SAT Cheating Scandal: An Explanation
While I in no way condone cheating in any capacity, I think its important for us to examine some of the reasons behind why these kids felt so pressured to cheat and do well on their standardized tests.
With college becoming more and more difficult to get into, it is understandable that students are feeling an immense amount of stress in trying to make their application unique and appealing. Looking at the components of a college application, the most valued, behind Grade Point Average, are your standardized test scores. What the test scores represent is that on a leveled playing field, where everyone in the country is measured by the same test, you fared well.
Many of the top universities in the country are decreasing their acceptance rates every year, with schools like Harvard only accepting about 8 percent of their applicants.
Wealthy students with the resources available to pay someone to cheat can easily be tempted to have someone else take the test for them. A high score, if not perfect score, increases a candidates’ chance of being accepted into college significantly. On the other hand, students who are poor might also be tempted since a high score on standardized tests opens doors to many scholarships and grants – something that could be vital if they wish to attend college.
Not to mention that technology has made it so that it’s becoming increasingly easier to cheat. With a couple hundred dollars, most kids have access to fake identification cards.
So all it sums up to is that it’s easier to cheat and it’s more important than ever that they do well on these tests if they want an opportunity at a good college education. I can see why they would be tempted.
Contact staff writer Sammi Wong here.
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