The ACT was forced to cancel its June 11th administration in both Hong Kong and South Korea due to a confirmed leaked exam.
According to ACT spokesman, Ed Colby, the cancellation on Saturday marked the first time the high-stakes exam had been scrapped for an entire country.
The confirmation, according to Colby, wasn't made until the day before the exam, forcing the ACT to cancel 5500+ students' exams just hours before they were scheduled to test. In the midst of the confusion, thousands of students who did not receive the cancellation email showed up to empty test sites. While the ACT will issue full registration refunds for all students, many students from mainland China and the surrounding regions incurred additional travel expenses—such as airfare and hotel costs—which cannot be reclaimed. Moreover, students who had hoped to use the exam as a way to apply for early decision and seniors who had hoped to take the exam for scholarships, athletic eligibility, etc. will no longer be able to exercise these options. The cancelled exam will not be rescheduled. The next international ACT testing date in Hong Kong and South Korea is September 10th. Registration for the September exam opens up the week of June 20th.
The official statement from the ACT:
To: All examinees registered to take the June 11, 2016, ACT in South Korea and Hong Kong
This letter serves to inform you that ACT is cancelling the June 11, 2016, administration of the ACT test at all test centers in South Korea and Hong Kong. ACT has just received credible evidence that test materials intended for administration in these regions have been compromised. Accordingly, ACT took the difficult but appropriate step of cancelling the test event to ensure the fairness of the exam for all examinees.
The June 11 test date will not be rescheduled. Please do not report to the test center or contact the school. ACT will issue an automatic refund of your June registration fees. If you would like to test on a future ACT test date, registration for the 2016/2017 test dates will open the week of June 20th.
If you are facing college application deadlines, you may provide a copy of this message to colleges to which you applied as verification that you were registered for the June 11, 2016, test date.
We deeply regret that you are affected by this unfortunate situation and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience it may cause you. Please direct any questions concerning your registration or the information in this message to ACTemail@example.com.
What does this mean for students?
For the past several months, we've speculated that the "international cheating ring" couldn't possibly be unique to the SAT. Now that the ACT has acknowledged the problem as well, we're hoping that the test prep mills and persons who profit off of cheating will learn—once and for all—that gaming the system only hurts the system for students everywhere. With the media spotlight pointed squarely at China and South Korea, we can only assume that future allegations of cheating and leaks to these regions could be met with more measures to minimize cheating. These measures could include cancellations, like the one we witnessed last weekend, or strict scrutinizing of student scores.
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