GMAT Scandal Claims First Casualty

Posted by: Louis Lavelle on July 1, 2008

This morning, I managed to contact David Wilson, the president and CEO of GMAC, and I thought I’d share with everyone some of his thoughts.

First, the explosive news: GMAC has canceled the score of one individual. It happened about six months ago, after this person bragged in a Scoretop chat room about using materials he got from Scoretop to gain an advantage on the test. GMAC subsequently canceled his score and notified the schools where he was an applicant. Wilson told me that all of the schools rejected his application, but GMAC spokesperson Judy Phair later clarified, saying GMAC never learned what the schools decided.

More info may be forthcoming, but at this point, that’s all I’ve got. GMAC wouldn’t say when he joined the web site, when he took the test, where he was an applicant, or any details of what he said in the chat room that landed him in hot water.

Okay, now for some good news….

One that impressed me about Wilson is that he really doesn't seem to be looking at what happened at Scoretop as a black-and-white thing. Back in 2003, GMAC busted an imposter ring--a half dozen people who took the GMAT for others for about $5,000 a pop. GMAC canceled 166 scores as a result, and five of the six imposters ended up at Rikers with sentences of 33 to 40 months each. Wilson pointed out that what happened at Scoretop is NOT the same thing:

In this case we've got all kinds of shades of grey. At the one extreme, you have the surfer trying to find better ways to prepare for the exam. Then you have people trying to get into chat rooms, but not with an eye to taking advantage of anything that was copyrighted. Then you have those who think they might get an edge because they think they might see a live question there. Our focus is on those people who ultimately violated the agreement they signed. We're not interested in the innocent surfer, but those who were actively engaged in providing that information. If you were actively engaged in providing that information, then you are a target.

I asked Wilson to estimate how many of the 6,000 individuals from the Scoretop hard drive might ultimately have their scores canceled, but I couldn't pin him down. It's just way too early to tell. I also asked him how he thinks schools will respond when GMAC does start canceling scores. What he said was interesting. If GMAC is judicious, and cancels scores only for those for whom their is compelling evidence of cheating, Wilson believes the schools will trust GMAC's judgment--as they have in the past--and take action against those individuals.

We have contacted every single school that uses the GMAT. To a person they're thrilled that we're going after those people aggressively. They don't want coming into their classrooms people who cheated to get in. We don't cancel scores indiscriminately. We're not going to cancel a score where we think there's a shadow of a doubt. Historically, they [the schools] will ask us what the facts are. We'll explain precisely what it was. My guess is when we give them the facts we'll be in accord.

I think his words bear repeating: "We're not going to cancel a score where we think there's a shadow of a doubt." I think those are words a lot of people were waiting to hear.

Reader Comments

To Louis:

July 1, 2008 4:55 PM

Louis,

Thank you for providing valuable, timely feedback to this forum.

I am still very concerned that the reports still fail to mention that the Scoretop server crashed in April 2008. How can GMAC rely on a damaged server to provide compelling evidence that someone cheated? This is an important detail that must be addressed.

therealdeal

July 1, 2008 5:35 PM

I think his words bear repeating: "We're not going to cancel a score where we think there's a shadow of a doubt." I think those are words a lot of people were waiting to hear.

So pretty much if you haven't downloaded or posted any live questions, you are in the clear. But for post-2007 when the downloads were labeled as ST's own, what happens then? Since this isn't beyond a shadow of a doubt that one was clearly trying to cheat, then they won't cancel the score. ONLY if you were a member after all JJs and other live stuff was removed.

to Louis

July 1, 2008 5:40 PM

It is good new to hear. My faith in GMAC, regarding punishing only those who certainly did violate (with the intent) and none other, is coming back.

Louis please answer

July 1, 2008 9:40 PM

Louis,

Have you read ALL the court documents?

In BOTH the original decision and the response to the motion to reconsider, the judge REJECTED GMAC's request for a directive for "third party internet service providers permit GMAC prompt access to the content of www.scoretop.com website"

The judge also refused to order Mr. Shi to hand over his own hard drives, document etc.

So where exactly did GMAC get the hard drive it claims to have?

