Preventing Cheating

Cheating on admissions tests is not new, but it is preventable.

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GMAT Test Center security procedures are consistent around the world.

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News of cheating in college admissions testing has raised several questions among the public, the media, and lawmakers about test security.

When an assessment like the GMAT® exam demonstrates such a high ability to predict the performance of a student in a program of study, schools will include it as a critical objective piece of information in the portfolio they consider as they evaluate a candidate. The unfortunate consequence is that, in a small number of instances, individuals will try to gain an unfair advantage.

Our Investment in Security

We at GMAC are committed to providing every GMAT test taker with a fair testing experience. We strive to ensure to schools that the candidate sitting in the classroom is the same one who earned the GMAT score that was used in the admission process. Equally, we are dedicated to delivering test scores of the highest integrity and reliability. We invest significantly in test security measures, such as:

  • ID Verification Devices
  • Patented Test Center Design
  • Collecting Candidate Biometric information using palm vein scanning

The GMAT Exam Security Check-In

Highlighted below are a few unique GMAT security measures used to detect, prevent and deter cheating on the GMAT exam.

Strict Identification Requirements

  • Government-issued identification document. The ID must include:
    • A recent, recognizable photograph
    • A signature
    • The date of birth must match what was provided at registration
    • In some markets, we accept only passports as an ID and use document readers to verify the authenticity.
  • Digital photograph taken at the test center is captured as part of the candidate profile
  • Palm vein scanned at the test center

Candidate Monitoring

  • Audio/Video monitoring and recording of every testing session. The video recording enables the test center administrator to see each candidate during the testing session and  to refer any suspicious behavior to a regional center where the video can be reviewed.
  • Testing proctor monitors every testing session in real time with the ability to report any concerns, also in real time.
  • Limited items permitted into testing room with some exceptions granted as deemed appropriate.  Explicit rules set out what can be brought in. All candidates are provided with a locker to store items that may not be taken into the testing area.
  • Palm vein scan and a “one to many” matching system ("one to many" is a new way we will be using palm vein scanning that promises to enhance the strength of our security procedures). These tools enable us to catch serial proxy test takers and preclude both the proxy and the candidate who hired the proxy from taking the GMAT exam in the future.
  • Extensive proprietary test forensics to detect potential fraud.

Commitment to Privacy

  • In addition to our efforts to protect the security, reliability, and fairness of the GMAT exam, we are also committed to protecting the privacy of every test taker no matter where in the world they are taking the exam.
  • We adhere to local privacy law and respect the local privacy culture. Around the world and in each market we seek to work with local privacy officials and advocates to ensure that our procedures strike a balance between the need for security and the privacy interests of test takers.

Communication with Stakeholders


  • A Candidate Rights and Responsibilities section in the GMAT Handbook.
  • Notification of potential score cancellation/test ban and the reasons for the potential cancellation before school notification with opportunity to appeal.
  • Opportunity to appeal.
  • Notification of final score cancellation/test ban.
  • Security messaging (in test centers/other publications).

Schools & Students

  • Notification of score cancellation and the reasons for our decision, including:
    • C-a self-cancelled score by the candidate
    • T-a testing issue such as a loss of electrical power in the testing facility
    • P- a policy violation such as accessing study materials during a break
    • S-a serious violation such as the falsification of the test candidate’s identification.
  • In the case of a cancellation for a serious violation, GMAC will contact by letter the admissions office of score report-receiving schools – schools the test taker requested receive their scores – to be certain that the severity of the issue is conveyed. All future score reports will also include this “S” notation.

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