Jan 9, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

In the midst of an international cheating epidemic, ACT Inc, the Iowa-based company that produces the high-stakes university entrance exam, will immediately raise its fees for overseas test-takers by at least $10.  The purpose?  To increase security measures at test centers.  According to the report in Reuters, a letter sent to a college counselor in China said, “The fee increases will cover costs for new test security measures.”  Starting in April 2017, the ACT may cost up to $50 more per international student.

What’s going on?  Security breaches.  In October 2016, the ACT had to cancel the writing scores for several students in Asia and Oceania because of an information leak.  Last June, the ACT canceled testing for all test-takers in Hong Kong and South Korea. 

In a November press release, the ACT stated that South Korea will shut down its 32 South Korean test centers and have just a single test center for the entire country in Seoul.  ACT said, “The move is being made to combat repeated test material breaches in South Korea.” 

Amid reports of complicity by some school officials and proctors in the Global Assessment Certificate program (GAC), which gives international students the skills to perform at US universities, ACT testing protocols have changed entirely.  For some test locations, the ACT has begun shipping its test booklets and answers sheets in lock boxes—proctors do not receive combinations until the morning of the test. 

 

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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