Cheating Found in ACT-Owned Preparatory Program

July 26, 2016

A Reuters investigation found evidence of cheating in a preparatory program owned by a Hong Kong-based subsidiary of the test provider ACT, with some former students in the program reporting that they gained advance access to ACT test materials.

The Global Assessment Certificate program is billed as helping foreign students develop the academic and English skills they need to succeed in university, but Reuters interviewed seven students from three GAC centers who reported that program officials or test proctors ignored or were complicit in cheating on the ACT. Reuters also interviewed eight teachers or administrators at seven GAC centers who reported cheating in program courses.

An ACT spokesman said its Hong Kong-based subsidiary, ACT Education Solutions Ltd., is responsible for vetting and monitoring GAC centers, which Reuters reported are run according to a franchising model in which local operators pay the ACT subsidiary for the right to offer the curriculum at schools and educational centers. The ACT's head of test security said the organization has canceled suspicious test scores of GAC students.

More than 60 U.S. universities use the GAC program for admission purposes, in some cases awarding college credit for GAC classes. The GAC program enrolls about 5,000 students at 197 centers in 11 countries. About three-quarters of the centers are in China.

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