Harsh sanctions may await students who used Web site for GMAT prep

Top business schools around the country are waiting to find out if any of their students used Scoretop.com, a Web site that may have helped them prepare for the Graduate Management Admission Test, commonly known as GMAT, by providing a sneak peak at live questions.

Approximately 6,000 of the 112,884 students who took the GMAT in the year prior to May 2008 visited Scoretop.com, according to BusinessWeek. And the magazine's survey of the nation's top MBA programs shows many admissions officials are open to "harsh sanctions" for current students, applicants, and graduates who may have used the site, which has been shut down.

"...School officials aren't shying away from using the "E" word – expulsion – if serious cheating is found," BusinessWeek reported.

The survey also found that school officials endorsed the "overall validity" of the GMAT.

On June 23, the Graduate Management Admission Council made public that it had won a legal judgment in Virginia Federal District Court against the Web site, accusing Scoretop.com of copyright infringement and publishing live GMAT questions. The court awarded the Graduate Management Admission Council $2.3 million plus legal costs and the Council seized Scoretop.com's domain name and a computer hard drive containing payment information and data on 6,000 users.

US News & World Report said the Council posted a message on the site saying "...students who used the site will have their test scores cancelled, be barred from taking the exam again, have their business schools notified, and may be subject to prosecution."

Judy Phair, a spokesperson for the Graduate Management Admission Council, said users who merely visited the site and did not subscribe, "have nothing to worry about," according to BusinessWeek. "Our focus is people who actively traded questions, shared questions, verified questions, and said, 'I just took the exam,'" the magazine quoted Phair as saying.

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