JMS

July 2, 2008 12:23 AM

To Louis -

I appreciate your diligence in acting as the 'messenger' for this. Although GMAC hasn't provided answers for all my questions, the article provides relief in that GMAC is attempting to be "doubt-proof" in their investigations to catch the real culprits. It's comforting to know that with this approach, GMAC can ensure that the ones ultimately caught are [most likely] those who had caused so much distress to this whole situation. I hope our justice system will deal with them accordingly.

What does this mean

July 2, 2008 1:41 AM

from Webmaster
hide details
Jun 27 (2 days ago) to rahulkhanna548@gmail.com
date Jun 27, 2008 8:19 PM
subject RE: exam eligibility (CS#:58351)
Rahul,

The initial focus of our investigation will be on those who have distributedand disclosed real GMAT questions on the website. If through ourinvestigations we come across individuals who have knowingly accessed "real"GMAT questions, then we will consider such cases as well.From your email, you seem confident that you never accessed real GMATquestions. If this is the case, you have nothing to worry about.
Thank you,
Shira SteinCustomer Service Coordinator
Graduate Management Admission Council
R1 866 739 02381 703 245 4285webmaster@gmac.comC 2006 Graduate Management Admission CouncilR (GMACR). All rights reserved.GMATR, Graduate Management Admission CouncilR, and Graduate ManagementAdmission TestR are registered trademarks of the Graduate ManagementAdmission CouncilR in the United States of America and other countries.-

----Original Message-----From: rahul khanna [mailto:rahulkhanna548@gmail.com]Sent: Friday, June 27, 2008 2:58 AMTo: webmaster@gmac.comSubject: exam eligibility (CS#:58351)
Respected Sir/Madam,
I am a 27 yr old engineer from India. I have never given GMAT examtill now. I plan to give GMAT after 10 days. I plan to join Kaplan andManhattan private tutoring for GMAT exam preparation for next 7 daysby paying approximately US$ 25,000 to them, and also take a leave frommy office for next 10 days for preparing for the GMAT.

However, I am informing you that I was a VIP member of the websitescoretop.com from MAY 1 2008 TO JUNE 30 2008. I accessed the practicequestions provided by website scoretop.com in their VIP section, But Idid not have access to the JJS, MJJS , VJJS or the real GMAT questionsas the same had been banned by scoretop since 9/2006. I alsoparticipated in the discussions of the practice questions on thewebsite scoretop.com. According to my knowledge, I have never accessedthe real live GMAT questions in my entire life, though I was a VIPmember of scoretop.com as mentioned above and also accessed thepractice questions of the VIP section of Scoretop.com.Based on the information mentioned above, Please inform me whether Iam eligible to take the GMAT, and will my score be valid in thefuture. If I am not eligible, then I will not waste money (US$ 25,000,which is the annual income of my family) and time on the preparationfor GMAT.

Please do this as soon as possible because I don't want to waste sucha large amount of money on an exam, whose score will not be valid forme.This is a very important decision of my life, and IF I take a wrongdecision, I may have to end my life. Also I have to take the decisionwithin next 5 days, so please inform me about my eligibility withinnext 5 days. If I do not get an adequate reply, which means - aconcrete decision regarding my eligibility for GMAT with reasoning,from you within next 5 days, I may have to end my life. Whatever bethe reply- Yes or No, but please mail me your decision within the next5days.Also provide the reasons for your decision, or I will have to take adrastic decision.

Thanking You
Rahul Khanna,24/A,Ansari Nagar,Delhi,India.110029____________________________________________
__________________________The information contained in this e-mail is intended solely for the person(s) to whom it is addressed. This information is the property of the Graduate Management Admission Council(R) (GMAC(R)) and may be confidential. Any e-mail including its content may be monitored and used by GMAC® for reasons of security or compliance. E-mail monitoring / blocking software may also be used. If you are not the intended addressee, you should not distribute, copy, or disclose this e-mail. Please notify the sender immediately if you received this e-mail by mistake, and delete this email from your system.

William

July 2, 2008 1:44 AM

Wow. The tone of GMAC's position keeps changing as this story develops. Or is it just the reporter's?

To GMAC CEO: Thanks!

July 2, 2008 1:49 AM

Mr. Wilson,

Thank you clarifying GMAC's intent. I'm so glad to see that GMAC is acting professionally and ethically in this situation. Given your comments I can now sleep at night knowing that I'll never get my scores cancelled because I never sought or received any live questions. Please keep the information flowing from your part because I think that it provides peace of mind to a lot of potential MBA candidates.

