The Graduate Management Admission Council, the official administrator of the GMAT exam, recently rescinded scores of 133 candidates for resorting to unfair means. The majority of the candidates, caught in the wrongdoing, are from India, and the rest of the individuals are from North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
GMAT is the most widely accepted exam for MBA admissions worldwide. More than 2,300 schools, including Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, and Indian School of Business, accept GMAT scores for giving admission which is evident of the wide acceptability it has. Further 650 testing centres in 114 countries administer GMAT for candidates.
Ashok Sarathy, Vice President, Product Management Operations of GMAC spoke with the Free Press Journal about the action taken by GMAC and what measures they would be taking to prevent such incidents in the future:
1. Can you provide more details on the exact security violations that GMAC has identified for the home-based GMAT and at the test centres for the same?
We were informed by and are working with the local law enforcement authorities in India investigating a particular cheating ring apprehended by the Delhi police earlier this year. Based on advanced forensics and proprietary security tools, we have overwhelming evidence to cancel these candidates’ scores for serious policy violations, specifically proxy test-taking (someone else taking the test on the candidate’s behalf) for both the home-based GMAT exams and at test centres.
2. What measures will be enacted to prevent such incidents in the future?
GMAC remains committed to ensuring the integrity of the GMAT exam and to using the most current technology and methods to deter, detect, and take action against inappropriate behaviour before, during, and after an exam is administered, whether in a test centre or online. GMAC is staying at the forefront of secure browser technology, continuous proctor training, and enhancing our pre-and post-test data forensics. While we will not disclose the specific measures we employ to avoid tipping off potential perpetrators in the future, we will continue to adapt as technologies and techniques evolve to ensure that schools remain confident in the validity of test scores and to reassure candidates that the test is administered fairly.
There are serious real-world consequences to any attempt to cheat or circumvent security measures:
Online exam sessions are recorded, and any issues are thoroughly reviewed by our security forensics team.
Scores are cancelled and schools are informed in any situations involving evidence of cheating and use of unfair means to earn a score.
Test takers may also face legal action and restrictions and/or bans on future testing.
We cooperate with law enforcement investigations and support criminal prosecution of test-takers who have cheated on the exam.
3. Do you see this incident changing guidelines or other factors concerning GMAT in any way?
We will be introducing dos and don’ts of online testing content series on social media, in addition to providing candidates with information via our mba.com website, the GMAT Handbook, and the monthly candidate email newsletter.
4. What would you advise the students who try to take the easy way out and get trapped in such incidents?
Often, these services purporting to help candidates achieve higher scores are scams designed to cheat candidates out of their money. We encourage candidates to not be fooled - engaging in these types of activities can result in them being the target of extortion. Students may face the very real and serious consequences of cheating, including criminal prosecution by law-and-order authorities, who are now aware of and actively working to address this issue.