Saturday, January 22, 2005

Cheating News Roundup

There is an actual website for a company named Caveon whose stated mission is testing security and exposing some of the ingenious (and not so ingenious) ways in which examinations are compromised. (From the home page, click through "resources" and then "Cheating In The News." There is even a bi-weekly newsletter. My favorite excerpt (there are several) from the latest edition comes from China:

I was shocked this week by a story out of China regarding proxy test-takers. In China a hired gun test-taker is referred to as a "gunman" -- a person hired to take a test for someone else. Gunmen for the College English Test Level 4 in China guarantee passing grades for their clients -- for a price. Gunman fees for the CET-4 are generally around $120, but other tests may demand prices as high as $1,445 for a passing score.

The reality is that gunmen are available for all kinds of tests. You can even hire a Chinese gunman from here in the USA, they'll take a test for you in China and you'll receive a certificate in the mail -- giving new meaning to the phrase "offshore outsourcing."

Gunmen are just another example of why testing programs must be vigilant in their awareness of pirates and cheaters. Any publicity that a certification can be had for a price instantly diminishes the credibility of the program. In my next e-mail I'll feature more about gunmen and links to some of their sites.

After looking about Caveon's site, I am convinced that there is an obvious need for the services that are offered by them, especially for state-mandated annual assessments, college admissions tests, and high school exit examinations.

Mortarboard Tip:
Number 2 Pencil

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