Planning on writing the MCAT? - Macleans.ca
 

Planning on writing the MCAT?

Cheaters beware: grad-school tests are ramping up security


 

According to an article from the Star, entrance tests for many professional programs now require a digital print of students’ fingers, thumbs or palms.

Most Canadian med schools require applicants to write the Medical College Admission Test. With an extremely limited number of seats, a high MCAT score is crucial for med school hopefuls.

The solution for some students? Pay someone else to write it.

“It’s unfortunate some people want to cheat to get the higher scores you need for better-known programs,” said Rick Powers, executive director of the University of Toronto’s MBA program, in an interview with The Star.

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) for a MBA program, which is written by 8,000 students every year in Canada, requires an infrared scan of the blood vessels in your palm.  Although palm scans are weeding out cheaters, some students aren’t happy with the new security measures. After having to give a palm scan for the GMAT, Toronto student Ajanthy Arasaratnam asked the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to investigate it as an invasion of privacy. According to the article, the use of digital fingerprints by the MCAT is also being investigated by the privacy commissioner’s office.

The good news for med school hopefuls who want to avoid the MCAT, cheating isn’t the only option. Some med schools don’t require applicants to write the test, including the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine and the Northern Ontario school of Medicine.

-photo courtesy of Jermaine Justice


 

Planning on writing the MCAT?

  1. Why do I get the feeling that most people who complain about invasion of privacy have something (illegal) to hide?

  2. If you have nothing to hide it shouldn’t matter…however…I wouldn’t want them to see how many bottles of O.P.I nailpolish I’ve got stashed in my purse…
    Always a great read Scott!!

  3. In response to the above questioners (“do you have something to hide?), no. Most people don’t have anything to hide. It’s just the nagging question of what some random testing center is gonna do with your old passport/birth certificate/driver’s license PLUS fingerprint/palmprint info. Does all the info get completely deleted after tests are certified…or do they hold on to it, thus increasing the possibility that someone does something irresponsible, and private information is vulnerable? Dumb things happen. I’d rather not get apologized to.

    I did write the MCAT, so I’ve been through the whole fingerprinting scheme. It’s quite a scene, with them fingerprinting you multiple times before and after stepping out of the test room.

  4. You write that people get others to write these tests in their place as if it is a common occurrence. Any references to support this claim?

  5. I know life is unfair. But, it makes me sick people cheat their way out while most people work very hard for every thing they deserve.