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Another Cheating Scandal

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New post 02 Jul 2008, 18:44
kidderek wrote:
It's pretty cowardly of you to single me out while posting anonymously. Besides, how can anyone be blase about large groups cheating that negatively affects his score?


I think he was merely pointing out that you are staunch in your belief that the cheaters should be punished. I wouldn't call it "singling you out."

I also don't think Justforthisone is advocating being blase; simply cautious to judge without full evidence. Certainly this topic hits a nerve with everyone, and we should not rush to judgment.

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New post 02 Jul 2008, 18:50
1
While your points are valid, and I agree with most of what you say, I do need to disagree somewhat. The attitude from what I gather was that it was well-known what was going on. If you participate in a thread that talk about JJ's, you either will be curious as to what JJ's are, and find out, or stop using the site. I can imagine a thread titled something like " June JJ - Probability ". Now I have not seen the forum, but I would imagine it would be something to that effect? So are you saying that people participating in that forum would not be the least bit curious as to what that was ?? Now I don't want to ruin lives of people who stumbled across the site, hell, even signing up and paying, realizing it was wrong and never coming back. But for people actively participating in the forum, posting live questions OR participating in discussion, it would be highly suspect that these individuals did not know what was going on. It doesn't take long for someone to figure out, even on this site, what OG, or MGMAT, SC, or RC stand for. And if you are paying money for something, you would have a lot more incentive to do due diligence.

I am sure GMAC has studied those forums throughly and could conclude whether there was a reasonable expectation that a new or average user would know what a JJ is.
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New post 02 Jul 2008, 18:53
For what it's worth, the story has made the front page of CNN.com

A lot of eyes will be on GMAC and the B-school world to see how this is resolved.

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New post 02 Jul 2008, 18:54
sam77sam7 wrote:
kidderek wrote:
It's pretty cowardly of you to single me out while posting anonymously. Besides, how can anyone be blase about large groups cheating that negatively affects his score?


I think he was merely pointing out that you are staunch in your belief that the cheaters should be punished. I wouldn't call it "singling you out."

I also don't think Justforthisone is advocating being blase; simply cautious to judge without full evidence. Certainly this topic hits a nerve with everyone, and we should not rush to judgment.

~Sam


He's actually saying that I'm making sweeping generalizations. I'm not 100% certain, but I don't believe i have. I may have earlier in the thread, but if I did, I certainly changed my tune quickly. And for that, I'm offended. If Justforthisone read the entire thread, and some of the other threads, he would know that I've said repeatedly that if a person did not intend to cheat or even saw "live" questions but refused them as soon as he learned that they were "live," he has nothing to worry about.
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New post 02 Jul 2008, 19:01
kidderek, I think Justforthisone only read your earlier posts, where you were a little more... "zealous" :P

but I think most of us agree now to punish the verified guilty parties and not just punish everyone who's a VIP member. Everything else about whether it was "widely known" that JJs were available, or that people "must" have known, is all speculation and we best just let the facts come out as each day goes by.
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New post 02 Jul 2008, 19:02
That was kinda weird to post anonymously and then call out people by name (screen name).
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New post 02 Jul 2008, 19:17
kryzak wrote:
kidderek, I think Justforthisone only read your earlier posts, where you were a little more... "zealous" :P

but I think most of us agree now to punish the verified guilty parties and not just punish everyone who's a VIP member. Everything else about whether it was "widely known" that JJs were available, or that people "must" have known, is all speculation and we best just let the facts come out as each day goes by.


Well, I had a little more insight into the whole situation and it was as much my anger towards GMAC as it was to the cheaters. A few months ago, some Korean guy posted something about obtaining "live" questions while working abroad in China. Of course, we admins quickly got rid of the post, lest it be known to the gmatclub community of such cheating. So I was discussing with a few of my Chinese co-workers and they specifically told me the process. The prep companies in China do two things:

1) hire people to take the gmat, multiple times and bring back the questions. these are professionals at what they do.

