Cheating Prohibits Korean Students from Taking U.S. SAT Exam

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The College Board, the company which provides the university entrance examination for universities in the United States, took the unprecedented step of canceling testing for South Korean students for the second month in a row due to people leaking test content ahead of time.

Starting in the last week of May, certain students began to receive emails stating that due to the leaking of test material, they were not able to sit for the June Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The College Board sent a similar email canceling test dates in May. Since the leak first came to light in April, the Seoul Department of Education has been investigating a number of hagwons for leaking the material to their students.

The reaction online has been almost universal disgust for the hagwon system that obtained the test material ahead of time and the fixation on test preparation in Korean society.

Article from SBS:

South Korea’s June SAT Canceled…Students in Chaos

For the second month in a row, South Korean students found out that their reservations to take the United States university entrance exam have been canceled. Students who have been studying for the exam are currently in an uproar, trying to figure out what has happened and what their options are.

The company that offers the exam, known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), sent emails to students who had reserved June test dates announcing that they would not be able to sit for the exam.

collegeboard email

Earlier this year, the College Board completely canceled its May testing date due to Korean foreign language schools leaking the content of the test early.

Students received the cancellation email early in the morning, although it appears as if some students have not received any email, leaving them wondering about what will happen.

“The headquarters of the College Board is in the United States, we are first trying to figure out why the test was canceled from them,” said a representative of the testing company in South Korea.

The email stated that students who had already made a reservation would be refunded their fee and provided with alternative testing dates which will be announced later next month.

Comments from Daum:


Korean bastards have been cheating so much that they are trying to prepare new policies in America…


How humiliating, truly humiliating


When it comes to studying for a test, there are two ways to go about it. One, by studying 90% of the material that could possibly show up on the test questions, knowing that only 5% of what you study will actually be appear. Two, by strategy and careful selection, only study the 15% of the possible material that is very likely to show up on the exam, of which 5% will actually appear. If both students end up with the same good score and send it to colleges, how is the admissions officer supposed to compare them? The first method is the American way of studying, the second method is the Korean way of studying. They are confusing a good test score with good knowledge of the test material.


Those students aren’t being thrown into confusion, they are merely reaping what they have sown. If you are using underhanded methods to get ahead and think everything will go according to plan, then you’re really no better than a thief…Unlike South Korea, America isn’t the kind of place where they operate haphazardly all the time… It’s time for those students who were cheating to get ahead to reflect on how they have hurt those students who were studying honestly for the test, cheaters are worse than garbage


Let’s use this as an opportunity to fix Korea’s qualification exams. As it now stands, test takers just study the material that hagwons have identified and served up to them. Why can’t we do the same thing that America does? We’ve got to fix Noryangjin tsk tsk [Note: Noryangjin is a district in Seoul known for its large number of exam study schools]


This is so humiliating..You’ve got to work hard to get ahead, not just learn how to trick the system…


They reap what they have sown…this is because hagwons, just focused on making money, have been paying test takers to memorize one question each from the test and then collecting the results into special study guides…it’s the students who lose in the end..The TOEIC and the SAT even put in notices saying that students should never share the contents of the exam, then hagwons have students memorize the questions and report back to them? The TOEIC will soon have the same kind of test cancellations in the future


Think of Korea’s college entrance exam… if some other country were to offer it to their students, and then their students ended up getting better scores than we did, all without being able to speak Korean, then do you think that we would trust their score results???

answer sample

This is fantastic~~~all those students who didn’t know any of the material were planning to go to university in America, now they have no idea what to do..I’ve always hated it,,,all those students who succeeded not because they actually know the material but because they just figured out tricks.. it’s just a matter of time before they change the test format


It’s just the brats of rich parents who are complaining about this, nothing special about that


If you’re so wealthy, then just go to school by offering them a big donation..if that doesn’t work out, find an alternative method..nobody gets a good score by studying hard anymore..


sounds like we are still stuck in a colonial mindset, complaining about not being able to study on the “mainland” ke ke ke. but what’s funny is that they are only reaping what they have sown


I’m sure the company lost a lot of money from this, shouldn’t the people who leaked the test questions have to pay compensation?

Comments from Twitter:

Beat’rice Kidogom @kidogom

Now the leaking of SAT material to Korean students has led to the cancellation of the test and an international incident. The police searched a hagwon that was suspected of leaking test material and rather than it suffering, it ended up attracting even more students. One of their teachers who forged his education credentials was accused of leaking the SAT material, he then went on to become their most popular lecturer..

