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Another Cheating Scandal

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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 09:10
It looks like the way GMAC "shut them down" was just by making scoretop.com not resolve, so the website itself, provided you know its IP address, is still up. Rumor has it the admins have been emailing their members with this link. I found it from another site. Supposedly, scoretop has just moved a little bit more underground and really isn't shut down at all. You can still access it here: http://218.201.122.107/de.htm

If thats the site (and I dont know that it is, it could just be some fake someone threw up), then GMAC is retarded. Certainly, from the wayback machine, it looks like it is the real deal - see: http://web.archive.org/web/200701271253 ... com/de.htm

As to whether or not people knowingly cheated, I'm not sure. On the one hand, The VIP section, which you cant get to, is currently (on the above IP based link) described as:

" VIP Only Section
Daily GMAT Question Updates, Real Test Discussion and More"


Although it doesn't say "current GMAT questions" the "Daily Update, Real Test Discussion" sounds like its exactly intended to be a community forum for talking about the real test....

Then again, if you look at the post they made advertising the section:

http://web.archive.org/web/200612300634 ... 12066&PN=1

They say, and I quote:

Quote:

In the new service, we will provide our own math/Verbal practise questions(fully owned by Scoretop, not copyrighted of anybody else!) written by our 780+ tutors, with explanations to those questions posted on a daily basis. By practising these questions, members definitely can improve their skills.

Disclaimer: The resemblance to any competitive examination QUESTIONS will be purely coincidental. we are not responsible for the questions brought for discussion IN the public forum.


So, I have to wonder if scoretop had good intentions, but the questions ended up being live questions? In that case, I have to wonder if people knew or didn't know.... However, based on the sheer number of questions and posts there - fully 62,000 -- I have to assume people knew. You don't just spend $30 for random practice questions - and it looks like a lot of people signed up.....

It looks like they may have tried to stop the problem though -- see:

http://web.archive.org/web/200612050311 ... com/de.htm

Halfway down:

Quote:
Guideline on GMAT material
General News - November 29 2006 By: Stone
Please do not post acutal questions and answers from GMAT exams on ScoreTop. Do not upload any copy right materials such as Official Guide. Your cooperation is highly appreciated.


In all likelyhood, thats what the VIP section of the site became, whether or not that was the intention, and the fact that they charged for access probably really did them in. In the end it seems likely some people knew and some people didn't.

As for GMAC actually getting people... I'm a little dubious of the claim. The payment method was through paypal, so im not sure how that information would be on some hard drive, unless the owner kept some kind of excel sheet with names, etc. Odds are it isn't. I think its just GMAC scare tactics to keep people from doing this kind of thing.

edit:

Ok I take it back. Nail them to the wall. After a bit more digging, its really obvious that people knew exactly what was being offered in the VIP section.
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 09:38
I think it will have greater effect in US, just because GMAC has jurisdiction here (being based in US). So they will be able to take stronger actions against those users who live in the states.
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 09:45
gmat2gmat wrote:
I think it will have greater effect in US, just because GMAC has jurisdiction here (being based in US). So they will be able to take stronger actions against those users who live in the states.


I think domestic (scoretop.com) cheaters are just the tip of the iceberg. I would guess that the majority(more difficult to regulate foreign countries) are international.
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 10:03
This disclaimer

Quote:
In the new service, we will provide our own math/Verbal practise questions(fully owned by Scoretop, not copyrighted of anybody else!) written by our 780+ tutors, with explanations to those questions posted on a daily basis. By practising these questions, members definitely can improve their skills.

Disclaimer: The resemblance to any competitive examination QUESTIONS will be purely coincidental. we are not responsible for the questions brought for discussion IN the public forum.


is pretty similar to the one for challenges. So, for someone who found any of these sites through google, how does GMAC prove that this person knowingly accessed scoretop for real/live/actual questions? What if we found that challenges also had some real questions someday?

