SAT: Stressful Academic Timehog?

Article by: Akshay Sharathchandra

Photographs by: Maxine Alindogan

In 2013, an estimated 1.8 million students braved the infamous Standard Aptitude Test (SAT). Created by College Board and overseen by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the SAT has become a critical factor for students applying to universities in the United States.

(Maxine Alindogan) News- SAT Cheating (1)

Like any other test, it comes with an immense amount of pressure on students – so much pressure that some students even succumb to cheating in order to get that perfect 2400. Recently, College Board and ETS officials have issued statements claiming that they have suspicions of mass cheating on the October 11 test in China and South Korea. While no conclusion has been made as to whether or not this is true, the speculation itself has caught the world’s attention.

Consequently, the release of the test scores in these countries have been delayed until further notice so that the organizers have more time to investigate. If cheating is found in a small number of tests, the scores will likely be terminated and participants may be given the chance to redo the exam. However, in the event of mass cheating, the whole test may have to be readministered. College Board and ETS have not yet released a public statement regarding how they will determine cheating within these tests, though they have mentioned that the scores could be withheld for up to 4 weeks.

One speculation over the increasing incidents of cheating comes from the fact that now, more than ever, students have to manage their time in order to be the well-rounded students universities look for. As a result, morals are compromised for the sake of receiving acceptance letters. However, this does not seem to be the case at ISM; when asked, 5 out of 5 anonymous students claimed they would not cheat on any standardized test, even if A) it would guarantee them a spot in their dream college, B) they did not have time to study for the test, C) they would get away with it, and D) the consequences were not drastic. All students agreed they would not want to live with the guilt of having cheated their way into college. Additionally, many stated that if they would otherwise get rejected from these universities, they would not thrive in such a school.

Overall, it’s clear that the SAT puts immense amounts of stress on students all around the world. While it is important for to do one’s best on such tests, it is equally important to maintain one’s morals.