Bayesian @bayescog

The SAT was canceled again. The hagwons and the instructors at the center of this scandal, far from suffering any setbacks, they will end up getting even more students and make more money

바닷속 @2badasok

cancellation of the SAT in Korea for the second month in a row => shows a society where the desire to get whatever you want by any means necessary has run rampant. As Korean society gives itself over to cheating, political infiltration by the North and fighting among itself, our future grows darker

유현 @Merong5079

Well, the June SAT has been cancelled, does that mean that there is no hope for entering American universities in time for the September semester?

투윈드(2wind) @whirlwind_ko

So the June SAT is cancelled… does that mean that students who study at international schools will fly abroad to take the test?

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  • Joe

    Try the ACT. I spent my ass off studying for the SAT and did very averagely. On the other hand, I walked into the ACT without studying a thing and got nearly a perfect score. Not saying everyone is like this but it is definitely worth trying both tests to see which you are stronger at!

  • Der

    Korean students cheat. They always have, and badly, I might add.

    • I’ve caught students cheating during my exams, and yeah, they’re not very subtle about it- cheat sheets on their laps, notes written on the desk, that kind of thing. Then again, there’s always the possibility that a lot of students are cheating in creative ways, and I’ve only caught the few who do it badly.

      • YourSupremeCommander

        Pay extra extra attention to the ones wearing google visors, they have the answers to the entire exam right before their eyes.

        • chucky3176

          Thumbs up one for YourSupremeCommander who’s just too funny in all his posts. I like your sense of humor.

          • Pickle

            Yeah, that was funny.

      • The Enlightened One

        Same goes for Chinese students…. I don’t know if it is an Asian thing or what?

        Here is some sagely advice… cheating is not cool… but especially if you get caught. So stop getting caught you morons. You could at least put some effort into being a little stealthy about it if you are going to cheat.

        No sympathy here…I will tell you what, I cheated once or twice… even shoplifted once or twice for the thrill… but I never GOT CAUGHT… because I was careful and not retarded about it!

        • echo2o2

          If you think whites don’t cheat you are retarded.

          • The Enlightened One

            No it’s not about race your insecure vermin. It’s about being caught or having a higher sense of morals. Either don’t do it or don’t get caught.

          • echo2o2

            You made it about race by asking if it was an asian thing you dimwitted simpleton.

            Jesus Christ white people are the stupidest people on earth.

          • The Enlightened One

            It is not a race….ignorant people would think it is…

            “Asian” is just a geographical term…..

            So I was curious if cheating was the norm in other places around Asia. Relax kid.

          • to echo2o2

            Yeah, they are so stupid that all white people’s countries are so developed and we non whites including you want to go there in any way possible,or even cheating the test. I personally thank to white people for giving the world civilization. Almost everything is invented by them.

          • Pickle

            Not nearly as much as Chinese do. That’s a way of life for some of them.

        • Sinophile32

          You seem to know quite a bit about China and Chinese people here in the United States. Where have you heard or seen that Chinese students cheat on the SAT? Btw is that a Chinese woman in your avatar?

          From a dude curious about China.

          • echo2o2

            He’s a white loser who got himself a mail order bride. Nothing to see here.

          • Pickle

            He’s no loser. But he is lucky to have what appears to be a fine looking wife.

          • god

            Echo202, In your logic, if white man marries asian woman, he is a loser? Are you looking down Asian women??? (according to your logic, it’s you who is a loser+ moron+stupid).

          • The Enlightened One

            Yes, she is my wife. In China, they cheat all of the time to get ahead… so much that it becomes normal. Sometimes the teachers will even tell them the answers during the test phase because they get bonuses if the students perform well… so the students think that it is okay to cheat and don’t even put forth an effort to hide it.

            This is what I meant by asking if it was an Asian thing because I wasn’t sure if that only happened in China, but I guess not.

        • Echo_Seven

          It’s a simple issue of supply and demand. So many students against not enough opportunities. Regardless of the original makeup of the students, eventually this situation will self-select the ones who are willing to do whatever it takes (including cheating) to succeed.

          Pour enough water into a shoe and sooner or later you will find water coming out of the holes.

          • The Enlightened One

            Thanks Echo… are you the good twin that doesn’t freak out?