2) they offer a "gift" for their own students who are encouraged to bring back one or two questions, ver batim > quantity

And folks, this isn't just the GMAT. Trust you me. Which leads me to the below:

kryzak wrote:
kidderek, I think you are right there... these people who posts the wonders of JJs on their blogs, for the rest of the world to see, probably do not believe that seeing live questions constitute as cheating. I think it's definitely a cultural and personal thing. In some ways, I can understand why they think that way, even though I vehemently disagree with them.


When I brought up the GMAC lawsuit against scoretop to the above mentioned co-workers, they looked at me, gave me "that look" and asked, "But that's not really cheating. Do you think they're cheating?"

I'm sure you all believe me when I tell you that I gave them the look of pure 100% unadulterated RAGE

So believe me when I tell you that the cheating is systematic, and it's rampant outside of the US. Also, don't for a second believe that these JJs were some random haphazard collection of GMATPrep questions and PR questions thrown in with scoretop authored questions and some "live" questions. It's a systematic package of "live" questions that are well organized. Even some bloggers have referenced them and as to how they are cataloged.

Don't kid yourself.
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New post 02 Jul 2008, 19:26
If this is the case, it seems punishment of the cheaters is not the only item that needs attention.

GMAC needs to reevaluate it's relationship with it's testing centers abroad, and at home. If these individuals are taking the test merely to remember questions, and then sell them, something besides punishment of those individuals from ST must be done.

What needs to be done to prevent this? I for one, don't have an easy solution. I know someone mentioned that the GRE has moved to paper tests in Asia. I don't know if this is true, but perhaps it is needed if it would put a damper on the amount of cheating going on. Such cheating hurts both the person taking the test (cheating themselves so to speak), but moreso hurts the honest test takers out there; skewing their scores lower.

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New post 02 Jul 2008, 19:28
So, I know this has been beaten to death.. but this one just boggles my mind. The bolding is my work highlighting his english skills.

Quote:
Verbal:
Now this was the area which I knew if I did properly , my score will have big boost...

Over all on the test day I got some 5 passages in all .. That made me easy because I was knowing more the passage I solve , better score I will get .. The best part was that I didn't had any Bold face Cr's and the Sentence correction were also not very tough ……Again the GMAT Real Question Tests have very good verbal questions for practise. So make sure to do every question meticulously.
.. I remember quite a few question of my test day .. I will upload them as soon as I get them in order .


What do you think this guy scored in verbal? 30? 32? 36? Nope. V49. Fourty fricking nine! Total score: 790!! Thats pretty mind boggling... His verbs aren't even right, the grammar is horrific. It's a complete lie. I always knew the GMAT didn't measure anything meaningful, but this is ridiculous!
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New post 02 Jul 2008, 19:31
rhyme wrote:
Nope. 49. Fourty fricking nine!


Jeeze...

I studied my ass of for verbal and only managed a 42 in route to my 730. That is absolutely insane. I hope GMAC brings the hammer down on individuals like this.
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New post 02 Jul 2008, 20:05
And now we have anonymous posters. This is getting really interesting :)

On a side note: other agencies have picked up this news as well.
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New post 02 Jul 2008, 20:14
Dosa it made the AP wire...that will get it a lot more coverage.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hvaR7oiQ6NW1ods9RQENCHrSt_LgD91LTSTG1
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New post 02 Jul 2008, 20:17
Alright folks, step right up and read if you so please. This is long, and may not be pretty (my essays suck) but there might be something insightful in there.

justforthisone wrote:
Dear G'clubbers,
But over time, I've begun to realize how easy it is for us to be carried away with this whole "holier-than-thou" attitude and condemn everyone without thought. In particular, kidderek is very zealous about generalizing that every member knew what he was doing/should be acted on etc. That's when I began to think a little harder, putting myself in the newcomers shoes when I stumbled upon (literally) this site and registered myself. Did I read 1000 posts before registering? I've posted tons of replies to the math/verbal sections, did I check the source of every question? Did I know (and did you) for sure there was nothing fishy going on on this site?