Mr. Lavelle,

You have been the main source of information in this whole ordeal and I thank you for your dilligence and journalistic integrity. Please keep the updates coming.

Now I can go back at studying for the GMAT... Need to get 700+!!!

legend

July 2, 2008 3:15 AM

Louis

Please accept my deep appreciation for keeping us updated on this issue.You are doing a great job!

Reading several posts and interpretations, I do get a feeling that a person like me,who became a member on 11 may 08 only to find that site itself was shut down on 15 may 08 and who gave the GMAT subsequently after 2 weeks, should have little to worry about, as it is impossible for me to be able to post or discuss test experience after the site itself had been shut down and neither have I "sought/accessed" any live questions during my very brief hrs of surfing.

But still, paying from my own card, registering with same email and street address worries me!

Do you think it would be a good idea to write to GMAC, giving out all the particulars including GMAT ID,Scoretop ID, credit card and membership details and test taken dates and ask them what would be the status of my score?

Frodess

July 2, 2008 3:47 AM

At last some signs of common sense from GMAC

gdgdf

July 2, 2008 5:55 AM

GMAC ppl plz elaborate the case

to Louis

July 2, 2008 6:06 AM

Why GMAC did not did press release of this issue six months back. This could have saved so many people

jhs04

July 2, 2008 11:36 AM

This is great news. As someone who has been posting since the first story broke last week, I have to give Louis a lot of credit for really getting us the scoop we (aka innocnent scoretop VIP members) were looking for. Basically, if you didn't discuss or brag about live questions, you are pretty much in the clear based on these statements. There was a lot of undue stress for nothing here - hopefully Judith Phair will learn that she should do some research before she makes blanket statements (i.e. her statement about all VIP members cheating). It's in my opinion that there will be somewhere in the range of 50-100 people busted when it's all said in done, and these people will have clearly bragged or talked about real GMAT questions in the forum (i.e. making obvious references to JJ's and talking about how many you saw on the test). GMAC has ultimately taken the high road by saying they will only take action against those with compelling evidence.

One thing I firmly believe is that the comments that were made on these articles gave Louis a good idea of the other side of the story, which it looks like Louis brought to the attention of GMAC. Within one week, we went from "All VIP members who paid 30 dollar will have their scores cancelled" to "We're not going to cancel a score where we think there's a shadow of doubt." One one hand, it shows horrible PR skills by the GMAC, but I also think it's a credit to the numerous posts and the great job done here by Louis. Lets keep it up, and hopefully the real cheaters will be the ones staying out of B-School.

Louis

July 2, 2008 12:47 PM

To Jhs04 and everyone else who views the latest GMAC comments with hope, and all those who personally thanked me. First, I really appreciate it. It's nice to know a lot of you are looking at this with a little bit of perspective and that my work is appreciated. More importantly, though, I hope this means all of you can kick back and have a relaxing holiday weekend and stop worrying about this. I think GMAC heard you all loud and clear and will take your concerns into account as it determines who should and shouldn't have scores canceled. While we won't know this with any certainty for a while, I agree with Jhs04: when the smoke clears the number of canceled scores will probably be far fewer than 6,000. Check back periodically--if there are any new developments we'll run new stories, or blog posts (either by me or someone else). But for the time being, enjoy the long weekend...

uuuuuuuu

July 2, 2008 1:15 PM

GMAC when u will gie your final decision about that 6000 students

Tiger

July 2, 2008 3:59 PM

@Louis: What does GMAC say about the "Practice questions (PQ)" available for VIP members? I hope these PQs are not included in GMAC's definition of JJ's because they are certainly not the same.

Louis

July 2, 2008 4:08 PM

If you didn't see it in the GMAC FAQ, or elsewhere on this blog, then GMAC didn't address it. Sorry Tiger.

aaa

July 2, 2008 5:00 PM

Tiger
The practice questions are definitely not JJs. Don't worry. VIP membership inherently meant access to these practice questions.

James B

July 2, 2008 6:41 PM

Louis

What hard drive does GMAC actually have? The court verdicts do not authorize GMAC to impound either Mr. Shi's nor the website's hard drives. So what does GMAC have?