          • Pickle

            Don’t worry about the evil Echo. You are right on.

          • Echo_Seven

            Haha, just a coincidence ^_^

        • Pickle

          I’ve seen Chinese cheat first hand. Passing notes and entire test papers to each other. They were sharing the actual smart Chinese guy’s answers.

    • Jen_in_NY

      From my experience teaching at the college level, some students cheat and some students don’t cheat–it doesn’t matter their race or background, it’s more the mindset. I will say that I’ve had several international students visit me in the writing lab with essays that abruptly shift tone–and font–in the middle of a paragraph. I just laugh at them and say, “If you’re going to plagiarize from the Internet, at least make the font consistent!” They’re not fooling anyone.

  • dcayman

    country of cheaters, liars and thieves…even their own former President thinks so

    • Sillian

      Who? You can find cheating but Korea is one of the countries where unattended things are less likely to be stolen and your lost wallet is more likely to be returned to you.

      • God

        that’s true. This is the one thing I admire of Koreans.

  • KCdude

    How come this news isn’t so widespread on NBC, FOX and CNN? I absolutely hated the Korean school students who cheated at my secondary school in Toronto. And they don’t usually want to speak English.

  • harvz

    The only thing about this that really annoys me is that for every wealthy, cheating shithead that beats the system and passes the SAT, that’s one less spot for an intelligent and motivated student who could benefit from studying abroad.

  • MeiDaxia

    Replace Korea with China and welcome to my life as an English teacher. But ohhh, ho, ho do I punish cheaters…

    • Jen_in_NY

      I had a student from China plagiarize her whole research essay this past semester, and she seemed stunned when I returned it with a big fat 0. I pulled up the same paper on the Internet and showed it to her, and she still played dumb. Later, her very aggressive boyfriend came to me in my office and said that she was “pure” and “innocent” and that *he* had made the “changes” to her paper. I was like, that’s just as bad, you idiot!

      That said, I don’t think it matters that she was from China, but maybe an American student would have been a little less obvious about it?

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    I really never saw the hooplah about the SAT. They don’t prove anything except how well you can do on the SAT.

  • commander

    The SAT-administrating company’s cancelment of SAT for June in South Korea has two problems.

    The first is that all students who have toiled for better SAT scores for the admission to their dreamed schools suffer the disadvantes of being virtually disqualifying for the exam because of some immoral private educators and wrongly-motivated students.

    If there is any conspirator in the test managing board in leaked test material, that organization should bear its share of responsibility, meaning that unilateral June SAT test cancellment nothing but shifting all the blame to South Korean students.

    As troubling as the board’s possible unwillingness to assume a due blame is, the Korean educatuon authorities should fail to put increasingly heated, and bubble-swelling private education market on its watertight radar.

    The troubled oversight function by education ministry has already been on display after prestigious middle schools open its back door for admission of unqualified students whose parents made monetary contributions to those schools.

    Earlier, international middle schools were at the center of illegal admission scandal where parents–exeuctives of conglomerates, doctors, lawyers–bought bogus residential right to foreign country to have their children admitted to those schools.

    In South Korea, international schools provide better curricula for local students to learn English, a language considered a prerequisite for a successful life.

    The residential right to a foreign country one parent of a prosprctive child possess is recognized as meeting admission requirement.

    The leaked test matetial illustrates how a combination of wealth and aspiration for fame accompanying renowned university admission could not only thwart efforts of hard-working students, undermine trust of credentials of students who are studying at famous American colleges, and increase distrust of the haves in a nation that see wealth of disparities ever-grow.

    Education is the primary instrument for children of humble origin to work their way to success–a channel that is blocked for students from the less fortunate. It is to say that a child from poor children hardly gain admission to top-notch colleges, national or international, when tjey study only under public education system–a problem that leads to the deeper trouble of generational poverty transfer.

    Ensuring the level playing field for all areas–including the economy, enducation–should be watchword for national policymakers and law enforcers.

    • Nanunanu

      Even if the college board was found liable, what good will that do? Allowing cheaters to take the test will screw all the innocent kids who take the test.

  • Yoda

    Once a cheater. Always a cheater. Hmmm

  • mukanis

    Cheating seems to be pretty common in Asia…

    • God

      I am Asian, and I agree with you.

    • lila

      the one exception being japan..

    • d

      Fully agree wy

  • Lllc

    Cheating on an international test? What were they planning on doing when they got to the U.S and didn’t know the language or understand any of the work?

