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July 03, 2008

What will GMAC do with Scoretop's customers?

I guess because I don't deal in the realm of the criminal, I had never heard of Scoretop back in the days when it was selling real GMAT questions. Based on GMAC's FAQ, I am sure they are figuring out what their legal options are vis-a-vis the Scoretop customer base. According to Businessweek, only one customer's scores have been canceled, but he bragged about using the service publicly, so probably has no legal defense. My guess is that GMAC will decide that the potential litigation involving one or more class action suits by plaintiffs who claim that they were the victims of Scoretop and not engaged in cheating on the GMAT is enough for GMAC to decide it is not worth do mass score cancellation. Combine this defense with potential privacy issues and it is has the makings for some serious litigation that GMAC will probably want to avoid. But if I am wrong, assume you will be hearing a lot more about Scoretop.

I really do like what GMAC has done with the Scoretop website. This is my favorite part:

"If you are caught disclosing, accessing, or using "real" GMAT® questions:

  • Your GMAT® scores will be cancelled.
  • You will not be allowed to take the GMAT® exam again.
  • Business schools will be notified.
  • You may be subject to a civil lawsuit or criminal prosecution.

You are responsible for making sure your preparation materials don’t violate our intellectual property rights. In other words:

  • Do not purchase, request, or share materials that claim to be “real” GMAT® questions in any form.
  • Do not download GMATPrep® software from anywhere but www.mba.com, where authorized GMATPrep® software is available for free.
  • Do not request or distribute pirated software or books such as the GMAT® Paper Tests, GMAT FocusTM or the Official GMAT® Guide."
Whether GMAC takes action or not against the Scoretop customers, I think it is good that they delay making any decision as long as possible because those who did cheat, regardless of what is said by some of them, knew they were getting something they should not have. I hope they are sweating. Maybe the experience of worrying about being caught will be sufficient to scare them straight so that they don't become future perpetrators of the next Enron scandal.

And for those who are thinking about gaming the system, my advice is to study, get the best GMAT score you can, apply intelligently, and go knowing you did not cheat.

What do you think? Write comments or contact me directly at adammarkus@gmail.com.
-Adam Markus
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