Tougher security screening set for students taking SAT

Thinking about cheating on the SAT? For test-takers nationwide, that prospect just got a whole lot tougher.

College entrance exams have long required test takers to show photo ID, but a recent swath of test cheaters on Long Island have revealed that even more oversight is necessary.

SAT and the ACT will now require test takers to submit photos before they show up to take the test. These will have to match the IDs students bring on testing day. As an added provision, the student’s scores and photos will be sent to officials at their high schools who will double-check for any malfeasance.

Heather Marcus is a guidance counselor at Masterman High School, one of Philadelphia’s leaders in sending students to college. She understands the culture that drives testing misconduct.

“Certainly when students are applying to college and the process is very competitive, they feel a great deal of pressure whether it’s from themselves or their families,” said Marcus. “And if they feel the only way to get into a good college is to cheat, I guess that could spur students to figure out a way to cheat on the exam.”

The tightened security measures come in response to a ring of Long Island students charged with paying other people up to $3,500 to take the SAT in their place.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.