You're right about the zealous tone and mob mentality. However, we are not acting "holier than thou." We are merely acting under normal ethical standards. We're not judging from a high horse, rather we are standing on ground level looking down at those who dug their own bschool graves.

justforthisone wrote:
Then I applied the same I-am-100%-pure rule to myself and others in this thread. By that account, the following should apply

1. Did you ever look at 1000SC/CR, regardless of whether you used it, saw it in a test, read its footnote, or knew its source? yes=>guilty
2. Were you 100% sure that every question asked in the quant/verbal sections were not from copyrighted GMAC material like OG? no=>guilty
3. Did you ever read or respond to questions on Q/V sections with 100% confidence that the material was not suspect or live (could be cut-paste from elsewhere, but with your own argument - ignorance is not admissible by law) yes=>guilty
4. Did you ever participate in some other sites and were absolutely sure you never saw, participated or read questions that could be 'live'? yes=>guilty

If your answer to any of the questions has a "guilty" outcome, by the same rule, does that mean you would gladly have your score revoked and your life/reputation ruined? Keep in mind it doesn't matter whether you knew they were clean or not. It is quite improbable that you participated in such a large forum as this one without ever thinking some questions/sources could be suspect. And by the same colored brush, can I call you (and myself) a cheat by association?


Wrong wrong wrong and wrong. I recently saw the 1000 series that I have. It's in word format and there is nothing but the questions and the answers. No company name, no disclaimer, nothing else.

Let me just preface this by saying that we ARE in agreement. We need to fry (cancel score + expulsion) those who knew (mens rea) and used (actus reus). You need a guilty mind and a guilty act. Those who DID NOT KNOW could have their scores canceled. They, whether they knew or not, had a distinct advantage.

Also, there are two types of mistakes:
1) Mistake of law – in essence, ignorance of law is not a defense.
2) Mistake of fact – ignorance of a factual element of a case IS a defense. For example, someone sees an umbrella on the floor and thinks it was thrown away so he takes it for his own use. However, another person just left it there to dry. Mistake of fact = good defense.

Your examples are all mistake of fact scenarios.

So here we go

1)No, the 1000 series, in my estimation, did not contain "live" questions b/c it was so poorly written, contained obviously wrong answers, and may have actually been detrimental to the prep process. However, if it did contain "live" questions and you KNEW IT, and used it, THEN you're guilty. If however, like most of us thought it to be some odd collection of questions, but were actually "live" questions, then GMAC could cancel our scores. Fine by me and no one else should object.

2)I've posted this seemingly a million times. GMAC needs to invoke "copyright" as a legal means to prosecute scoretop. They can't just walk in to court and cry scoretop tricked our testing system!!! There is a distinction between using copyrighted "retired" questions and copyrighted "live" questions. Do NOT think they are one and the same.

3)You're right. But I never had any reason to think there were even "live" questions in existence. This falls under lack of "mens rea."

4)You're really reaching here.

justforthisone wrote:
Any student of statistics will know that in large "populations" the distribution is never a single point - it's quite stupid to think every scoretop user, VIP or not, was a cheat. Such a probability is just as likely as all gmatclubbers are 25 year old males whose birthday falls on 19th Feb. You will always have people who knew they were cheating, and those who had no idea and registered for variety of reasons. I can think of several unintentional cases

-registered thinking there were good practice questions
-the whole coaching thingy
-registered and did not use
-bulk registrations
-registrations for a friend (happens a lot due to CC/PP usage/restrictions in many countries)
-fraud (perhaps the smallest % but does happen)


It’s the entire scenario that seems fishy to me. When I’ve googled in the past for GMAT, GMAT prep/questions, to the best of my recollection, I’ve never seen scoretop. Sure, I’ve seen testmagic, gmax, beatthegmat etc. but not scoretop. Also, I believe the court papers talk about how scoretop kept switching their web address. Why would they need to? How would new members learn about it? Word of mouth perhaps?