Quote:
The Tests (sample GMAT tests by GMAT Club, formerly known as Challenge Tests) consist of 25 math and 5 verbal sets, each complete with 37 and 41 questions respectively, through an online interface accessible from your favorite browser. You can:
take the tests online without installing anything
time yourself
read explanations
come back later and analyze mistakes - your results are stored
discuss the questions at our forums

The questions were written by test writers with a goal to be more difficult than the real GMAT.
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 10:13
This whole thing is very fascinating. The website claims to have about ~ 13,000 members,which seems like a lot of people, and assuming that about 1,000 of them are VIP, as the report claims and lets assume 100 of them got into the top schools, you are looking at about ~ 10 students per school.

If this is not ethical, how is using admissions consultants any different?
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 10:19
Scoretop had two different sections, 1. VIP (the paid membership) and 2. Open for all forum

I don't know whom GMAC is going to punish ( because in their notification at the scoretop site they did not mention) but if they target even the unpaid members then it is going to be a HUGE effect ( more than 10k members).
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 10:26
but ... how are they going to find the unpaid members? if these members did not provide personal info, can they go just by IP address?
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 10:27
http://www.scoretop.com/

gmac is really serious about their intellectual capital isn't it... i've never seen so many (R)'s in a single page
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 10:32
Rhyme raises a good point about PayPal as well, if all VIP users paid through PayPal, I wonder if GMAC could trace it?

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out...
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 10:35
I also like the whole "dominos falling" part on the top. Subtle ;)

dabots wrote:
http://www.scoretop.com/

gmac is really serious about their intellectual capital isn't it... i've never seen so many (R)'s in a single page
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 10:37
If there is enough information to bring a case, then Paypal record can be obtained via subpoena. The subpoena would have to be very narrow in scope and specifically state an email address and dates I'm sure. The Paypal lawyers would probably fight it to make sure it's as limited as they can make it, but those records are not off limits. Same idea that if you hold copyrighted music or movies on your computer from downloading them, your IP logs and online activity can be obtained from your ISP.
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 10:57
How do you guys think RIAA has been suing each individual for some time now? They get the IP, trace it, contact the ISP. One of the ISPs, if i remember, refused to give RIAA IP addresses. Not sure what RIAA did, but they eventually got the list and that's how they started suing people.

Again, people in US will be easy to target so it won't be surprising if GMAC goes after them first.
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 11:09
For the amount of noise it makes, GMAC needs to provide better information to people who register for its tests. It needs to provide a list of blacklisted companies/websites who are suspected of carrying original exam material. On the other end, GMAC also needs to have a review system of the various test preparation services available in the industry and may be bring in a licensing/authorization system. Without good resources for preparation, applicants will continue to stumble on to such websites.
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New post 24 Jun 2008, 11:17
While GMAC has many flaws (do a search to find out what people think of it) we shouldn't thrust the responsibility of policing test takers onto GMAC. I think 99% of people that take this test are over 20 years old. When do we draw the line and say someone has to be responsble for his/her own decisions and face the consequences.

It's too easy to blame someone else (GMAC) and say they should have prevented us from doing something. It's our parent's job to prevent us from doing stupid stuff so we learn what we are supposed to do. Once we get to a certain age, we either have integrity or we don't, but no one should be asked to prevent us from doing something wrong.
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New post 24 Jun 2008, 11:22
Oh, I agree with that. All I am saying is that GMAC needs to become better at providing information to test takers. I am not necessarily absolving anybody from anything.
jallenmorris wrote:
While GMAC has many flaws (do a search to find out what people think of it) we shouldn't thrust the responsibility of policing test takers onto GMAC. I think 99% of people that take this test are over 20 years old. When do we draw the line and say someone has to be responsble for his/her own decisions and face the consequences.

It's too easy to blame someone else (GMAC) and say they should have prevented us from doing something. It's our parent's job to prevent us from doing stupid stuff so we learn what we are supposed to do. Once we get to a certain age, we either have integrity or we don't, but no one should be asked to prevent us from doing something wrong.
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New post 24 Jun 2008, 11:25
Darden2010 wrote:
but ... how are they going to find the unpaid members? if these members did not provide personal info, can they go just by IP address?


