March 9, 2022
As the official administrator of the GMAT™ exam, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) takes very seriously the trust that schools and candidates place in our assessments. Ensuring the fairness and integrity of the exam, the most widely used for graduate business school admissions, is at the heart of our value proposition.
In this vein, today we announced that we have cancelled the scores of more than 100 individuals who were engaged in cheating. Based on advanced forensics and proprietary security tools, we have overwhelming evidence to cancel these candidates’ scores for serious policy violations, which include proxy test taking (someone else taking the test on the candidate’s behalf). These test takers not only had their recent scores cancelled but were also banned from future testing with GMAC and any previous exam scores were also cancelled. Schools to which scores had been sent by these candidates have been notified of their use of unfair means. We are also cooperating with the local law enforcement authorities in India who are investigating this matter. The investigation is ongoing and GMAC is offering its support to the police, as and where required, to address this malpractice.
The GMAT exam is relied on by more than 7,000 programs across the globe and hundreds of thousands of test takers each year. Fortunately, the number of “bad actors” – people who attempt to circumvent the security of standardized tests whether for monetary gain or in the belief that cheating will help them – is very small; however, we are ever-vigilant when it comes to detecting and deterring this activity.
As new information and technology become available, we will leverage it to look back at past exams and act if warranted. Actions may include canceling scores, prohibiting test takers from taking GMAC exams in the future and informing business schools across the world about the actions of said candidates and encouraging them to take strong action. When law enforcement is involved, GMAC will support investigations to help identify people who engage in illegal and fraudulent behavior, and they may be subject to criminal investigation and prosecution.
Importantly, we care about our test takers and do not want them to fall victim to bad actors.
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. In addition, candidates 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.
Online testing has allowed the testing community to enhance access to their exams and has been a benefit to many candidates, especially during the COVID pandemic when test centers were shut down or had very limited capacity. Unfortunately, as with any new technology, this delivery format also creates an opportunity for malicious actors who attempt to game the system. It’s important to acknowledge the risks and inform our community of schools and b-school candidates what steps we are taking to address test security as we go forward.
On behalf of candidates and schools, GMAC remains committed to ensuring the integrity of the GMAT exam and to using the most current technology and methods to deter inappropriate behavior before, during, and after an exam is administered, whether in a test center or online. GMAC is staying at the forefront of secure browser technology, continuous proctor training and enhancing our pre- and post-test data forensics. 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.
Schools and candidates alike are our partners in helping to ensure fairness and equality in testing and the business school admissions process. We encourage admission officers and test takers to notify us of any security concerns or suspicions of cheating via firstname.lastname@example.org.