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Detection of Fraudulent Activity

Even with the most stringent security prevention measures in place, fraudulent activity can occur. To ensure the integrity of GRE® test scores, the ETS Office of Testing Integrity takes seriously and thoroughly investigates all reported incidents of fraud.

When ETS has reason to suspect that scores are not valid, ETS conducts a security review, which may include photographic review, handwriting analysis and score analysis.

ETS closely monitors all test centers and tracks all security incidents. If it is determined that a test center does not meet ETS standards and it fails to correct the issue, it is closed. ETS also conducts random unannounced inspections of test centers as well as site visits to centers where concerns have been raised through supervisor reports, tips or test-taker complaints. ETS works with national law enforcement agencies to prosecute professional impersonation rings.

Statistical analysis methods are used to help assure valid scores. The ETS Statistical Analysis team monitors score trends by test center, country and region, and reports any suspicious anomalies to the ETS Office of Testing Integrity for review. Some of the activities this team performs include:

  • using software to detect significant changes in scores for repeat test takers
  • reviewing system-generated irregularity reports after each administration
  • maintaining site historical performance data to identify any deficiencies that need to be addressed
  • auditing sites continually

Essay responses on the GRE Analytical Writing section are reviewed by ETS essay-similarity-detection software to detect essay responses that may have been borrowed in whole or in part from elsewhere or prepared by another person.

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