It reminds me of an underground rave party where only people “in the know” attend.

justforthisone wrote:
There is then the willingness to give such vast powers to GMAC. There are many of us here who post a lot of responses and help others. GMAC is currently looking at 7 other sites, and let's say their attention turned to us. They then methodically pick the top 50 posters/responders and find out that each of them had either participated in a thread that included illegal questions, with our without their knowledge. And then they decide to track us down and revoke our score, and call all cheats. What do we say then? "I did not know?"


Again, not true. GMAC is treading very lightly right now because they know 2 things:
1) They neglected this for a long time
2) They will inevitably be sued.

Also, I think GMAC reserves the right to determine the correct course of action. Remember, GMAC doesn’t grant MBAs, they’re only in charge of the GMAT. If a bschool thinks that the GMAC is outside its boundaries of authority, I’m sure they will correct the situation.

justforthisone wrote:

Most of us join a bunch of sites, participate in them, buy bunch of online tests and exams and some of those do with illegal intentions and some others purely by chance. The whole point of a judiciary system is that when something happens, they find people who were actually guilty of crimes - and "association" and conjucture isn't good enough. I have aged parents and I work very hard and honest, I'm sure many of you do as well, would you want a taint because someone is on a zeal? When I checked the web archives, scoretop, like most other gmat sites, looks just the same. I shudder to think I could have been part of that site instead of this one. I bet there are thousands of users there cursing themselves as well.


Again, this statement is simply not true. Read the debriefs of the many test takers. They’re body of work is quite limited to the usual. Here’s a kicker:

Do a search for “scoretop” on this website. Prior to this thread, there are exactly 2.5 pages dating as far back as 3/15/05 returned for “scoretop.” It’s just not a very popular website. “Testmagic” has 8 pages.

I don’t think people participate enough on our forums. They browse, maybe sheepishly answer a few questions and move on. I remember how nervous I was when I posted for the very first time. I have plenty of friends whom I referred to gmatclub, who browse, but never post.

justforthisone wrote:

I'm all for going after guilty parties, but I am absolutely not for large scale witch-hunting that hurts innocent people. It is terrifying and tomorrow we could be in that list. I know it feels all nice to puff up and play pure. My basic point is that not everyone knows, and in the Internet age it's very easy to be fall prey to a variety of scams. As someone who has seen a lot of this from technology perspective, I know how easy it is. My argument is for the innocents, because there's nothing to be said about those that were guilty.


No witch hunt is necessary. Just go through the evidence with a fine comb and make a determination that is beyond a reasonable doubt.

justforthisone wrote:
The fix for problems like this has several aspects and I'm not getting into them - if I knew how to fix every complex problem I wouldn't be busting my guts to get into a B-school. But my thoughts?


The fix is quite simple. DO NOT repeat any questions. Offer the test 4 times a year w/fresh questions. And be wary of websites that post questions from previous tests (if not available to general public)

The fact of the matter is, yes there are innocent people. And there are guilty parties as well. But with the totality of the evidence, I just don't buy the story that someone stumbled upon a website and dropped $30 for some questions.

As a beginnner, why would you immediately spend money on an unknown website? What's wrong with Kraplan or PR, the seemingly American standards? How about the GMATPrep which is readily downloadable and included when you register?

As a veteran seeking more questions, you have to already know your surroudings based on recommendations from others. I exclusively studied w/OG & MGMAT as my test day was approaching.

Put that logic together with the systematic cheating in China and (surprise surprise) the Chinese CEO of scoretop in conjunction with the these snippets that rhyme keeps posting from bschool blogs, and it's just difficult for me to buy.

