August SAT Controversy


Scott Jaschik

SAT leak from Asia

Kathleen Toblesky, Photojournalist

As the August 2018 SAT came to a end, it was quickly surrounded with controversy. Rumors  spread claiming that the test and answers were leaked in Asia, specifically in China and South Korea.


College Board, the organization that directs the SAT and ACT, is known to recycle their tests every few years as well as to other countries. Normally, the tests are originally given in America, which will then be recycled to be taken to Asia. However, this time College Board did the opposite: the test used in America in August was used the previous year in October in Asia. As for why there was a change regarding this test, it is unclear.


Due to the test having been used before, the test, which includes the questions and the answers, were put online to a site called “WeChat,” according to SupertutorTV. While having old tests put online is nothing new, this was not done by College Board, but rather students who had leaked it.


However, what many don’t know is that the test had been leaked online since October 2017, yet College Board still used the test in August 2018.


Because the full test was available to students, they would be able to take the test at home to practice and familiarize themselves with it. This makes it overwhelmingly unfair to other students who have not seen the reading passages or math problems.


Although, it is not just a simple matter of whether or not someone found the tests online and decided to cheat. For many students, it was not known that the October SAT in Asia was going to be the exact test used in August 2018 over in the United States, according to SupertutorTV. Using old tests, that are usually legally released, is a common method of study for students. Many of these students were simply trying to prep for a test that they just happened to see before.


One partaker of the test, Nicole Gutierrez(12), was disappointed when she heard the news. “[The students who cheated] got better scores because they could prepare” while she and many others did not receive the same opportunity.


Another issue is these students in China and South Korea themselves. Internationally, the SAT is not available in August, so the only chance they have of taking the test then would be to go to the US for their SAT, which just happens to be a test many of them have taken the previous year.


Some of the controversy regarding the topic is on College Board recycling their tests in the first place. After all, why give students a test that they could very well look up and memorize rather than study? Many feel that College Board should cease recycling tests altogether. Others think that they should at least wait two years before reusing the tests to avoid any students who are planning on taking the SAT, or even ACT, more than once.


Fortunately for the students who took the August 2018 SAT, College Board has reported that the scores will not be cancelled. The scores were released on September 7 of 2018 without any further issue. They have, however, according to NBC News, “significantly increased [their] test security efforts and resources.”