Dave

July 2, 2008 10:23 PM

What I am wondering is since this has gone on since 2003 is how many of those 6000 already received their MBA? It isn't like a school can just revoke an MBA or can they?

XXXX

July 2, 2008 10:54 PM

Louis,

So this means that PQ are not a part of JJs. I am too concerned. I was VIP member from April to early May, when site crashed in May, I never visited again. I gave GMAT in June 1st week & score 640 that is less than my previous score of 690. I am planning to take again in Aug. As far as I remembered I never posted and saw live questions. But I discussed some Practice question, retired questions, and OG. In one of the post I read that JJ are no longer available on this site.
Any guess what will happen to me.

lkl;kl

July 3, 2008 1:02 AM

@Louis: Students who took tutoring from scoretop are also in trouble?

Innocent VIP member

July 3, 2008 11:56 AM

@Louis: I (and other innocent VIP members) are grateful to you for the effort you have put in to represent both sides of the story. I hope GMAC/schools will not make any decision that is not 100% justified. Thank You Louis!

SomeRelief

July 3, 2008 1:00 PM

Wow.. After all that shock and putting my life on hold for few days, I am breathing again.

I learned a lot about this world during the last few days

1. Trust No Web Site. Internet Ahead, approach with caution. You may have to take complete responsibility if this is illegal, Beware.

2. How BW and journals like these work. How even a writer like Louis who listens and reports facts in a timely fashion with out biased opinion can give out "sensational" comments or use controversial headlines when presented with limited facts.

3. How a company like GMAC can make sensational comments with limited facts then really understand the full implications and address it. They at least took the right stance as soon as they realized that not everybody cheated.

4. How some Americans feel about high GMAT scores of Asians.. and other feelings in general. Don't even want to talk about that part.. sick.

I have to end by thanking Louis for his continuous follow-up and balanced treatment to the subject in most cases and his attitude to do so in all cases.

Let us take these as lessons learned from this experience and move on. Happy Holidays.

Louis

July 3, 2008 1:15 PM

To James B and others who have asked, GMAC has the the Scoretop hard drive despite what you read in the court papers. Yes, the federal district court in virginia said they couldn't have it, but GMAC went to state courts in Arizona and Pennsylvania to get the domain name and the hard drive seized and sold at auction to pay off the $2.3 million judgment GMAC won in Virginia. (You can do that if you have a court judgment against someone and no other way to collect.) The details of how they did this are a little unclear to me, but basically GMAC was able to buy the hard drive at the sheriff's auction after it was seized from Scoretop.

to XXXXX

July 3, 2008 1:34 PM

As long as u not sought or obtained live questions u will be fine. Discussing practice questions is ok as GMAC knows that people discuss tons and tons of VIP questions. So dont worry.

To Louis

July 3, 2008 2:12 PM

Louis

Any new developments so far. Any other news of score cancellations(I mean after the first one mentioned in ur article)

MBA

July 3, 2008 3:48 PM

GO GMAC!!!

Prashy

July 4, 2008 12:43 AM

To all worried VIPs

The people who 'might' be in trouble

1) Members before 2007

2) Top posters(purposefully sought live questions)

3) Who posted debriefings

4) last but not the least. Those who satisfy points 1,2 and 3 and those who used personal credit cards.

Rest of them nothing should bother you. Relax and have a great show.

Martin

July 4, 2008 1:43 AM

Thanks Louis for all the information. I was also an VIP member & I'm very sure that I have not seen any JJs or live questions. But I have solved some PQs (practice questions). GMAC pls make your stance clear about PQs.
I hope that gmat finishes its investigation soon and give the innocent VIP members a clean chit.

Phil

July 4, 2008 4:19 PM


Apart from practice question in VIP section, are VIP members going to be in trouble for usings the 1000-question excercises and 'sets' (retired exams?). These we find now had copyrighted GMAC material.

In the few debriefings I read in 2007, I found them helpful to identify what material to study, how to approach the exam and if exam had any unfamiliar/new topics. But the debriefings were clean and without any 'live'/real questions.

Louis

July 5, 2008 5:26 PM

I'm confused Phil. If the debriefings told you about "any unfamiliar/new topics" on the exam, how exactly did they do that without telling you what the exam questions were?

