SATs are canceled after hagwon leak questions

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SATs are canceled after hagwon leak questions

The College Board, the nonprofit U.S. organization responsible for the dreaded but all important SATs, said Wednesday it was canceling tomorrow’s tests in Korea after hagwon, or cram schools, in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, allegedly leaked questions.

“In response to information provided by the Republic of Korea Supreme Prosecutors’ Office regarding tutoring companies that are alleged to have illegally obtained SAT and SAT Subject Test materials for their own commercial benefit, we are unable to offer the SAT and SAT Subject Tests in the Republic of Korea in May 2013,” said the College Board in a statement.

This was the first time the organization canceled a round of the college admission tests.

The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office raided six college prep schools in Gangnam in February on suspicion they were selling questions from SAT tests they sourced in Southeast Asia. The legal authority gave seized hard drives to the Princeton, New Jersey based Educational Testing Service (ETS), which makes, administers and scores the SATs, to compare the data and the test questions.

“The ETS conducted an internal inspection based on the data given by the prosecution,” said a representative of Communications Korea, a PR company that represents ETS.

“The institution concluded that many Korean students may already know much of the May exam and the cancellation was inevitable,” the representative said.

Students will get a full refund for the SAT fees. A round of SATs in June is expected to be held on its normal schedule.

In 2007, ETS canceled the scores of about 900 Korean students after discovering that exam questions were leaked in advance.

By Park Eun-jee [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]

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