Home > Coming Events > ‘Digital DNA’ May Soon Be Required To Take SAT & ACT Exams

‘Digital DNA’ May Soon Be Required To Take SAT & ACT Exams

January 26, 2012

cbslocal NY

Since the SAT and ACT cheating scandals broke wide open on Long Island, lawmakers have pledged to come up with unique cutting edge ways to combat identity theft.

On Monday, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan got the exclusive first look at what politicians will see first hand in Albany on Tuesday afternoon, and what could soon be implemented at a high school near you.

Inside the applied DNA sciences lab at Stony Brook University researchers are hard at work inventing and perfecting a system that can prevent cheating on SAT and ACT exams.

“A novel system that’s absolutely unbreakable for securing the identity of a student taking the SAT exam,” said Dr. James Hayward.

The foolproof ID plan and others will be presented to lawmakers, who have pledged to parents, teachers and students that they will work together to protect exam integrity, hold cheaters responsible and fix the fraud, following the shocking scandal that spread from Great Neck North High School to include some 30 test takers and test payers faking their own identities, hoping to buy their into top scores and top schools.

“It’s a great way for people to really be who they are when they take the test, and not try to fake it,” Massapequa High School graduate Jennifer Karp told McLogan.

Karp volunteered her forensic image for a digital DNA. It begins with mandatory pre-registering at a student’s home school with official legal ID documents only.

“All of that is uploaded to an I.T. system of wireless connections called the ‘CLOUD,’” Dr. Hayward said.

The student’s unique digital DNA code is created and assigned to an ID card with covert authentication marks printed onto it. Proctors can verify instantly with a simple UV light and smart phone scan.

“Now you can compare the image on the phone with the image on the ID card, and the image of the student,” Dr. Hayward said.

The technology has been used by the federal government at highly secure sites. Some lawmakers see no reason why a plan like this can’t be implemented and paid for by the Educational Testing Service and College Board.

The mobile DNA security scan would be done as the student enters and again at the conclusion of the test.

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