Yes, an IP address is enough. You can actually do a "tracert" online and get a visual map showing the route the trace goes through to the destination. You can also do this on your own command prompt if you have the IP address. It will make a connection from your computer and search out the IP address showing the links it makes on its way to that IP address. If it loses a connection along the way...that's where it will end.

They don't even really need your name if they know your IP address. Each IP address can be traced back to a certain ISP. you might have (example, not real ip) 223.183.32.85. Well, the first 3 numbers "223", "183" and "32" might be Comcast in Baltimore. The "85" would be your individual IP address asigned to you by the server when your modem gets connected. The ISP creates logs of IP address logged on at certain times. I believe that authorities can say "This IP address accessed XYZ website on XX/XX/XXXX date. Please give me the information for this person." or, Comcast can just shut your internet off, make you call them and they give you a warning not to do whatever it is you did.

Any techie can correct me where I'm wrong. I kept it kind of general, but that's how I understand it.


NCPRASAD - The GMAC would never go for being requried to provide us more information as this just creates more liability on their part. It creates a duty for them that they do not currently have and really have no reason to have. Would it be nice if there was some way we could have a list of website to avoid? Sure. It's also just as easy to use common sense when browsing. Once we figure out a place is not somewhere we want to be, leave and never go back. Warn others on sites like this forum about what you discovered.

If you discover a bad website, that's not illegal. 99% of people will understand and believe us if we say "Yeah, I discovered it via a Google search, but once I saw what it was all about, I left it along."
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 11:28
jallenmorris wrote:
While GMAC has many flaws (do a search to find out what people think of it) we shouldn't thrust the responsibility of policing test takers onto GMAC. I think 99% of people that take this test are over 20 years old. When do we draw the line and say someone has to be responsble for his/her own decisions and face the consequences.

It's too easy to blame someone else (GMAC) and say they should have prevented us from doing something. It's our parent's job to prevent us from doing stupid stuff so we learn what we are supposed to do. Once we get to a certain age, we either have integrity or we don't, but no one should be asked to prevent us from doing something wrong.


Well said. Some people who have used scoretop extensively in the past may think chance of them being caught is slim to none, but you never know. Just look at how many people have been sued by RIAA and I would think that the # of scoretop fanboys is far less than # of illegal music downloaders.
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 11:34
jallenmorris wrote:
Darden2010 wrote:
but ... how are they going to find the unpaid members? if these members did not provide personal info, can they go just by IP address?


Yes, an IP address is enough. You can actually do a "tracert" online and get a visual map showing the route the trace goes through to the destination. You can also do this on your own command prompt if you have the IP address. It will make a connection from your computer and search out the IP address showing the links it makes on its way to that IP address. If it loses a connection along the way...that's where it will end.

They don't even really need your name if they know your IP address. Each IP address can be traced back to a certain ISP. you might have (example, not real ip) 223.183.32.85. Well, the first 3 numbers "223", "183" and "32" might be Comcast in Baltimore. The "85" would be your individual IP address asigned to you by the server when your modem gets connected. The ISP creates logs of IP address logged on at certain times. I believe that authorities can say "This IP address accessed XYZ website on XX/XX/XXXX date. Please give me the information for this person." or, Comcast can just shut your internet off, make you call them and they give you a warning not to do whatever it is you did.
Any techie can correct me where I'm wrong. I kept it kind of general, but that's how I understand it.



Good explanation. Basically, if you have static IP address it makes GMAC easier to find you because IP address is like your home address. If you have other methods of getting IP address from your ISP, things could be harder.
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 11:47
The fact remains, at least according to the article, the people knew what they were paying for. End of story.
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2008, 11:50
wow. The site has 14000 members. Assuming even 20% of the members used the VIP service, we are looking at close 3000 people or so. It will be interesting to see how many of these members ended up at the top schools. I see a lot of folks there who reported scores of 740, 760 etc. One would think that with scores like that, they would have made it to some of the best B-schools. This is going to be interesting to follow.
Re: Another Cheating Scandal &nbs [#permalink] 24 Jun 2008, 11:50

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