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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