Cram schools under probe over SAT questions leak

SEOUL, Oct. 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korean prosecutors said Thursday they have launched a full-fledged investigation into local private education institutions suspected of leaking exam questions for a U.S. college admissions test.

Thirteen private academies providing lectures for the U.S.-based Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) allegedly leaked test questions to exam takers, prosecutors said. A number of high school students allegedly had seen at least a portion of test materials before the exam was given on Oct. 9, they added.

After raiding 12 cram schools, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office also raided the 13th private institution in Seoul's southern affluent ward of Gangnam on Wednesday, prosecutors said.

A team of investigators and prosecutors also swooped down on the house of a lecturer on Wednesday to obtain relevant documents, such as teaching materials, they added.

Prosecutors said they will analyze the test materials and then will notify the test organizer, the Educational Testing Service (ETS), of the result of the investigation.

The incident follows several incidents of other alleged leaks over the past five year, which prompted the ETS to cancel the SAT in May of this year. It was the first time that the SAT test has been called off in an entire country.

Several private institutions involved in the leakage scandal have been under the prosecution investigation, and the education authorities forcibly shut down eight schools for violating relevant rules.

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