GMAT Scandal Concerns Test-Takers

July 31, 2008 07:01 AM
by Josh Katz
An unauthorized Web site providing copyrighted GMAT questions has been shut down. The incident has raised questions about the ethical environment of business schools.

30-Second Summary

On June 20, the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), which administers the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), successfully won a $2.3 million civil lawsuit against Lei Shi and others in charge of GMAC shut down the site and obtained its hard drive full of user information. provided VIP users with “live” copyrighted GMAT questions, without the permission of GMAC. Prospective MBA students could pay $30 a month to access the VIP service.

GMAC’s access to user information has caused a stir, as test-takers who used wonder what the implications will be for them. Senior vice-president Peg Jöbst said GMAC will cancel the scores and notify the schools of those who were actively involved on the site.

GMAC was concerned with cheating prior to the scandal. The organization has sought to crack down on “proxy” test takers and in the fall it will implement infrared “palm vein” scans.

In addition, last year 4 MBA students from Duke University business school were punished for cheating. Around the same time, a “study of 54 universities found 56 percent of graduate business students admitted” to cheating, “more than in other professional schools in the survey,” according to The Christian Science Monitor.

Such instances have generated concern over the ethics being taught at business schools. According to The Wall Street Journal, Professor Donald L. McCabe of Rutgers University says business school students notoriously cheat more, and the students “cite instances of corporations' ‘bottom-line mentality’ and ethical lapses to justify their own dishonesty.”

Headline Link: ‘Grilling GMAC on the GMAT Cheating Scandal’

Background: ‘GMAC and FBI expose test cheats’

Opinion & Analysis: Punishment for users; the state of business school testing

Related Topics: Security methods and cheating; standardized test scandals

Business schools and cheating
Notable standardized testing messes

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