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SAT Scandal Rocks Prestigious Great Neck School District

Students: Dollar A Point Charged; Score Of 2,100 Promised

GREAT NECK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Great Neck school officials were to meet Monday night to discuss the latest scandal to hit their prestigious school district — students paying other people to take their college entrance exams or Scholastic Aptitude Tests.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall talks to a guidance counselor from another district

Students at Great Neck North High School were eager to tell CBS 2’s Magee Hickey about the investigation into a ring of students who pay a third party to take the college entrance exams for them.

“Some people do a dollar a point if you want a good score. It’s a couple of thousand dollars,” junior Gabe Diamond said.

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Students said they know of at least one college student — the older brother of a schoolmate — who sells his test-taking expertise, promising them at least a score of 2,100 out of a perfect score of 2,400. Who are the takers?

“Any kind of student — boys, girls; good grades, bad grades. Not any one type of person will cheat on the SATs,” junior Brandon Mayeri said.

SAT officials confirmed the probe and Great Neck school officials wanted to stress: “None of the matters being investigated involved tests administered in either of our high schools.”

But instead at a different, outside test location where the same security procedures are in place. Students must present a photo ID, a handwriting sample and an admission ticket, something students said they can easily get around.

“People have fake IDs that they made especially for this, so it costs even more money,” Mayeri said.

Many people blame pressure from parents and students particularly in Great Neck because it’s so prestigious and well-to-do.

“Kids are going to do this, especially in a town that’s very wealthy like Great Neck, where there’s access to a lot of money to pay other kids to take SATs. It’s inevitable,” junior Kevin Frankel said.

But no matter, kids said it all works out in the end.

“Kids I’ve heard had others take the SATs. Even if they end up at schools far above their level, they don’t do well and they usual end up at schools where they belong at the end of the day,” junior Michael Barlavi said.

If students are found to be cheating SAT officials said their score would be cancelled and the colleges they are applying to would be notified. Students may also be punished by school officials.

Surprised by this? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • You're all hypocrites

    Cheating on the SATs and getting away with it is an accomplishment in itself. If a kid can do that and get into a good school, the school can still be sure that they have a resourceful student.
    If he fails later on down the line- it’s because he wasn’t resourceful enough to get someone to do his exams/papers.

    Later on in the real world- a former “cheater” like that will make a great manager. Except instead of cheating it will be called delegation of responsibilities. Eventually they will learn that sharing the credit still ends up as a win-win when they benefit from someone else’s work.

  • Future CEO

    Clearly the students paying people to take a test for them are too lazy to think or for that matter plan. Absolutely in this case you get what you pay for, articles like this, expulsion and maybe a chance to be on people’s court suing the test taker for your money back.

    At our school we manipulated our AP teachers to call in favors back east and get the questions early the day of and hold a prep-session…..we all did our own work and were proud to walk out knowing that our high SAT score reflected our readiness for law school, politics and that MBA program. we didn’t bribe anyone – just manipulated the pride of teachers who are motivated by administrators & parents to keep our school at top rank. Go team!

  • susan

    My children one a senior and one a junior have worked incredibly hard to do well on the SAT’s. We as parents have tried to teach them a strong work ethic. In addition we try very hard to teach them about morals. But I must tell you that in the wealthy area that we live I find it very difficult to find children that have parents who have similar values. Most parents turn their heads to everything illegal and immoral.I hope my children will get what they deserve in life because they are growing up in an incrediBly cut throat area.

  • Anshish

    Get merked Kaplan

  • Alex

    The fact that all these news sources bring up prestige or money is just incredibly disgusting. Wake up people if a cheater in Great Neck has to pay 2000 for a good score, then a cheater in a lower class area pays 450, is it any different. I live in Great NEck and am one of the smartest kids in my class, and I will be taking the SATs on my own and I’ll do well, but dont blame the whole area for something that only a few kids out of hundreds do. This has been going on since the SATs started its nothing new

  • Trish

    Why is anyone surprised at this?? its been happening since the begining of time. Those who are in charge should know better and its sad that they have not found a solution yet.
    Fire them!!

  • Mr. Armenia

    The schools are to blame as they don’t check the identifaction of the students taking these tests.



  • Ferris B

    These sat cheaters who receive admission to a 4 year college / university
    will realize that they are over their heads at new school.

    Because, once the pressure to succeed in exams / test / labs and projects, they will be blown away the college work load and social life.

    Again, they can borrow answers from other students. But, other students will begin to realize that these students can not pull their weight in class.

    Eventually, they will not share their homework or lab work with them.

    They will receive what is due to them.

