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SAT cheating scandal: Are stakes getting too high for college admission?

Six high school students in Great Neck, N.Y., are facing misdemeanor charges for allegedly paying $1,500 to $2,500 to Samuel Eshaghoff to take the SAT for them. Is the pressure to succeed too great?

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SAT cheating arrests: Renewed concerns that the pressure placed on students to score well on a single test, may be encouraging them to cheat.

Photo Illustration: Mike Fisher/KRT/Newscom

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The case of a Great Neck, N.Y., man accused of being paid to take the SAT for high school students is once again prompting questions nationwide about how much cheating goes on in the world of high-stakes testing.

It’s also renewing concerns that the pressure placed on students to score well on a single test, which plays a big role in determining the academic future for so many high-schoolers, may be encouraging them to cheat.

Six students at Great Neck North High School are facing misdemeanor charges for allegedly paying $1,500 to $2,500 to Samuel Eshaghoff to take the test for them, according to a news release Tuesday by Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

Mr. Eshaghoff is a 2010 graduate of the high school and went on to attend the University of Michigan and Emory University.

“Colleges look for the best and brightest students, yet these six defendants tried to cheat the system and may have kept honest and qualified students from getting into their dream school,” Ms. Rice said in the statement. The defendants were not named by prosecutors because of their ages.

Eshaghoff, facing a felony charge and a possibility of four years in prison, is accused of using IDs with his photo, but with the other students’ names, to take the SAT on their behalf. Some of his scores were above 2100, Ms. Rice said. A result of 2400 represents a perfect score on the test.

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