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June 08, 2016

The digital age has proven to be quite a challenge for the security of SAT test. As cheating scandals pop up, many are reconsidering the college admissions process. (Eric Von Seggern/Shutterstock)

As Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Wellesley College, Joy St. John is fully aware of how competitive the college admissions process has become, and how many high school students hire professionals to help craft their college essays and package their applications.

She – along with deans at colleges across the country – is also aware of the fact that the College Board, which administers the SAT test, routinely recycles old test material from U.S. tests when administering the exam overseas. This is a practice that East Asian test-prep companies have exploited — they sell eager clients previous SAT questions and answers to help them prepare for the exam.

In a recent Reuters investigation, Dean St. John says that the College Board should put an end to the practice of recycling old test material. She joins The Takeaway to discuss how her office tries to ensure authenticity in the college admissions process by relying on a combination of test scores, alumni interviews, teacher recommendations, and a service called Initial View to get a holistic view of each Wellesley applicant.

Related: The New SAT Lands Just As More Colleges Go Test-Optional

If you are a student trying to gain admittance to one of China's elite universities, you can ditch creativity and drop the extracurricular activities — the only thing that matters is acing the Gaokao, the country's rigorous college entrance examination.

It's been called the most stress-inducing test in the world, and in the months leading up to the annual examination in early June, students are known to study around-the-clock, seven days a week. When the day of the exam arrives, construction is put on hold and any other loud noises that could potentially disturb test-takers is prohibited.

Takeaway Producer Corinne Dillon joins us to share the conversations she's had with a former test-taker and why "Gaokao avoidance" is now a commonly cited reason for the massive influx of younger Chinese students choosing to attend high school in the U.S.

This story was produced by our partners at The Takeaway and was originally posted here

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