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SAT Scandal Rocks Prestigious Great Neck School District

GREAT NECK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Great Neck school officials were to meet Monday night to discuss the latest scandal to hit their prestigious school district -- students paying other people to take their college entrance exams or Scholastic Aptitude Tests.

WCBS 880's Sophia Hall talks to a guidance counselor from another district


Students at Great Neck North High School were eager to tell CBS 2's Magee Hickey about the investigation into a ring of students who pay a third party to take the college entrance exams for them.

"Some people do a dollar a point if you want a good score. It's a couple of thousand dollars," junior Gabe Diamond said.

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Students said they know of at least one college student -- the older brother of a schoolmate -- who sells his test-taking expertise, promising them at least a score of 2,100 out of a perfect score of 2,400. Who are the takers?

"Any kind of student -- boys, girls; good grades, bad grades. Not any one type of person will cheat on the SATs," junior Brandon Mayeri said.

SAT officials confirmed the probe and Great Neck school officials wanted to stress: "None of the matters being investigated involved tests administered in either of our high schools."

But instead at a different, outside test location where the same security procedures are in place. Students must present a photo ID, a handwriting sample and an admission ticket, something students said they can easily get around.

"People have fake IDs that they made especially for this, so it costs even more money," Mayeri said.

Many people blame pressure from parents and students particularly in Great Neck because it's so prestigious and well-to-do.

"Kids are going to do this, especially in a town that's very wealthy like Great Neck, where there's access to a lot of money to pay other kids to take SATs. It's inevitable," junior Kevin Frankel said.

But no matter, kids said it all works out in the end.

"Kids I've heard had others take the SATs. Even if they end up at schools far above their level, they don't do well and they usual end up at schools where they belong at the end of the day," junior Michael Barlavi said.

If students are found to be cheating SAT officials said their score would be cancelled and the colleges they are applying to would be notified. Students may also be punished by school officials.

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