Finally, rhyme mentioned something about feeling sorry for those cheaters. And though, I’m not exactly 100% sympathetic, I do understand. Statute of limitations maybe?

So you mean some standardized test that purports to predict my success in bschool that has minimal impact on my acceptance will have me give up my MBA that I just dropped 2 years and $180K + forgone salary? For that, I blame GMAC for neglecting to maintain the legitimacy of the gmat brand.

Man, I’m tired.
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New post 02 Jul 2008, 20:18
It's unfair to give a few examples and generalize it and call for punishing all applicants from entire countries. You cannot rush to judgement and witchhunt people by association.

I stayed away from this thread until now as the discussion here was very similar to the BW forum (which I think is a step down for GMATClub). People and content have been very educational and invaluable. I hope it stays the same.
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New post 02 Jul 2008, 20:30
terp26 wrote:
While your points are valid, and I agree with most of what you say, I do need to disagree somewhat. The attitude from what I gather was that it was well-known what was going on. If you participate in a thread that talk about JJ's, you either will be curious as to what JJ's are, and find out, or stop using the site. I can imagine a thread titled something like " June JJ - Probability ". Now I have not seen the forum, but I would imagine it would be something to that effect? So are you saying that people participating in that forum would not be the least bit curious as to what that was ?? Now I don't want to ruin lives of people who stumbled across the site, hell, even signing up and paying, realizing it was wrong and never coming back. But for people actively participating in the forum, posting live questions OR participating in discussion, it would be highly suspect that these individuals did not know what was going on. It doesn't take long for someone to figure out, even on this site, what OG, or MGMAT, SC, or RC stand for. And if you are paying money for something, you would have a lot more incentive to do due diligence.

I am sure GMAC has studied those forums throughly and could conclude whether there was a reasonable expectation that a new or average user would know what a JJ is.


I don't want this post to go unnoticed. Kudos terp26.
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New post 02 Jul 2008, 20:37
Travel09 wrote:
It's unfair to give a few examples and generalize it and call for punishing all applicants from entire countries. You cannot rush to judgement and witchhunt people by association.


Huh? Whose advocating punishing an entire country?
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New post 02 Jul 2008, 21:15
kidderek, I feel your rage and understand it. Trust me, this is NOT the first time I've heard of the rampant cheating going on with the GRE's in China and India and why the GRE's are back to paper format in those countries again. I also believe that the same is happening with GMAT, and if GMAC doesn't do something about it (like going back to paper tests or somehow make it harder for the current scheme of obtaining live questions to work), then this test will become a total farce. It's to their interest to make sure the B-schools maintain their confidence in the GMAT scores.

As for scoretop and the JJs, it's probably run the same way they do in China, but based on what I've read so far, if you don't have a friend who has used it before (and then recommending you sign up to get the JJs too), and just stumbled upon Scoretop, it's not that hard to believe that you may never have heard of JJs, even if you were a VIP member. I think that's the point which is still under contention right now, whether it was widely known that there were JJ's in the VIP section, or if it was more of a "word of mouth" type deal. I personally believe it's the latter.
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New post 02 Jul 2008, 22:49
Well, I just got to know that a friend of mine used the VIP section on scoretop. He says he did not know it had live questions and that he used it "because it was recommended by a friend". Maybe he's lying. Maybe not. I said it before and I'll say it again. I really find it hard to believe that someone would pay $30 for poorly framed random questions, the likes of which can be dug up somewhere on the net for free. Scoretop itself had huge collections of "free" practice material on the open forums - the 1000 series, OG softcopy, etc. So why pay for more of the same? Unless you thought what you were getting is something better/different? C'mon, when you pay money, you want something in return. IMO, people would have paid money if they thought they were :
(1) getting live questions (or)
(2) getting questions that were live at some point in time

