To: Graduate Deans and Undergraduate Deans of Admission
From: Patricia Swan, Chair, GRE Board
Kathryn Forte, Chair, TOEFL Board
Tom Rochon, Executive Director, GRE Program
Marilyn Rymniak, Executive Director, TOEFL Program
Date: January, 2001
We have become aware in recent months of theft and unauthorized use of copyrighted GRE and TOEFL materials within the People’s Republic of China (PRC).We are actively investigating this matter, and we have filed a lawsuit in China against the responsible parties.We are seeking redress of this matter through all legal and political channels available to us.
Through intensive coaching that includes exposure to undisclosed test questions, certain individuals in China may have gained unfair advantage in taking the test.In the case of the GRE General Test, this includes exposure to some test questions in active use.Not all individuals testing in the PRC have access to this information, and we have no way of knowing at this point which test takers may have taken advantage of this situation.We want to emphasize, then, that the test scores of any given individual cannot be impeached by this information.
We regularly monitor scores from individuals who test in various countries and, like you, we have noticed increases in GRE General Test scores from the PRC over the past several years.Our most recent analysis of scores from the PRC (10/99-9/00) shows a sharp upward trend in average GRE General Test scores when compared with previous years.We have not seen this trend in TOEFL scores.We are, however, currently conducting an analysis of GRE and TOEFL test scores from recent months.
We urge you, therefore, to treat all GRE and TOEFL test scores from China with caution.It is always important to review all elements of an applicant璤s file.In the present circumstances, it is particularly important that all evidence submitted by an applicant from China be reviewed, and that test score results be fully supported by other elements of the file.
We thank you for your understanding of this situation.We assure you that we are doing everything we can to protect the security of our tests in the PRC and elsewhere, in order to maintain the confidence you may place in the test results from your applicants.If you have any further questions about the interpretation of test scores from China, please feel free to contact:
GRE Board Chair - Patricia Swan (515-292-3744)
TOEFL Board Chair - Kathryn Forte (310-541-6763 ext. 4043)
GRE Executive Director - Tom Rochon (609-683-2001)
TOEFL Executive Director - Marilyn Rymniak (609-683-2049)
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