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Cheating suspicions keep Chinese, South Korean students waiting for SAT scores

SAT scores for college hopefuls that took the exam in October are out. That is, unless the test taker is a resident of China or South Korea.

Concerns over cheating have the College Board and the Educational Testing Service, the nonprofit organizations that design and administer the SAT, withholding scores for students from those countries.

“Based on specific, reliable information, we have placed the scores of all students who are current residents of Korea or China and sat for the Oct. 11 international administration of the SAT on hold while we conduct an administrative review,” the groups wrote in a joint statement published by the Washington Post.

It appears some test takers were found with scans of test pages and answers saved on their phones, which aren’t allowed in testing rooms, the Post reported.

The decision to withhold scores came just before the Nov. 1 early application deadline at many elite U.S. universities.

Nearly 94,000 Chinese undergrads were enrolled in U.S. universities last year, a 25 percent increase over the 2011-12 school year. Just over 38,000 undergrads at U.S. schools came from South Korea last year.

Taking the SAT can be an expensive undertaking for Chinese students especially. The mainland has no testing sites outside of international schools, so many students travel to Hong Kong and elsewhere to take the exam.

As college and university budgets and endowments weathered the stresses of the recession, attracting foreign students, who usually pay the full tuition price, became an important revenue source for schools.

The Educational Testing Service plans to complete its investigation and release students’ scores by mid-November, the New York Times reported.

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