Security Compromised on Biology SAT?

Questions surfaced before test was given.

June 10, 2019

The National Center for Fair & Open Testing, a group that has long criticized standardized tests and pointed to security problems on them, revealed Thursday that it had received a call with information about questions on the SAT subject test in biology given June 1. The call was accompanied by a PDF showing all the questions on the exam.

Further, similar questions turned up on Reddit. The call with information about the test came from East Asia and took place before the exam was given in the United States. FairTest noted that many test takers monitor Reddit, making it possible some had an advance edge on the test.

The questions on Reddit may be found here. By hovering your cursor over the "x days ago," you can see the time when the questions were posted -- which was before the test was given in the United States.

If the link came from Asia, it would be the latest example in which standardized test questions are leaked (or sold) in Asia in advance of tests being given in the United States. In August, numerous reports circulated about test questions on the SAT that were available in Asia just prior to when the exam was given in the United States.

A spokeswoman for the College Board said of the information about the biology test via email, "We take all reports about test security with the utmost seriousness, and are aware of this report. For every test administration, we go to great lengths to make sure that all test scores we report are accurate and valid."

Many who work with students -- who are already stressed over the issue of their test scores -- say that the College Board and ACT need to do more to combat the leakage of tests.

Sam Pritchard, Kaplan Test Prep's director of college prep programs, said via email, "At a time when many parents’ and students’ faith and trust are already being tested because of the recent college admissions scandal, everyone who plays a role in ensuring the integrity of the process has to do better -- particularly someone with such a key role as the test maker. We know that stricter security measures were put in place several years ago, but clearly more needs to be done. We hope that the College Board takes steps to resolve this concern. Students deserve better."


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