James B

July 5, 2008 7:43 PM

Louis

I don't want to speak for the previous poster but I used debriefings to ask exam takers if they saw specific topics like hard geometry, probability etc. which I was a bit weak at.

Even in teaching centers run by Kaplan etc. they say stuff like - "xx topic seems to be occuring more frequently in the GMAT nowadays" As long as real questions are not shared, this should not be illegal, right?

Phil

July 5, 2008 8:42 PM

Louis,

For eg, the Official Guide for Math has topics listed that are tested on the GMAT. Lets assume, the topic of 'Conic Sections' is not listed in the official guide. If someone in the debriefings (which were available to public/ everyone on Scoretop - not just VIP members) mentions that he got a difficult question on Conic Sections without mentioning any details of the real problem - as a examinee I know that I have to study Conic Sections.

- I hope such blogs about test experience dont violate the GMAC policy because such debriefings (without details of questions of course) are available all over the internet.

Louis - personal thanks for keeping us updated. I hope GMAC resolves this quickly and punishes the people running the racket more severely than us students who were looking for some practice of tough (700+) questions. GMAC had the resources of tracking the website around-the-clock for multiple years - I was just someone looking for tough practice problems for a few weeks before my exam. Although I am responsible for my study material, I wish GMAC would have issued a statement years earlier.

Thanks

aa

July 6, 2008 4:10 AM

Sets are available everywhere..including all GMAT forums, yahoo groups, esnips etc..So that wont be a problem as everyone who prepares for GMAT irrespective of whether he/she is a Scoretop member does these SETs..Dont worry Phil...

Louis u can tell the area from which the question came,Example some one can say a new question came from Trigonometry. So u dont have to tell the actual live question to get your point across.

legend

July 6, 2008 7:57 AM

Louis

"I'm confused Phil. If the debriefings told you about "any unfamiliar/new topics" on the exam, how exactly did they do that without telling you what the exam questions were?"

All those who access any prep forum is in the process of preparing for the exam. It is highly likely that a person is not aware of a sub topic/rule say " the median rule of the triangle" and he could have seen such things while participating in the forum.

For him reading such a general mention itself tantamounts to highlighting his unfamiliarity over the topic. Since GMAC doesnt spell out anywhere about the complete list of syllabus "officially" (OG is just a guide. Not mandatory for every test taker to purchase. Neither are the test questions completely representative of concepts that OG talks about, especially if one is aiming for 750+)!!
GMAC has no properietory rights over body of maths knowledge.

A mention like "read the median rule, it helps in the test" neither tantamounts to disclosure nor getting familiar to a median rule after reading such a post means "accessing" live questions.

All of us ARE unfamiliar with many topics even on the day of exam. Seeking to familiarize with various topics/ concepts and seeking to familiaze with "live questions" are not one and the same!!

I have assumed that the post from which @phil familiarized himself about new topics did not contain explicit live questions posted as part of debriefing.

thanks

Max

July 6, 2008 2:03 PM

In 2007, if GMAC was tracking the VIP problem sets, then it is unlikely that any of those questions appeared on the live test after the JJs were removed.

Is this sound logic or wishful thinking?

Raj

July 6, 2008 2:27 PM

Just curious,

have other VIP members contacted - GMAC, School or a lawyer regarding this issue? I am pretty sure I didnt see any 'live' question discussions but I dont remember all the pages I saw last year.

Sam

July 6, 2008 4:58 PM

Phil,

In my debrief, I mentioned how I got a question on an obscure stochastic topic I studied in under-grad. I also mentioned a helpful link and an example on the obscure concept. Now, I am not sure if that was a good idea ...

aaa

July 7, 2008 12:59 PM

did anyone of you received an email from GMAC today whose subject says "A Message from the Graduate Management Admission Council". It just says that "we are informing you that u were a subscriber of Scoretop"

Puzzelled

July 7, 2008 3:34 PM

I was a VIP Member and I got this email. Have others got the same?

