Is the College Board Creating Fake Accounts to Catch Cheaters?

Students theorize that the College Board has created a fake account on Reddit in order to catch students cheating on AP exams

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Shevany Moharir, Staff Writer

Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic, College Board announced in late March that they will still be administering its AP exams in May in a new shortened online format. Besides the last-minute change in format – a 45 minute, one or two free-response question test – which caused chaos among the nearly 2.7 million students enrolled in AP classes across the county, a major concern of taking these tests was cheating. With the tests being complete online this year, there was certainly a higher chance that students could submit work that was not there own. 

The College Board addressed these concerns shortly after their announcement about the test changes with several statements describing the procedures they were taking in order to prevent cheating such as plagiarism-detection software and creating questions designed for at-home administration. The company was, however, pretty vague what exactly their protocols are, with a statement on its official website expressing they “are keeping some of these protocols confidential to maximize their effectiveness.”

Days before the AP exams began, several Reddit users noticed a strange account called “u/dinosauce313,” created just a few weeks before the announcement of online AP exams, interacting with students on a thread called “r/APTests2020” as well as other groups formed by AP students. The users were thrown off by the account’s overwhelming interest in cheating and AP exam memes. Several people also pointed out how the account wrote in a very formal and unusual way, which a Tik Tok user commented on saying “it doesn’t sound like a teenager wrote it.” This led them to question the validity of the account. 

Another interesting piece of evidence presented by user “u/APPrez” is that the College Board has been very keen on flagging and shutting down any websites and/or social media accounts that they suspect are associated with AP exam cheating. In fact, Trevor Packer, the College Board’s senior vice president the Advanced Placement program, released a statement on Twitter on May 10, a day before the online exams began, saying the College Board has “cancelled the AP exam registrations of a ring of students who were developing plans to cheat, and we’re currently investigating others.” However, u/dinosouce313’s account is still up and running on Reddit despite its posts obviously relating to cheating.

All of the evidence points to the fact that this account is most likely fake and set up by someone attempting to pose as a student, but who that person is remains unknown. Even though some proof indicates the account may belong to someone associated with the College Board, the true identity of u/dinosauce313 will likely stay a mystery.