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Entries in ACT (4)

Monday
Aug062012

Maryland Student Lands Perfect ACT Score

Handout/Sayyeed Mohammed(CLARKSVILLE, Md.) -- Maryland high school student Taariq Mohammed is perfect, at least according to the ACT test.

The 16-year-old student at River Hill High School in Clarksville, Md., scored a perfect 36 on the college entrance test, an achievement that only a fraction of one percent of students in the country can claim.

For this driven high school student, preparation for perfection started early.

“When I was going into my freshman year of high school I started studying for both the SAT and the ACT,” Mohammed said. The first time he took the test as a sophomore, Mohammed received a 34, a score most students would be satisfied with.

But close to perfect wasn’t good enough for Mohammed.

“I was happy with it, but I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed,” he said. “I knew I was close to being perfect and I was confident that I could get a perfect ACT score.”

He took it a second time in June, and got the score he was hoping for.

Mohammed, who is a straight-A student, a black belt in Karate, and a varsity wrestler, also came within just 50 points of a perfect score on the SAT as well.

Like his two brothers Saud and Isa, Mohammed hopes to attend Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., and eventually become a doctor.

His father Sayyeed Mohammed, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, is very much the proud parent, but wasn’t surprised by his son’s success.

“Tariq was always very ambitious,” he said. “Fortunately for him, he has two brothers who are really very close to him. He was very fortunate to know how to plan ahead carefully for what he needed to do and plan out his four year high school career.”

“And he executed it to perfection.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar272012

New SAT Security Changes After NY Cheating Ring

Jeff Greenberg/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After last year's scandal on New York's Long Island that involved high school students paying others to take the SAT for them, the College Board announced security changes Tuesday.

"We are confident that the security enhancements announced today will help maintain an honest and fair testing environment for the millions of students who take the SAT each year as part of the college admission process," said Kathryn Juric, vice president of the College Board for the SAT Program.

"These reforms close a gaping hole in standardized test security that allowed students to cheat and steal admissions offers and scholarship money from kids who played by the rules," said Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. "Millions of college-bound students who take the SAT and ACT each year should have renewed confidence that honest applicants will not take a back seat to cheaters, and that those who cheat will be caught."

In September, an alleged SAT cheating ring was uncovered on Long Island and seven students were arrested. Prosecutors said that at least six high school students had paid collegiate Sam Eshaghoff thousands of dollars to take the test for them. But by November, the college entrance exam cheating scandal had grown, with 12 more students facing felony charges.

A total of 20 teens were arrested for either impersonating someone and taking the test or paying someone to take it for them, Rice said.

Last year, the College Board said that the agency and the Educational Testing Services would review its security enhancements. ETS also hired a firm led by former FBI director Louis Freeh to determine whether its security procedures were deficient.

The College Board's reforms, which will take effect in the fall, include test-takers either uploading a picture of themselves during registration or mailing an image to the testing agency and proctors more frequently checking IDs. The photos submitted by the students will be printed on their admission ticket and test center will have them. The uploaded photos would be retained in a database and made available to high school and college admissions officials.

The rival ACT is also changing its security measures.

"ACT is proud to announce new safeguards that will further ensure the integrity of the testing process and meet students in the tech-savvy world they live in today," said Jon Erickson, president of ACT Education. "Under our revised test security protocols, test security will be enhanced by the latest Web and photography technology, while being reinforced by the people who know the students best -- the teachers and counselors at their high schools."

According to the College Board website, more than 2 million students take the test each year. Last year, 138 scores were canceled after ETS found that students had cheated on their exams.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep282011

College Board Does Not Punish SAT Cheats

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- An alleged SAT cheating ring was busted in Long Island, N.Y., after faculty members from the high school heard rumors that students had paid someone to take the test for them.

An investigation revealed that at least six high school students allegedly paid 19-year-old college student Sam Eshaghoff thousands of dollars to take the test, prosecutors said.

