New security measures for the SAT and ACT

SAT Prep

Starting this fall, students taking the SAT and ACT will see a host of new security measures take effect. These new measures are aimed at eliminating cheating on both of these standardized college-admissions tests; cheating has become rampant in the past few years, and reached a boiling point with the 2011 arrest of a student in Long Island, NY, who had taken the test for multiple students in exchange for money.

The New York Times has a great article detailing the new measures. Here is a summary of what students will be required to do, what has been eliminated, and how scores will be reported.

Test Registration

  • Students will be required to upload or mail in a recent photograph of themselves upon registering for the ACT or SAT.
  • Students will be required to identify their high school when registering for the ACT or SAT.
  • Students will be required to provide their gender and birthday when registering for the ACT or SAT.
  • SAT standby testing (where students who missed the regular and late registration deadlines could choose to come to the test center on the day of the test and see if a spot was available for them) will be eliminated. All test takers will have to register ahead of time.


  • The photo provided by students at registration will be printed on their admissions ticket and the roster at the testing center.
  • Test proctors will check the photo provided by the student at registration against the photo on their ticket, the photo on the roster, and the photo on their ID.
  • Students who are not on the roster or do not provide sufficient identification will not be allowed to sit for the test.
  • Students will have to certify their identity in writing at the test center.

Score Reporting

  • Students' scores and photos will be sent to their high school. Students cannot opt out of high schools receiving their scores and/or photo.
  • Colleges receiving a student's SAT scores will have the option of viewing the student's photograph in a database. NOTE: Colleges receiving a student's ACT scores do not have this option, and will not have any access to a student's photo.

These new security measures will go into effect nationwide in the fall. The cost of registration for the tests will not be affected, nor will any associated fees.