Daily Archives: December 12, 2011

12 Dec 2011

Reflections: SAT Cheating in Great Neck, Long Island

By now, most concerned with standardized testing have heard, read, talked about the SAT cheating scandal in Great Neck, Long Island. The situation saw roughly 15 high school students pay college proxies $500 – $3,600 to take the SAT on their behalf.

The scandal has sparked debates about the merits and drawbacks of the SAT. Reams of comments flow through the online forums at the New York Times. Most people cite their personal lives to support or challenge the SAT as a useful predictor of individual success.

In my opinion, debates about the efficacy of the SAT are futile as long as students continue to cheat. The cheating suggests pandemic attitudes of entitlement—notions that it’s OK to skimp the system as long as you don’t get caught. Ultimately, such attitudes must be dealt with first and foremost. There really aren’t any surefire shortcuts.

There are many ways for students to improve SAT and ACT scores over time—hard work, perseverance and careful planning are the ticket. As I see it, if standardized tests measure these qualities, they can predict college success. It should never be easy to achieve a high score.

That said, it’s important for students to set realistic and achievable goals. High scores may open doors, but that doesn’t mean there’s no future for average scores. The trick is to make the most of your resources, work hard and do your best.

These Key SAT Words are Expertly Identified by Sentia Tutors

Futile: Completely useless; doomed to failure
An epidemic that is geographically widespread and affects a large proportion of the population