Dear Subscriber,

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC(R)) recently won a civil lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against the operator of the Web site www.scoretop.com. GMAC, the owner of the GMAT(R) exam, sued the operator for distributing copyrighted GMAT-related materials - including "live" GMAT questions - without GMAC?s permission through the Web site. As part of its efforts to collect on the court?s judgment, GMAC has seized various assets owned or controlled by the operator, including a computer hard drive containing subscriber information. We are writing to inform you that this information shows that you have purchased GMAT(R) study materials through VIP membership in www.scoretop.com.

Please be aware that the unauthorized distribution and use of our copyrighted material - including Guides, GMAT Prep(R) Software, GMAT(R) Focus, and purported ?real? GMAT(R) test questions - violates our policies and is illegal under the United States Copyright Act. Such violations can result in score cancellation, prohibition from testing again, notification to schools, and, in some instances, more formal legal remedies. Violations include selling, posting, purchasing, and discussing any copyrighted materials. GMAC(R) takes these actions seriously and continuously monitors Internet forums, Web sites and other venues where our copyrighted material is illegally sold and distributed.

Our initial focus in this investigation is on those who disclosed live questions on Scoretop. If, as part of this investigation we find compelling evidence that a test taker knowingly violated GMAC policy, we may cancel GMAT scores and notify schools.

Rules prohibiting improper or inadvertent access to test content, which test takers agree to when they register for the test, are described in the terms and conditions of the GMAT Information Bulletin. Test takers are reminded of their obligations and agree not to access or share test content in the Testing Rules & Agreement and the Non-Disclosure Agreement at the testing center. Any test preparation organization advertising "real GMAT items" is guilty of lying, stealing, or both. In preparing to take the GMAT test, you should steer clear of these organizations as they can be harmful to your future.

We are moving as quickly as possible, but we do not know how long our investigation will take. In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to provide us with any information, please e-mail testtakerresponsibilities@gmac.com.

Sincerely,

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC(R))
__________________________________

The information contained in this e-mail is intended solely for the person or persons to whom it is addressed.

If you would like to be removed from any further mailings of this nature, please visit the link below and edit your e-mail options.

http://www.mba.com/MBA/Service/RegProfile?Action=1&ViewProfile=yes

This information is the property of the Graduate Management Admission Council(R) (GMAC(R)) and may be confidential. If you are not the intended addressee, you should not distribute, copy or otherwise disclose this e-mail. If you received this e-mail by mistake, please notify the sender immediately and delete this email from your system.

Graduate Management Admission Council
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Shahrukh Khan

July 7, 2008 3:47 PM

I will sue GMAC tomorrow. Would have done it today but have had some stomach problem

Bob

July 7, 2008 7:20 PM

1.
Why didn’t they pursue alternate route such as civil suit before?

2.
It required five/six years to gather evidence and make any conclusion and they expect students under pressure to make decision in 30-40 days w/ many confusing disclaimers? I don’t care doesn’t mean I am interested in getting the live questions. This is especially important since every other site had similar issue. Are you supposed to follow-up w/ someone or study for your exam?

3.
Car driving analogy is good except if you have another road to reach the destination (which is a trap) and the authorities know about it that it is a trap, isn’t it their duty to warn you to stay away? Just posting the five page sign and disclaimers is not administrator’s responsibility. Knowingly letting student fall in the trap and then punishing them is ridiculous. From student perspective, once you take a wrong turn, you are exposed due to lack of authorities’ vigilance.

4.
If GMAC would have pursued and warned in advance, not only the students would have been saved from falling in the trap, but other sites would also be very careful (may be including ScoreTop) as nobody or very few people have joined the site.

5.
I am not sure that anyone can remember all four choices after the exam. It is typically very difficult to pick the right choice as they are very similar. The source has to be something else if Scoretop had many so called “live” questions published.

6.
I have seen lot of other site discussing the same information and circulating the same documents. Going after few is not going to solve the issue. People will be careful and download these materials w/ no trace. I am sure the same information must be exposed to at least 60k-100K other students through various means during last five years.

7.
If someone is sharing their credit card information, one has to think twice if the intent is to cheat? If someone has such intension, he/she would typically try to hide or download the information and work offline leaving no trace.


8.
Tomorrow if they tag any other site or institute engaged in illegal activity, will that make all students cheat. If a student is exposed to “live” question which he didn’t try to get, is he the culprit?