    Then end up going home
    and trying again at local community college
    achieve a decent GPA then
    try transferring to another 4-year school.

    Try prep-SAT course and try again to achieve that magical grade.

    • Michael H.

      If these people are buying SAT scores what makes you think they wont pay their way through college too?

  • Lorry

    To be honest, I live in great neck. There is wealthy, middle-class, and even lower-class in our community. I think this article is bias and unfair. It is targetting the wealthy people of our community and trying to find a flaw in our neighborhood. Cheating occurs in all towns, whether wealthy or not. This kid could have or could have not cheated but lets be realistic a lot of people do cheat in life. Whoever cheats is only lying to themselves. I think everyone should mind their own business and stop bothering and attacking certain individuals. If a few students at this particular school were stupid enough to cheat, then it is their fault and they will get the punishment for it. But knowing this one student who cheated, he is kind and a straight A student. He is honest and never cheats. I think if he truly was to/did cheat on the SATS, it was the pressure for his parents to get into an amazing school. This kid is smart and with their own brain and knowledge could of got into any top school. So everyone should give great neck a break. We are smart and honest students. Money doesn’t bring happiness or buy us anything. We are just fortunate to have amazing teachers and great resources avaiable to us. We as students work hard and do our best and we put school before everything. I am positive that the majority of our school is honest and fair when test taking, besides for a several few students who made a wrong choice.

  • Stephen A.

    This is appalling because I have been studying for weeks to take the test in June and these kids whose parents are rich and never in their lives, get to pay for an amazing score. Yes, I feel bad for these kids whose parents aren’t there for them and pay what ever their kids can’t or won’t do, but unfortunately there is a moral code somewhere that is being violated. I think that it is true that it is inevitable; though my question to this would be: If we know that it is unavoidable why is there not a fix. We know the problem but there is no solution being enacted. Sorry if I seem passionate about this (because I don’t have the luxury to pay for an astonishing score and I wouldn’t stoop to that level. As well as I am trying to get a good grade for my own satisfaction) but this is horrible . I know that this is easier said that done, but there needs to be a fix. The scores should represent the amount of effort and work allocated to it, not the money invested into it.

    • Trish

      Stephen A,
      Good luck with your test. I’m sure you’ll make your parents and teachers proud.

  • Auburn Dale

    The “No Child Left Behind” law taught us that the ONLY legitimate purpose of education is to pass standardized tests at ALL costs. I’d say that somebody learned that lesson very well.

  • YO MA MA

    What’s the problem?? This is exactly what the right wing nuts want. Free enterprise!!! I’m just surprised they haven’t tried to blame teachers or teacher’s unions for this problem. Wake up people, this is New York: money rules!!!! Get to the top, no matter how, and pay to stay there. Soon these kids will have jobs on Wall Street, in banks, and running hedge funds where they can really crank up the crimes!!! God Bless America!!

  • Run Like a Cheater

    could dix hills be next

  • Get Real

    I hope they were smart enough to hire a black woman to take the test for them to have the same raw score converted to a higher reported score. Who is really committing the fraud?

  • thekillah

    I can get a 2100 with my eyes closed
    you kids must be pretty pathetic if you need someone to take an extremely dumbed down exam for you.

  • nathan

    A> Nice try using a fake Jewish name to make AA’s hate Jews.
    B> If you’re going to do race-based humor, at least it should be funny. CST? Dude, you’re pathetic.

  • Joy

    I took the same SAT you guys are talking about, and I’ve heard A LOT of complaints like “The essay was unfair because I don’t watch TV!” But the people who say this are usually just whining and trying to find an excuse for how “badly” they did on the essay. I don’t watch much TV either, but I’m not complaining about it because the essay is very versatile. Heck, you didn’t even have to cite a real television show.
    Students can make up an example so long as it fits the thesis. The graders won’t care because they are more concerned about how a student organizes his ideas rather than how many books/tv shows/movies he can name out of the top of his head.
    A classmate of mine used a “personal experience” as an example – he wrote about a friend who died from drunk driving because he saw it on reality TV. Of course, this was made up, but it suited his thesis perfectly.

    In other words, I think it’s really pointless to just whine and complain about the question because “you don’t watch reality TV.” Be innovative, because that’s what the colleges are looking for.





    • get a life

      Ok, that’s really pathetic…. if someone needs to cheat on the GED exam they have a serious learning disability. You cant pass HS… you cant pass the GED… who ties your shoelaces for you? I think most of the people working at DMV cheated on their GED.

  • nathan

    Im 51 and this was going on back in my SAT day. Btw, this past Saturday’s SAT essay question was about reality tv shows and plenty of kids don’t watch these programs and had no idea how to answer it.

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