Test Prep

Is It An SAT/ACT Violation to Share Test Questions With Friends?

Adobe Stock

Congratulations – the SAT or ACT test is finally over! All you want to do is tell your friends how impossible or easy some of the questions were -- or maybe you want to compare answers. But before you start sharing information about what was on your test, keep in mind that this is against the rules.

The College Board and ACT actually have strict policies concerning the discussion of test questions with other people after you've taken the test. Even if it's a friend who has already taken the test or your mom or your soccer coach – you'll still have to keep your questions to yourself.

Let's take a closer look at the SAT and ACT policies to see what they really have to say.

SAT Policy

There's a reason the SAT policy is called the “test security and fairness" policy. In order to maintain a fair testing experience for all students, the test questions and answers should not be shared. Although it is not likely you will get the same questions as your friend who took the SAT a month before you, it is possible. Just like with a test in any of your classes at school, if someone tells you the questions beforehand, you will have an unfair advantage. In other words, you would be cheating.

All the College Board is trying to say with this policy is don't cheat and don't help others cheat, because it's unfair to everyone else taking the test. Leaked test material could result in cancellation or invalidation of scores and/or cancellation of test dates.

On the College Board website, you can find the full length policy regarding sharing questions, but here is a breakdown of the section that specifically concerns sharing SAT material with others:

- Sharing of test questions or answers is prohibited at any time.

- Never give questions or answers to anyone or discuss them by any means (e.g., email, text message, exchange via the internet or any other form of communication).

- There is never any point in time at which you are allowed to discuss exam content unless it is released as part of a College Board service (such as the Question-and-Answer Service).

ACT Policy

Of course, the ACT maintains a similar policy when it comes to sharing test material. This test has also experienced several security breaches over the years, so it is important to understand and adhere to the test security policy to avoid any possible issues. Here's the relevant excerpt from the ACT's 2018-2019 Testing Rules and Policies:

The following behaviors are prohibited. You may be dismissed and/or your test may not be scored, at ACT's sole discretion, if you are found:

- Discussing or sharing test content, test form identification numbers, or answers during test administration, test breaks, after the test or on social media.

- Attempting to photograph, copy or memorize test-related information or remove test materials, including questions or answers, from the test room in any way, including through social media.

At first glance, the SAT and ACT policies might sound a bit scary, but both testing organizations are simply applying the same rules as your teachers in school probably apply to their exams. Helping others study before a test is one thing, but sharing questions and answers after the test opens up the possibility of test material being leaked. Play it safe and keep your SAT or ACT questions to yourself.