Getting trapped and going after something is two completely different issues. If you pay $30 and believe that other site have similar issues do you want to join every other site to try and see which one has live/dead questions and how will you figure out? Assuming you want to pursue online training.

James B

July 7, 2008 8:26 PM

Those that got the GMAC email:

Which email address did you get that email? And what year did you become a VIP member?

I have an email id I used for registering for GMAT, one for paypal and one for Scoretop and other forums. So far, I have not received any email and I was a 2006 VIP member.

Kin

July 7, 2008 9:48 PM

GMAC CEO-

Please keep in mind that every number is a life, which may have unknowingly got sucked into this fiasco. There are many other lives and sacrifices associated with every number.

I agree with prior poster that GMAC should have saved many by taking earlier action sometime in 2003/2004 itself.

The focus now seems like have shifted from punishing the one operating and fostering such sites to students. Doesn't make sense. You have to kill such sites...and create a healthy environment. One suggestion is to have certified sites etc.

Thanks for listening

To GMAC

July 8, 2008 8:36 AM

This is beginning of the end of GMAT's dominance...The walls are falling GMAC and I understand why you are desperate...punish all the students but remember it will not solve your problems

ak

July 8, 2008 8:49 AM

Can a ST member sue Paypal for disclosing the credit card details??If i remember the disclaimer explicitly states that no info is to be disclosed

Get Lei Shi

July 8, 2008 10:05 AM

Why aren't they trying to get that Chinese dude, who started ScoreTop(Lei Shi), extradited to the US?

Lei Shi should be punished first.

Get Lei Shi

July 8, 2008 10:06 AM

Why aren't they trying to get that Chinese dude, who started ScoreTop(Lei Shi), extradited to the US?

Lei Shi should be punished first.

2007 VIP member

July 8, 2008 10:33 AM

Louis and all,


I would like to add a very important piece of information. This is a fragment of the text describing the VIP service, as of 11/2006:

...

New VIP membership has openned today!

In the new service, we will provide our own math/Verbal practise questions(fully owned by Scoretop, not copyrighted of anybody else!) written by our 780+ tutors, with explanations to those questions posted on a daily basis. By practising these questions, members definitely can improve their skills
...

The full text can be found at web archive:

http://web.archive.org/web/20061230063431/www.scoretop.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12066&PN=1

Added to the above evidence that the site did not promote "live" questions for VIP members (at least after 11/06), I can affirm that before signing up to the VIP area, I read all the debriefings written by user and featured in the first page, and NONE of them made any reference to "JJ", "live" questions or activities that could appear fraudulent. By early 2007, when I signed up as VIP member, it seemed that the site offered an online service with questions created by tutors, very similar to the service of companies such as ManhattanGMAT and Kaplan.

GMAC says in its FAQ that "Scoretop promotions and numerous postings on the site touted the benefit of VIP membership as having access to live questions", suggesting that "you had to be blind not to know". This is definitely incorrect. I believe that several VIP members (in special those who signed after 11/2006) are victims of this entire situation, as most of them were unaware to the fact they could be violating GMAC's policy.

Doomed

July 8, 2008 1:45 PM

This $30 figure haunts me now....Businessweek should reduce its subscription fees from this dreaded figure

To Louis

July 8, 2008 8:29 PM

What about the chat u were trying to arrange?

Prashy

July 9, 2008 2:40 AM

To GMAC and other non VIPs,

I request all the non VIPs and neutrals, who are accusing the scoretop members of cheating, to go through the disclaimer and the description of VIP service after 2006.

http://web.archive.org/web/20061230063431/www.scoretop.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12066&PN=1

I believe that you people understand standard English and you all are sensible. So, now tell me where there is the suspicion, fraud or intensional cheating mentioned here. It is so clean and clear. I don't find any wrong in people taking the membership. If at all you find anything fishy, it is after you register, login and visit the forums. So, I dont think everyone who has taken the VIP membership is guilty.

GMAC officials says that "Scoretop promotions and numerous postings on the site touted the benefit of VIP membership as having access to live questions", suggesting that "you had to be blind not to know". This is BS.

Why the hell on this world should I care about others' postings and promotions. All I need is a disclaimer and the official description, which is clean and clear.

