Students gaming college-admissions tests with fake doctor's notes

 March 27, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Nearly all private school students are gaming the college-admissions exams by obtaining doctors' notes – stating they have ADHD or another handicap – since those allow them extra time to finish the questions, according to a new report.

"I get requests for ADHD testing accommodations all the time," Dr. Camilo Ortiz, a clinical psychologist and professor at Long Island University, said in at interview with the New York Post.

Parents, she said, end up "none too happy" if she doesn't agree, and added, "They're getting really creative with it — it’s ADHD, or anxiety, or depression that leads to migraines that supposedly disrupts the testing.

"It’s not hyperbolic to say that almost everyone is doing it."

The report noted students are getting the "bogus" notes in order to "score extra time in standardized testing exams."

Those testing requirements now are being reinstated by many colleges, after there was a period when they were de-emphasized.

The report noted that some "diagnoses" can score a student 50% extra time to finish the exams and that can mean "a 200-point boost to an SAT score."

The various testing programs allow students extra time, but they require documentation from a health professional of the "disability."

The Post reported hearing from "students, parents, teachers, psychologists and college admissions counselors who confirmed that the system is rife with abuse."

And it said the abuse appears to have increased just recently as Yale and Dartmouth both announced they were using test scores again.

The report noted Christopher Rim, founder of college counseling firm Command Education, confirmed families are "1,000 percent" manipulating the accommodations for unfair advantages.

"There are definitely unethical families out there who are trying to take advantage of this system," he said in an interview with the Post.

The schemes, he said, should raise questions.

"A student at a private school in Manhattan who all of a sudden gets an accommodation starting in 11th grade can look a little suspicious, because how do these kids get through school from kindergarten to 11th grade getting straight As, without needing any accommodations?"

The report pointed out Paul Rossi, a teacher at the $65,000-a-year Grace Church School in Manhattan, confirmed it's "quite a racket. Educational psychologists rake in a pretty penny for diagnoses."

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