Reports of cheating on the ACT in China reflect a persistent and ‘very disconcerting’ issue to US colleges

Evidence of “widespread” cheating has emerged in a Chinese program designed to help foreign students gain admission into US schools, according to an investigation by Reuters.

The program, called the
Global Assessment Certificate (GAC), can cost more than $10,000 a year and helps foreign students whose first language is not English prepare for college and ace the ACT college entrance examination.

Seven students who spoke with Reuters allege that school officials and proctors knew about and allowed cheating on the ACT at three different program locations.

In interviews with the students, Reuters reported that:

“One [student] now attending the University of California, Los Angeles, said a GAC administrator in China let him practice answering almost half the questions that would appear on the actual ACT about a week before the exam was given. Another student, now at a major university in the Midwest, said his Chinese center provided students with two articles that appeared on an ACT he later took there.”

Additionally, eight teachers or administrators at seven different centres also claimed that cheating occurred during the courses, and, in two instances, was encouraged by officials, according to Reuters.