If all the 6000 scoretop members on their personal blogs and and websites say that GMAC is a fraudulent organization and they are biased towards some section of the world, then will that be enough to sue and file a case against GMAC? If we say that the lawyers of GMAC are imposters with fake degree. Will they be ousted? Certainly not.

It is the official site and the content posted by them is crucial not what others brag about in forums or somewhere as that can be misleading and untrue.

If at all scoretop is guilty of fraud, I say that VIP members dint cheat but rather cheated. And GMAC has done a huge mistake in not warning anyone before hand. It is unethical on the part of GMAC if it were to pounce on innocent members without giving a warning.

I feel that GMAC should take this saga as the first and last warning and punish people involved in future incidents such as this.

Anonymous

July 9, 2008 10:24 AM

It is important for everyone affected to send out the 11/2006 web archive to GMAC - GMAC made a broad sweeping statement that everyone who is a VIP is a "cheat" without proper investigation. The web archive points otherwise and is definite evidence against GMAC's claim.

If there is not enough evidence to substantiate GMAC's sweeping claim, they are liable to a class action lawsuit for mud slinging and false accusations.

Truth be told - we want the guilty to be punished, but here the innocent has been presumed to be guilty without proper proof.
-Independent observer.

WM

July 9, 2008 4:14 PM

If you are not guilty, you have nothing to worry about. Why all the lawyer arguments? Some of you should have gone after your JD instead of your MBA. You would have fit in well in that world, cheaters. You won't provide much value added to the business world, where a modus operandi of cheating will eventually bankrupt your company. Or do you plan to loot your company and then talk your way of out trouble?

let crayons make your point

July 9, 2008 7:59 PM

I can't get past the hypocrisy that many of you may not have experienced by the GMAC. I applied for testing accommodations due to dyslexia and ADHD (regardless of your thoughts if this should be offered it is required under the ADA) and was denied twice. It took 18 weeks, 49 pages of grade school transcripts (failed 1st & 2nd grade), high schools transcripts (2.03 GPA), college transcripts, an official initial diagnostics report from 15 years ago, and most recently a DSM IV diagnosis from my Doctor of 5 years.

Both times I received a form letter back stating "While your documentation does indeed provide a diagnosis of ADHD and Dyslexia, the documentation provided does not demonstrate a substantial limitation."

Before my final appeal I had scored a 380 and I was still denied. I had run out of appeals so I faxed them a picture of me with a helmet on sitting at a desk I had drawn with crayons asking if that is what they were looking for???

I am not complaining about this because I'll be fine (already an offer from one top-fifteen school) but to WM's point, the GMAC is nothing without its reputation and to destroy a few "cheaters" reputations along the way would not lose them a bit of sleep. They hid behind the letter of the law with me and will do the same behind their "User agreement" defense.

Good luck to all...

Need to get things clarified

July 21, 2008 2:45 AM

Hi Louis,

Really a god work. I have a couple of questions which I am requesting you to ask the CEO of GMAC. There are a lot of people who used fake email-id's and freinds credit card, what is GMAC going to do abt this?
My most impt doubt there are a lot of us who acesed files without knowing whether they are live or not so if someone accessed the file not knowing it is live questions and mentioned it in the debrief ,but had not intent to cheat then how is GMAC going to respond?
How is GMAC going to decide the intent of the students?

Louis

July 21, 2008 8:51 AM

You can ask GMAC yourself during our live online chat on Wednesday at 1 p.m. There will be details on the web site about how to access the chat today or tomorrow. Thanks!

At Last - shame on Louis!!

July 31, 2008 2:42 AM

Louis.. you must be unhappy by now that GMAC has decided not to take action on most VIP members. Shame on reporters like you. You must be looking out on more innocent scapegoats to rip them apart for some more spicy news. My advice to you -- JUST RESIGN!

Louis

July 31, 2008 8:29 AM

My advice to you: Grow up.

Joe

October 26, 2009 8:33 AM


I don't know why people are so worked up about this.

GMAC has to tread very carefully because if they cancel scores just because someone "subscribed", GMAC could very well open themselves up to a lawsuit.

And if they cancel too many scores, it's going to be a big class action lawsuit. Unless they haven't noticed, there are lots of lawyers looking for a easy case.

www.businessweek.com

March 26, 2011 6:06 AM

Gmat_scandal_cl.. Bang-up :)

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