Eshaghoff is facing charges of scheming to defraud, falsifying business records and criminal impersonation. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison. The other six students are facing misdemeanor charges and have not been identified because of their ages.

But if the College Board, which owns the SAT, had determined that the cheaters did not violate the law, it is likely that the only consequence would have been a cancelled test score.

“If it comes to the point where we have determined that there was cheating or that the score was not valid, we cancel the score and we notify the colleges and universities that the score…cannot be used for admission purposes,” said Tom Ewing, a spokesman for Educational Testing Service, the company that designs and administers the SAT. "There will be a notification that the score was canceled, but it carries no stigma."

Of the 2.25 million SATs that are taken every year, Ewing said, ETS cancels about 1,000 test scores and 99.9 percent of those are for students copying off each other.

The College Board only alerts the authorities about an investigation if they believe students violated the law, Ewing told ABC News.

“We’re much more concerned with cancelling scores and letting universities know they’re not available for admission than detailing whatever may have happened,” he said.

Once a student’s score is canceled for cheating, that student is allowed to take the test again and there are no additional punitive measures pursued by the College Board.

The ACT, another college entrance exam, has a similar policy.

“We don’t tell schools or anyone else; we simply cancel the score,” ACT spokesman Ed Colby told the Los Angeles Times in 2008.

ACT media relations director Scott Gomer, confirmed to ABC News that this continues to be the ACT’s policy. Students that are caught cheating are allowed to take the test again, but the cancelled test does count against the organization’s 12-test limit.

Ewing said that while the scandal in Long Island has caused some people to call for stricter security measures, it’s unlikely the College Board will overhaul its security procedures.

“[We] are always trying to review enhancements to the test security process, but any enhancement has to take into account that it doesn’t unnecessarily burden test takers,” he said. "It’s such a rare occurrence, these kind of things. It hardly merits massive revision to the test security process.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug172011

College-Bound Students Not Prepared in Basic Subjects

Creatas/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Only one in four college-bound high school graduates is adequately prepared for college-level English, reading, math, and science, according to report released Wednesday by the ACT college admissions test.

Some 28 percent of the members of the high school class of 2011 failed to meet readiness benchmarks in any of the four core subject areas.

"ACT results continue to show an alarmingly high number of students who are graduating without all the academic skills they need to succeed after high school," the report stated.

The study also revealed a wide "achievement gap" between racial and ethnic groups.

  • In English, 77 percent of white students and 76 percent of Asian-American students met the readiness benchmark compared with 47 percent of Latinos and 35 percent of African-Americans.
  • In Reading, 62 percent of both white and Asian-American students met the readiness benchmark compared with 35 percent of Latinos and 21 percent of African-Americans.
  • In Mathematics, 71 percent of Asian-American students met the readiness benchmark compared with 54 percent of white students, 30 percent of Latinos and 14 percent of African-Americans.
  • In Science, 41 percent of Asian-American students met the readiness benchmark versus 37 percent of whites, 15 percent of Latino students and 6 percent of African-Americans.
  • Some 41 percent of Asian-Americans met the readiness benchmarks in all four subjects, compared with 31 percent for whites, 11 percent for Latinos and 4 percent for African-Americans.


"There's still a significant and an actually growing gap both at incomes levels and at racial/ethnic levels in the achievement of those benchmarks," said Jon Erickson, interim president of ACT. "This is a national imperative and a national concern."

Readiness was defined as a student having a 50 percent chance of getting a B or a 75 percent chance of getting a C in first-year courses English Composition, College Algebra, Biology, and social sciences.

There was some good news in the report. The percentages of all students meeting the benchmarks in mathematics and science increased from 2010 to 2011 by 2 percentage points in math and 1 percentage point in science. They remained the same for English (66 percent) and for reading (52 percent)

More than 1.6 million 2011 high school graduates -- 49 percent of the entire national graduating class -- took the ACT exam.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio