I think this has been discussed already, but saw it show up on Twitter - GMAC is implementing new security procedures for the test takes - this is supposed to make it easier/better to clear the ID requirements. I guess that's where those $250 is going...
For those not aware of the current fingerprinting process, the main reason for this procedure as well as fingerprinting procedure is to prevent test fraud where a person may assume another test-taker's identity and take the test for them. This has nothing to do with admissions or visa - the biometric records are supposed to stay only within the GMAC and their contractors performing verification. Source: http://www.mba.com/mba/thegmat/testday/ ... +procedureFAQ: http://www.mba.com/mba/TheGMAT/TestDay/ ... stions.htmArticle:
GMAC will start replacing the digital fingerprinting used now at its GMAT testing centers with a sensor that records the unique pattern formed by a person’s palm veins. The new technology ensures that each test taker has a single GMAT record, preventing people from taking the test for others.
The system is part of the ongoing efforts of GMAC to maintain test integrity and helps ensure that the GMAT exam is a fair measure of everyone’s ability.
Test takers in Korea and India were the first to “palm” pilot the system with a 90-day trial starting in July and August at all testing centers in those countries. The technology was rolled out in other countries including the United States throughout the fall and in 27 European countries in early winter, 2008. During 2009, the sensors are expected to be in place at GMAT testing centers worldwide in accordance with the laws of the over one hundred countries where the exam is offered.
How it Works
The PalmSecure sensor, made by Fujitsu, is easier to use and less intrusive than current fingerprinting identification: You simply hold your palm several inches above the two-inch-square sensor for several seconds. Because the blood veins in your palm stay in the same position as you age and through sickness or injury, the pattern record remains unique to you.
The digital system is highly accurate. In tests on 140,000 individual palm vein patterns taken from 70,000 people, the PalmSecure device was found to be 99.99 percent accurate, with a false acceptance rate (i.e., the likelihood it recorded one person’s palm as someone else’s) of less than 0.00008 percent.
Palm vein recognition systems protect access to highly sensitive information and are used in some hospitals in the United States and in automated teller machines in Japan. Because the palm vein pattern readers use digital encryption specific to a user’s system, they provide an extra layer of privacy and assurance that the patterns cannot be used for identification by anyone else in any other context.
Testing Center Procedures
Each test taker will still be required to bring a valid photo ID to the testing center and have a photograph taken. First-time test takers will have both palms scanned. If you are retaking the test and have a fingerprint on file, you will provide a matching print as well as palm scans. The GMAT admission process also requires you to sign a digital signature pad.
In adapting the PalmSecure sensor at more than 400 testing centers worldwide, GMAC strengthens its position as the industry leader in test security.
Founder of GMAT Club
Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... | Want to know your GMAT Score? Try GMAT Score Estimator
Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books
Co-author of the GMAT Club tests
Have a blog? Feature it on GMAT Club!