    • MeCampbell30


    • Sapphire Jones

      Pay somebody to do the work for them. They can memorize everything else. They’re pretty good at memorizing… isn’t that what they teach in Korea?

    • a2sddh

      that’s why you see most international asian students in the math and sciences, rarely in the liberal sciences. math especially has its own universal language

  • Paul M

    It’s not surprising as people tend to place a much greater value on getting results over the method used to obtain them. Kind of like what happened with the Hwang Woo Seok stem-cell research scandal.

    • the end justify the mean mentality

  • Chris Hansen

    The Koreans are best at cheating…just watch any of their videos during sport competitions…some of the biggest cheats in the world…on the same level as the Chinese…lol

    • Ill kim

      Aww.. dont worry, no need to feel jealous and spout frustrated rants. Your national team can always hire a korean coach who’ll teach them to work hard with fanatic determination to gain critical skills instead of just sitting and whining and complaining.

      • Ill kim

        Chris, I am so sorry for shooting off that comment without thinking, YOU ARE RIGHT, there is a cheating scandal in sports so huge that ALL asians should bow their heads in shame, but i cant recollect the details…. is Lance Armstrong korean or is he chinese ? Since you are such a sparkling fountain of knowledge, please help me remember. Stick to the topic buddy, this is not about cheating in sports, No matter how hard asians work to succeed legitimately, some hypocrites will never be convinced !

        • Chris Hansen

          This has bearing on sports as well, this has got everything to do with ethics in all aspects of life…most of you people can’t take a criticism…we have been taking a shitload of criticisms and yet come out on top and still shine…

          • Ill kim

            Oy ! hypocrite – don’t try and weasel your way away from the truth. What is it about “you people” that lance armstrong had to cheat so much ? So much infact that now tour de france is now nothing more than a joke – its reputation is that tarnished. For years from now on if any one wins the race, people’s first reaction will be that he cheated ! You cant ignore the lance issue and attack others for being cheaters – then you don’t have any credibility

          • Chris Hansen

            Yeah well, he later owned up to it, what did any of your precious Korean athletes do? During the London Olympics, S Korea’s soccer team made political statements during the competition about Japan by stating “Dokdo is ours!!!” which is a total violation of the Olympics standard of conduct. And having a questionable win during the game.

          • passerby

            I find it ironic you’re preaching about ethics; don’t you? Didn’t his show revolve around predators?

          • Chris Hansen

            Yeah, about catching them in doing bad things to let people aware of what is going on in the world of internet…

          • Chris Hansen

            So what is ironic about it?

      • Chris Hansen

        LOL..yeah just like those Japanese Kamikaze pilots huh?! Your Japanese masters sure have taught your nation a thing or two about fanaticism…

        • Ill kim

          Yes, working hard is a virtue no more ! Best to do what you do and sit on a couch in front of the tv and become frustrated fat pigs.

        • ChuckRamone

          Sounds like you have some Japanese masters too, you’re such an agitprop for them. You like to get bukkaked and kancho’d, and submit to your domination with the utmost servility and decorum. How’s the namako? You like it served raw, right? No need to chew it, either. Just whole.

          • Chris Hansen

            I think you’re the master of getting some bukkake, since you know much more about it than me…a bit too much porno for you?

          • ChuckRamone

            I know you are but what am I? Is that what’s going on here?

  • charlesbarley

    one kid in my class was a brilliant cheater. he once posted a sticky note with answers on it on my back as i walked around class looking for signs of cheating.

    hopefully korea implements tipping one day so in the future i can show him my appreciation for his creative deception when he delivers my pizza piping hot within 20 minutes or less

    • kun

      You are sadly mistaken- what we learn from wall street if you are crook and can think out of the box, then you become rich banker with big bonus. BTW was that photo taken before or during your time in gulag ?

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  • Ibyangin

    Why am I totally not surprised. Korean society, produces citizens that know little else besides a mnemonic exercise of copy-paste… I guess when you can afford it, you can even spare yourself the trouble of memorizing…

    // Sarcasm mode: on //
    Cheating is good, Korean cheating is the best!!!!!
    // Sarcasm mode: off //

  • Goofy

    I thought that Korean people hated the Chinese. Why are they then trying to be like them?

  • Doo Taehee

    South Korea is the frist of cheating in the wolrd.

  • hazy
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