mode as those on Wall Street and those who play professional sports in steroids.

For Carlsbad students, remember to follow SAT procedure and make the score count.

“It’s possible to get there through achievement. Cheating is the easy way out,” senior Tyler Dawson said. “You can be the best you can be through hard work.”