At the very least, these guys knew they were getting something special when they forked out that $30. I personally think there is a very small percentage of people who fall outside (1) and (2) above. And they are the guys who really thought the VIP section had only practice questions and nothing else. They made a honest mistake and I'm sure that the proportions that this scandal has taken is more than enough to ensure they are less careless in the future. And don't get me wrong. Registering at scoretop and posting on the open forums is completely different from paying $30 to get special access.
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New post 02 Jul 2008, 22:55
justforthisone wrote:
1. Did you ever look at 1000SC/CR, regardless of whether you used it, saw it in a test, read its footnote, or knew its source? yes=>guilty


I've yet to read anyone state officially that the 1000 documents ever contained 'live' questions. GMAC requested the 1000 docs be 'impounded' and 'returned' to GMAC in their request for injunctive relief, but in their legal filing they only allege that these docs infringed their copyrights, and not that they reproduced 'live' questions. That these documents reproduce questions from the Official Guides is already well-known.

kidderek wrote:
2)I've posted this seemingly a million times. GMAC needs to invoke "copyright" as a legal means to prosecute scoretop. They can't just walk in to court and cry scoretop tricked our testing system!!! There is a distinction between using copyrighted "retired" questions and copyrighted "live" questions. Do NOT think they are one and the same.


I don't understand what this means? The $2.3m award in the GMAC/ScoreTop suit was for copyright infringement (494 proven violations of copyright, $50k in damages per violation). It was not for ScoreTop's violation of test security. Indeed, GMAC's request for damages for tortious interference was denied outright.

kidderek wrote:
It reminds me of an underground rave party where only people “in the know” attend.

Again, not true. GMAC is treading very lightly right now because they know 2 things:
1) They neglected this for a long time
2) They will inevitably be sued.


I've been involved with the GMAT prep industry for seven years, and ScoreTop's practices were certainly widely known in the industry. I've heard stories about teachers providing the questions from JJs to students, for example. Many did seem to have the impression that nothing would ever be done about the availability of live questions, so did not see any serious consequences to using them. I've only visited the ScoreTop site on a couple of occasions, though, and have never seen the VIP section, so I have no idea what impression was given to the casual visitor. I can only go by the exhibits GMAC submitted in their suit, which do give the impression that VIP regulars ought to have known what was being permitted to happen, but GMAC was, of course, trying to prove a case.

I do think that if people benefitted substantially from seeing 'live' questions in advance of their test, their score should be cancelled. Intent is not, to me, an issue there; it's simply that their score is then not an accurate reflection of their ability. Intent is an issue, however, when deciding whether to permit people to retake the test, and only where nefarious intent can demonstrably be proven do I think people should be barred from retaking the GMAT. Proving any of this is a different matter, of course.
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2008, 23:22
kidderek wrote:
terp26 wrote:
While your points are valid, and I agree with most of what you say, I do need to disagree somewhat. The attitude from what I gather was that it was well-known what was going on. If you participate in a thread that talk about JJ's, you either will be curious as to what JJ's are, and find out, or stop using the site. I can imagine a thread titled something like " June JJ - Probability ". Now I have not seen the forum, but I would imagine it would be something to that effect? So are you saying that people participating in that forum would not be the least bit curious as to what that was ?? Now I don't want to ruin lives of people who stumbled across the site, hell, even signing up and paying, realizing it was wrong and never coming back. But for people actively participating in the forum, posting live questions OR participating in discussion, it would be highly suspect that these individuals did not know what was going on. It doesn't take long for someone to figure out, even on this site, what OG, or MGMAT, SC, or RC stand for. And if you are paying money for something, you would have a lot more incentive to do due diligence.

I am sure GMAC has studied those forums throughly and could conclude whether there was a reasonable expectation that a new or average user would know what a JJ is.


I don't want this post to unnoticed. Kudos terp26.


I think this is were problem is. We are reaching conclusions based on assumptions and imagination

"but I would imagine it would be something to that effect?"
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Re: Another Cheating Scandal &nbs [#permalink] 02 Jul 2008, 23:22

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